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Old 04-01-2021, 03:31 PM   #21
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowcreekcabin View Post
It is fun for me, but I could never-ever recover my money doing things this way.

Bus build was a fun activity that absorbed almost every spare moment of time that could be considered recreational for nearly 3 years.

I can't recover that time by selling the bus, but no regrets.
How much is your hobby worth to your soul?
This is my perspective as well. Sure I like to think that I'm building my retirement plan but in all honesty I knew going into the project it was more about the time and passion invested than the return on that investment. I am however aware that not everyone approaches these projects the same way. How often does someone show up here with a tale that their lease is up in 6 months and they want to make this huge life-altering change but have such a short window of time to overcome the learning curve and the obstacles before them that they can't even see yet? That's not passion, that's desperation and usually a formula for failure. It's also often why half-finished conversions of questionable quality end up for sale and savvy buyers usually understand that they're really only buying the chassis because undoubtedly they'll end up gutting whatever was installed and anything not affixed is probably being sold surplus anyways as the desperate seller tries to recoup whatever they can from how much they sunk into the failed endeavor. I'm not criticizing, I'm just illustrating why attempting to value the build may be a fool's errand. How do you prorate a build the seller says is "80% complete"? What's 80% of a working toilet? Does it just dump out under the frame? And 80% is only to achieve what they considered a complete build but to someone else that might barely pass for a mobile hunting cabin, not a finished livable skoolie RV. It's the beauty of this niche but also the bane of it that everyone has different ideas and expectations.
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:25 PM   #22
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"It's only worth what the buyer is willing to pay" is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. It is only worth that to the buyer. It's like saying this $220K Ferrari is only worth $5k, because that's what I want to spend. So is it worth $5K? HELL NO, and I'll never own no matter how much I think it's worth.
I was a professional home builder, which is a huge plus in converting a bus. Why is my time and labor not worth anything, yet a manufactured RV has 50% mark up in one.


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Old 04-01-2021, 06:11 PM   #23
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Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Fair Market Value is a term you can only misapply to skoolies.

I built a lot of houses over the years. Every bit of the materials and labor I put into those places, I could pretty guarantee they came out of the sale price, and sometimes the value of the house went up by more, depending on location, time, cycle of the markets etc.

I also knew my labor would be well-compensated. Every project I did, the value of my labor was almost guaranteed to come out when I sold the place.

A skoolie is more like a painting--beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I guess we could say the price is somewhat influenced by the street value of the bare rig, but not at all measured by the weekends and late nights of labor, or the cost of the nuts and bolts and inverters and carefully fabricated cowlings.

Instead, poor layout, questionable system design, less than stellar workmanship, used or poor quality components, incomplete systems all become potential dealbreakers to a buyer depending on their knowledge and experience. There are so many rigs, so many conversions, so much buyer inexperience that there are no common measures for comparison, but many opportunities to discount.
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Old 04-01-2021, 06:16 PM   #24
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Moment of Zen: if I treat my skoolie as an investment in myself, and I'm intentional with the money and labor I apply, then every time I look at it I can say "Marie Kondo, tokimeku, it's sparkin' freakin' joy in me".
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Old 04-01-2021, 06:18 PM   #25
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An old school bus is worthless as a motorhome. It only has some value AFTER you've spent lots of time and money making it into..usually..a sub-par motorhome.
So buying one for $5k or $15k is just foolish, it is a case of selling a false dream.

I've had three cars I spent over a year building. But both cost me $500 to start, and in the end are worth about the same when done. It is a hobby. Can't afford that anymore, time is too short now..
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Old 04-02-2021, 03:47 PM   #26
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The labour put into conversion has zero "value" in the actual marketplace.

For comprehensive insurance "agreed value" negotiations, a detailed build thread with thorough photos and all receipts might help.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:13 PM   #27
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Got to agree with peteg, ross, ABBus, simplicity, awe damn it got to agree with everyone. there are just way too many variables in a Skoolie build. On the other hand every factory rv is built with the exact same components and fixtures and the exact same structural design that an insurance company can easily determine a value to it. That canít happen with a Skoolie, too many custom touches just like a custom hot rod restoration needs an appraisal.
Bus on boys and girls
cheers

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Old 04-07-2021, 11:43 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
An old school bus is worthless as a motorhome. It only has some value AFTER you've spent lots of time and money making it into..usually..a sub-par motorhome.
So buying one for $5k or $15k is just foolish, it is a case of selling a false dream.

I've had three cars I spent over a year building. But both cost me $500 to start, and in the end are worth about the same when done. It is a hobby. Can't afford that anymore, time is too short now..
Worthless? Sub-par? Do you really believe this or are you just here to cause sh*t?
I guarantee you my rv build is far superior to the cheap, flashy factory rv crap being cranked out. The cheapest components being assembled in leaking/rotting from day one styrofoam crap is not what I would call quality. You continue to slag bus conversions every chance you get yet I seem to recall in another thread you thought that converting an old Ford cab over to an all electric vehicle was a great idea. Time to give it a rest, in case you hadnít noticed this is a bus forum.
Stay safe
Cheers

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Old 04-08-2021, 11:52 PM   #29
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Ok, I going to chime in with my 2Ę. I hope not to stir up too much of a ruckus.


First some background. For 18 years I was a commercial real estate appraiser specializing in heavy machinery and equipment.


To produce an opinion of value an appraiser depends on multiple factors. Of which the most important is, sales comparables. These are examples of historical sales that are as close as possible to the subject property (in this case your skoolie).

For a skoolie these would be close to impossible to find. Due to this an appraised value of a skoolie would most likely be $0.00 or even negative. Yes, something can have a negative appraised value when it costs more to dispose of it then it's recycled value. I once appraised an earth-mover that cost millions of dollars , with a value of $-18,000 due to the cost of getting it out of the quarry it was in.


This DOES NOT mean your skoolie is worthless. This means we have an asset that belongs to a very niche market. Someone previously mentioned artwork as a comparison and this is probably the closest way to view the potential value of our skoolies. A lot of love and hard work went into many of our skoolies and whoever tells you itís worthless is just plain wrong. Skoolies are part of whatís called an unregulated market. As such any purchase or sale is done with the understanding that the ďOpinion of ValueĒ is calculated by the seller and accepted by the buyer without supporting market evidence.
Just like a painting in an art gallery.


I would not expect to see comprehensive insurance coverage available for us ever. To provide such coverage an actuary would need to calculate a statistical measure of risk. A skoolie is a bus being used for something other than itís intended purpose. This alone makes comprehensive insurance coverage unfeasible. What we might be able to see one day is something akin to renters or tiny house insurance. In this scenario the adjuster could separate the tangible value of your belongings from the value of the vehicle.
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Old 04-09-2021, 09:56 AM   #30
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Keep all the receipts for the components.

If nothing else could insure as possessions in a rider to homeowner's or renter's insurance.

In the event of a total, get one settlement for the base vehicle, and then claim for your other destroyed property separately as "cargo" at the time.

Obviously owner's labour doing the conversion would never be insurable.

______

For sales purposes, market value can only be determined on a once-off basis,

after a willing buyer has been found and money has actually changed hands,

depends not just on place/season/fashion but economic cycles etc.

The comparison to original art work is apt.
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:18 AM   #31
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IMO, A skoolie only has 4 values.

1. What you're willing to pay to buy it.
2. What you're willing to accept when you sell it.
3. What you tell your insurance company it's worth.
4. The total value of the individual components used in the build.

There is no blue book for skoolies like cars, because cars can only have certain options coupled with variables like mileage and condition. Skoolies have unlimited options to them, and coupling that with the mileage and condition variables would give a limitless number of prices.
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Old 04-09-2021, 12:19 PM   #32
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Not to mention an aesthetically beautiful "trendy" one suitable for young 'grammers

would likely fetch 10x what a normally ugly one that is 10x better quality build, actual functionality.
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Old 04-09-2021, 01:28 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
Unfortunately, the emotional attachment to "what dad paid" may get in the way of a successful sale.
i'm just echoing what a lot of others have said from my perspective as a former antique dealer. I was constantly being asked what Grandma's amazing credenza was worth and the standard "whatever you can get for it" was always on the tip of my tongue.

Unfortunately antiques have generally become less valuable, not more, as things that dealers used to be able to pass off as rare turn out NOT to be now that we can see 100 of them for sale on eBay at one time. I've had people come to me with pieces they paid $5k for and I can't even offer them $200. People become very stubborn and attached when that happens, as those attachments come to the surface.

That said, we are currently in the midst of a bus boom. I saw a bus like mine sell for $8K the other day (a 91 Ford 7.3L 4 window). I paid $2500. People want wheels right now, so "value" is higher. I predict that when these people don't finish their builds and lose interest, there will be a lot iof half converted buses for sale cheap.

It would be a useful service if insurance companies would accept the evaluation, but I'm skeptical of that.
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Old 04-09-2021, 05:12 PM   #34
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Crazy thread trying to place "fair [market] value" on completely custom work...
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Old 04-09-2021, 05:56 PM   #35
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Well it does happen for example with renovated boats, and custom "tiny houses" on trailers.

Just that skoolies are an even thinner more niche market

and even for the occasional drop-dead gorgeous artisan crafted examples

the underwriters just don't have enough objectively comparable examples.

Now if you had a network of AGENTS wired into a sympathetic company, willing to stick their necks out. . .

But I'm afraid the starting platform is so cheap, hard to convince the "value add" is tens of thousands more

as it is with newish Sprinters and the like
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