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Author Topic: what is a converted bus worth?? Where do you find Appraisers?  (Read 2021 times)
pete36330
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« on: August 07, 2010, 09:34:18 PM »

Many of us do our own conversions. What is a reasonable value for our bus ?? ,,are there any appraisal companies /services that specialize in converted buses? I know they have appraisal services for antique and collector cars ,,How about converted buses ..with all the insulation ,,A/C and heating systems,wiring ,,plumbing ..painting and everything else that we invest in our buses,How do we value our labor? we are in the thousands of dollars..
has anyone had any experience with or can recommend someone that does appraisals,that can help when dealing with insurance companies, concerning damage done to our buses in vehicle accidents, fire or storm damage etc,etc,,..

Moderator note:  Added to title to mention the interest in appraisers.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 04:51:56 AM by HighTechRedneck » Logged
Brassman
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2010, 09:38:06 PM »

Whatever you pay or are paid for it. It's a hobby!
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John316
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2010, 09:51:05 PM »

We have actually kept all of our receipts from building the bus. I know, it is astronomical.

But it gives us a value for the bus....

God bless,

John
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 11:18:40 PM »

Before I even bought my bus I pretty much figured that it was a losing game and if I were to sell it or maybe even wreck it there would be a huge loss and that's in actual monetary outlay and not labor which we all know is subjective at best. I made a deal with my brother that if I am unable to sell my bus for a minimum price that I feel is reasonable or if something happens to me then he will get it free and he and his family can enjoy it. In fact one day he may pop up under my name taking over my profile. Failing that I have a nephew and a brother in law who would like it. I'd rather pass it to my family than give it away at the prices seen for the last 5 years or more. You almost can't give them away. 

I used to keep a really good record with all of my receipts and a pretty good log of what I've done and the costs but soon I realized that it was futile. Now I keep a pretty good though not exact collection of receipts and a list of what I've bought etc just for my reference and maybe insurance purposes though I'm afraid to look at them now. Never expect an increase in value though I'd say.
That's the irony of these things. They are built far better and stronger by the manufacturer and many people build them far better than your average Winnie costing much, much more and yet people are terrified to buy them because of the "do-it-yourself'er-screwed-it-up" stigma. 

How much are they worth? As much as anyone is willing to give you on any given day at any given time and unfortunately that probably includes an insurance company unless your agent\broker in a bus guy and since most are not count on getting far less than expected. In the case of a total loss claim the insurance would probably go by comparison to other similar conversions but then that is the problem, they'll pick the biggest P.O.S possible and then you fight them. Best bet is to try to get and keep a current appraisal by an established legitimate company (I dunno who).
I did this on my Mercedes and it paid off when I had a claim. I had kept my appraisals current and could demonstrate the value over a period of time.
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2010, 04:50:39 AM »

There are professional appraisers out there that do bus conversion appraisals.  I don't know where people find them, but every once in a while a member mentions it so I know there are some.  The problem is there aren't enough bus conversions out there to make it worth it for most professional appraisers to take the time to develop a professional level of knowledge/experience evaluating them for true market value.  So when they do get someone requesting an appraisal, I have to wonder if they aren't mostly doing it by tallying the receipts and looking at any book value on the shell that may exist.  Which is probably good for the purpose of insuring, but not realistic if trying to determine a price for selling.  (although I'm sure it doesn't hurt to be able to show a recent appraisal when building value in the eyes of a potential buyer)

Pete, I'm going to edit the title of the post to mention appraisers and maybe one of the folks that have found an appraiser will drop in and share their experience at finding them.
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JackConrad
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2010, 05:34:53 AM »

   Our insurance underwriter (National Interstate) requires a new appraisal every few years for our agreed value policy. I just had an new apparisal done for them by Audatex 800-351-3133 . This is the company that our agent (Poliseek) recommended and is approved by our insurance underwriter.
   Last appraisal valued our bus at about 89K, new appaisal valued it at 79K. Considering the present economy, this is still probably overvalued compared to actual sellling price if we were to sell it. However, we have no intention of selling it.  Jack
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 05:46:20 AM by JackConrad » Logged

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mikelutestanski
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2010, 06:49:07 AM »

Hello;     WE used automotive appraisals .com   the gentleman is Mark Koch and the cost is $233 for the appraisal.. Be prepared to take lots of pictures and to fill out an eight page form.  I elected after filling that to add to the comments a bus history document which went through all that we had done to the shell to bring it up to todays standards.
    This was very well received and in our case the appraisal is higher than we had anticipated and very thorough.  He used comparables and other techniques to compare our bus to others.. THis appraisal was for insurance purposes .
    I may seem to be plugging the guy but the outfit Jack mentioned should be similiar. WE had very basic insurance and now we have an agreed value policy.
   Regards  and happy  bussin  mike
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2010, 07:04:16 AM »

When you go to sell If you are lucky you may get about 1/4 or 5th of what you have in it and nothing for your time.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2010, 07:22:39 AM »

I sure hope you guys don't think your going to get the agreed on value for the bus if something happens.
Richard ,Driving Mrs Lazy is the only person I knew that even got close.
I have a friend that had 180 k appraised value on his Eagle he got 55,000 after 4 years of court I know this for fact I own the Eagle now.
John 316 has it covered and that will be after the court battle insurance co's will wear you out in court if the claim is over 50 grand 

good luck
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Tully Lee
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2010, 07:29:36 AM »

Plan on .10cents on the dollar for every $1.00 you put into the coach.  At least that is what I am finding out.  I would consider it a hobby too. 

Today it makes sense to buy a bus, muscle are etc...  WHEN IT IS ALREADY COMPLETED.
A muscle car can have $60,000 into a restro and be lucky to get $30-$40k back.  The
economy dicates this unfortunately.

Tully Lee
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gus
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2010, 04:56:42 PM »

As many others have already said, it is almost impossible to get you money back on a conversion, especially one in which you have invested thousands of hours and dollars.

What you have to do is count the hours of enjoyment of doing the conversion and using the bus, then it comes out even!!

Just about like any other hobby.
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kyle4501
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2010, 07:52:24 AM »

. . . . . can recommend someone that does appraisals,that can help when dealing with insurance companies, concerning damage done to our buses in vehicle accidents, fire or storm damage etc,etc,,..

For an appraisal to be meaningful for insurance purposes, it must be done by an appraiser that is approved by the insurance company. So, talk to your insurance agent to get a list of who they use or approve of.

As has been mentioned, a conversion has several 'values' (- from lowest to highest)
'sale' - when it is time to pass it on to someone else.
'replacement' - insurance.
'investment' - to justify the $$$ spent on it.
'usefullness to the owner' - self explanatory.

Good luck with the appraisal.  Grin
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