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Author Topic: What would you do?  (Read 3238 times)
QuagmireMan
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« on: February 10, 2010, 08:11:53 AM »

Well to keep a long story short... a few years back a friend and I bought a PD-4107 (1967) and he ended up backing out of the deal and I got stuck with the whole thing  Angry

I have been slowly working on it through college, but now that I am graduated I am trying to choose what to do with the darn thing. Paid 10k for it put maybe $1200 into it so far. It was a previous conversion and lived in by 8 people!! So I started new on the inside. I feel like to finish the inside I would have about $1800 in it.

But here are the things that are making me have second thoughts...
-The power steering has been removed (I want it back... either making my own system or finding an old one)
-The front glass is cracked, 2 of the sliders are cracked, and drivers left side glass is cracked too
-It has only 1 roof air, which I don't think will be enough while on the road

When I think about those 3 things, I feel like this could be another 10k in work!

I am just about to start a new job, so money really isn't the largest issue... but I think that maybe just buying a house and selling the bus would be a better option. I am also trying to start a business on the side so I feel like I won't have a lot of time to work on it.

Would you think selling it is the best option?

If I were to sell it, what do you think I could get for it?


What do you think it would cost to fix those 3 things?


Just looking to see what you guys think
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QuagmireMan
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 08:13:02 AM »

And what is up with the bouncing of the text box, once the message gets longer?

here is a picture:


« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 08:20:23 AM by QuagmireMan » Logged
philiptompkjns
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 09:08:16 AM »

It  looks like a great  project, you  should try to take it out and  have some fun with it.
I had  a lot of fun with the class  C  in college.... but wanted a bus.
You should do just as little as possible to get it to usable condition, then do the rest as time and money permits.
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2010, 09:08:49 AM »

As far as a bus conversion goes, ANY bus you buy will have certain items that need to be replaced.  What you described are relatively minor (blown engine/transmission/axles/brakes, etc are major).  Easy to add another roof top air near to the front for air going down the road, and replacing glass-well, it's just one of those things.  I had my air assist steering replaced with full Sheppard power steering-now is finger tip.  It cost about $2,000.00, but then you're driving a heavy duty commercial vehicle that costs alot when you replace or repair anything.  But-it also affords you the longest life expectancy and more importantly the metal protection you'd never get in a normal motorhome. You've had the bus for a few years so you know what the bus is all about.  I would stay with it- the bus looks good and you know it.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2010, 09:43:34 AM »

Its a good looking bus.  I'd echo Tom & Philip's advice - get out and use it.  Round up some buddies and a few dozen beers and go to the racetrack.  Or get you some wimmen and go to the beach.  You won't likely get your money back if you try to sell it so have some fun with it and maybe you won't want to sell it.

And FWIW I dunno what the bouncing message box is about either - it bugs me too.
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2010, 09:44:20 AM »

Sell it?  Yes, ( stuck with the darn thing ) You need to be in the right state of mind. Or no mind. To own.
Whats it worth?  Maybe less than you have in it. ( most likely ) The prices are falling, whats the inside like?
1 air may make it cool enough for you, have you tried it?    Good luck, Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2010, 10:00:23 AM »

Quag, you're asking a bunch of people with a very strong bias toward buses. The reality of it is, this is a buyer's market! Not only can you buy real estate for what it's actually worth right now, you can't sell a bus for true value either. Catch 22? Tough call. Huh Good luck, Will
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QuagmireMan
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2010, 10:47:42 AM »

Quag, you're asking a bunch of people with a very strong bias toward buses. The reality of it is, this is a buyer's market! Not only can you buy real estate for what it's actually worth right now, you can't sell a bus for true value either. Catch 22? Tough call. Huh Good luck, Will

Good point. I have been kickin around the buying a house thing too, but the math tells me I really shouldn't until I can put a bigger down payment on a house... plus I am young and am more than likely going to see more change in the next 10 years anyways.
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QuagmireMan
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 11:01:47 AM »

What do you think it would cost to:
- put on power steering (basically everything has been removed except the lines)
- Replace the glass

I think If I can get it finished for under 10k I would go ahead and do it.  I know I am not going to get my money back out of it, but sometime I think I should pick up another bus that I wouldn't have to put power steering and new windows on it might save me some $ and I could just take the holding tanks, H2O heater, fridge ect. off of my current bus.

It just seems like there are many really low cost buses floating around there with less big problems than mine.
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kyle4501
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 11:16:59 AM »

Your bus looks better than any of mine. . . .
What condition is the drivetrain in?
If you are patient, the parts can be found for cheap. Especially if you are able to make a road trip or two & can do the wrenching yourself. (Think someone scrapping a bus with what you need. . . ) The front windshields may be ~$500 each, but the side windows can be polycarbonate (lexan) & you can cur & install those yourself.

Do you like the bus? Do you like the possibilities that the bus can provide? If you do, the answer is obvious - it relates to the evil you know VS the evil you don't.

For me, having a bus that was liveable would have been GREAT to have had at my first house. I could have finished remodeling the house so much sooner if I hadn't had to keep the house liveable the whole time.

Maybe you could buy a fixer-upper & live in the bus on the site while you fix the house (you may have to install a temporary carport building for the bus) - then sell house to up grade to a more suitable location. . . . OR, sell the bus & trade up.  Grin


Ahhh, to be just starting out . . . . . so many possibilities . . . . I wish you luck in choosing an easier & less expensive path than I took . . .  Grin  Shocked  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010, 01:58:41 PM »

QUag,
        Think about the buyers market thing as far as buying a house. Let's say you wait 2-3 yrs to save up some more down payment. I don't know let's say $30,000. The price of houses new or used is bound to go back up and the interest rate will definitely be headed that way. And your payment will be higher than if you did it now with less down payment. All that you saved you will lose to those 2 factors alone. What if you could get into a house now at a lower price & lower interest rate. You could still save some down payment that you have the option to put into your equity then. Maybe knocking the length of your mortgage down considerably. I have this exact example for you. My son & his wife were thinking of waiting but I talked them into seeing what the builders prices would be & check to see if the bank would be friendly to them. Never thought I would advise my son financially to jump the gun but here's the outcome:  Builders prices were 25-30% less than 2 yrs ago. Material prices were down considerably. The interest rate deffinitely wasn't going to get any better. They saved $50,000 on the overall price to build the new house. Financed it for 15 yrs. because they had already planned for a certain monthly budget. And better yet the work was done in a very timely manner due to the work load being in a slump. Guaruntee the price will be back up in 2 yrs.
     Now you gotta understand this buyers market thing is not going to help you at all with moving the bus. Instead of doing the fixups why don't you try & sell it as is. The new owner may not have wanted the things you put money into. I'm sure power steering would be a plus but maybe someone else would want to do a different A/C rather than roof top. Didn't mean to rattle on but I wanted to put it out there for you to consider.
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John Mellis
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 05:46:23 PM »

I think Kyle has the best idea if you are handy with tools.

Buy the worst house in the best neighborhood you can afford. Live in the bus & fix the house. Sell the bus & live in the house. Or, sell the bus & buy a better one. Or, better yet, sell the house and buy the worst house in the best neighborhood you can afford. Live in the bus & fix up the house. Do you see a pattern here? You don't need power steering if the bus is parked. You will make more money fixing houses & selling them than in a lot of other businesses you could start. Also, you are your own boss & work at your own pace. I certainly wish I had started out with the opportunity you have now.

TOM
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 01:43:26 AM »

Q - At your age -

New job = Lucky for you  Grin

Buying a house = Fuggetaboutit till your stable

New business = Wait till O' tells you how the Fed is gonna help you start it (I'm waiting to hear myself)

Power stearing = You can live with it till you come across a gifted one

Cracked glass = unless it's dangerous to operate try an epoxy repair

Roof Air = can be had for $100 or less used

Marriage = I know you didn't mention it - But don't complicate your life when you have all the above - There will be plenty of time to do that in the future

HTH - FWIW



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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2010, 05:33:05 AM »

Quag, you're asking a bunch of people with a very strong bias toward buses. The reality of it is, this is a buyer's market! Not only can you buy real estate for what it's actually worth right now, you can't sell a bus for true value either. Catch 22? Tough call. Huh Good luck, Will

Good advice, all of it.  The wife and I have an expression we are fond of, whenever we see a RV or a bus for that matter, with a for sale sign attached to it, we say, "Lookie there, drove all the fun out of it." When I bought my Eagle the guy didn't like what I offered him at all, and made it quite clear.  I just replied, "it is only worth what you can get for it and not much more."

He took the deal, he didn't like it, but folks weren't exactly beating down his door to buy a 20+ year old bus.

I vote to keep it and like they say "add to it a little at a time" you will be glad you did.

BCO
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2010, 06:21:50 AM »

Keep the bus and enjoy it! At your age you have a lot of life ahead of you, now is the time to get to know her. I waited too long to get into this bus world, and regretted I didn't do it sooner, much sooner!

I don't have power steering, don't miss it cause I've never had it. Collect all the parts you will need and do it when you can.

At least with a bus it's an easy move. You don't have to be chained down to a mortgage and wait for the market to pick up.

Good Luck,

Paul
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2010, 07:35:37 AM »

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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2010, 08:34:27 AM »

This may be life advice rather than bus advice, but so what...  Smiley

The great advantage the young have is that they have a lot of time to recover from the mistakes they will inevitably make - mistakes when viewed with 20/20 hindsight, of course!  So there is ample reason to say "just do what you feel like doing", knowing that in the long run it makes not all that much difference.  Only a sad and lonely person would say "scrap that bus immediately, and take the money you would spend on it and put it in GIC's inside your 401K right this  instant!"  Even though that's the right financial advice.

The second thing is that a bus is not an investment, it's a depreciating asset at best.  The longer you keep it, the less it will be worth and the more it will cost you to keep.  So you need to find the value picture for your situation - in what way are you richer by owning the bus, how does it improve your life, and is that improvement worth the fully loaded cost of ownership?  Who knows what the answer is, and only you can find that answer.

The final thing is, are there better things to do with your time and money?  I'll confess, I find the idea of a young kid just starting out owning a bus kinda weird.  When I was your age, a car that started and a really nice Gibson SG were more the priorities, and beer money solved the excess cash issue quite nicely...   Ask yourself if owning a bus, even a nice bus that you've finished up and can actually steer without a hernia, is the answer to a question that you aren't really asking...   I mean, what percentage of your weekly net from your new job will it cost you to buy a tank of fuel?  And what else could you do with that cash?  If you just own it and don't use it or maintain it, will it just quietly subside into a large pile of poo?  And what will you do with it then?

Just what comes to mind when I think of what I would do if I was 22 or 23 years old, just out of school (with a mountain of debt if you are like my nieces), just had a job, and happened to own a bus...  Of course that is the mid '50's "me" speaking...  When I was 23 I'd probably be far more worried about how big a stereo I could fit in it, and what was the shortest route to the beach that rolled past my girlfriends dorm...   Shocked

Brian

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QuagmireMan
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2010, 09:21:35 AM »

Thanks everyone for your input! Luckily I have worked since I was 14 and through college, so I was able to make it out debt free!  Grin

I started my 401k 5 years ago, when I started working for the electric co. and I am more than likely going to take one of the two full time job offers they gave me.

This is what I have been thinking:
I have been looking at double house with a big lot out back (not in the best neighborhoods) in the $20k range... I figure I could buy one, live in one side while I fix the other side. Then rent out the newly fixed up side (get it HUD approved, at minimum $500 a month income) keep the bus out back ... because in these neighborhoods it really doesn't matter much.

Granted I would only live there for 2 years tops... then rent both sides out (which should get me at minimum $1000 a month income) Which should pay for all my labor and parts in about 3 years.

I really don't care about living in a bad place, I just won't be inviting any girls or friends over lol

I like the idea of not have a large loan over my head, and what I would have bought this place for I would have spent on rent in 3 years anyways.

I feel like I would be able to work on both the bus and the place at the same time, when I get sick of working on one I would work on the other  Grin

I know priority would go to the house because it will get me income...

What do you guys think about this plan?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 11:11:35 AM by QuagmireMan » Logged
QuagmireMan
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2010, 09:37:42 AM »

Not that I have anything against house loans... I just thinks its crazy the amount of money paid in interest!!!

http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/loan-calculator.aspx

If I buy a house for $125,000 get a 15 year loan at 5% fixed.... by the time I would get it paid off I would have paid an extra $53k... this is not including the things like insurance, taxes, and other whammies like replacing a roof. I would highly doubt in 15 years my house's value would increase by 40% to pay for all that interest... but I could be wrong.... who knows what will happen after this crazy economy gets under control.

I have grown up my whole life never being in debt to anyone... and I really love the feeling! I have always made money on every car I have ever bought then sold (actually this is how I paid for most of my college)

I think my mindset of always trying to make a "good" investment in something is what makes me struggle with the bus so much... however I do feel the bus is fun.... and fun ain't free  Cheesy

I know having the bus, traveling with my friends and family will be something I will always remember so it might be a good investment after all (as long as the engine doesn't blow up tomorrow)
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2010, 10:09:13 AM »

You need to stop thinking of how much money you can/can't make off owning something.

A house is a shelter and a place to live.  You can't expect to live there for free by selling it for more than the cost of the house up front, interest, taxes and any work done on it.  You are going to live somewhere so you might as well own the palce instead of paying someone else for shelter.

A bus is the same way.  You buy one because you want to go RVing with it.  You don't buy to fix up and then sell for more than you spent on it.

If you can find a fixable house for $20,000 and pay cash for it that is great.  I'm pretty sure anything around me for $20k would best be doused with gasoline and lit.
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2010, 11:41:10 AM »

What area do you live in. You need to rub some of our conversions and talk', over bevareges and food, bus nuts. I'm available if you live close. So are many others. Parts are available. You (hopefully) will live to 70. You've got time. Go for it.
  Big John
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QuagmireMan
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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2010, 11:51:13 AM »

What area do you live in. You need to rub some of our conversions and talk', over bevareges and food, bus nuts. I'm available if you live close. So are many others. Parts are available. You (hopefully) will live to 70. You've got time. Go for it.
  Big John


I'm up north, but the place I am looking to take a job with has their second head quarters in Texas... so it is likely I will make it down that way sometime.  I will be sure to let you know.
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2010, 11:53:21 AM »

Well you are likely to get as many opinions as posts here which is a good thing as there probably isn't a "right" answer.  All I can tell you is that having fixed many houses and many old vehicles there is always more to be done than first meets the eye.  If you enjoy the work that shouldn't be a problem...this reminds me, years ago I read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)"  only really retained a few things from that book but they were invaluable.  
The first was when you are fixing something and are getting frustrated....back off,  take a break, switch jobs...whatever 'til you aren't frustrated anymore (this keeps it fun)(sounds like you know this already).
The second was improvise solutions.
The third was everyone has a different perspective on what is happening around them.
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2010, 05:02:47 PM »

Another old fart's two cents,

1) If you're not enjoying the bus sell it.  Doesn't matter if you enjoy the wrenching and don't use it or if you don't enjoy the work but use it.  Busses are expensive, similar to most anything worth enjoying boats, cars, wives etc.  Cut your losses if don't love it.

2) Bone up on real estate before you buy.  Sometimes the most expensive piece of property is the cheapest.  Conversely the cheapest can cost the most.

Mike
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