AdventureD

Which of the J and older models hold their value best?

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I am building an experimental (Lancair), but in the interim I am considering purchasing a Mooney to travel to/from where I am finishing the experimental and between the Bay area and a second home.  I envision selling in a year or two after the experimental is finished.  My mission would rarely require more than two people.  Looking at J and older.  Any thoughts on which of these models are likely have the lowest cost two year operating cost when taking into account operating costs and likely resale value in a couple years?

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J model and newer... I'm a fan of the round window Js that started in '87.

With a short holding period liquidity is probably a bigger deal than a particular model.  Normal paint, decent panel, good interior.  182 would be a decent option as well, but it will cost as much as a J and burn more fuel.  Only benefit is that they're not as unique as Mooneys and they're probably easier to sell.

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Find one that is flying and nicely equipped with a good maintenance history and it should hold value “IF” bought “right”.  A J of that “ilk” should be easier to sell as they are more desirable.  Cost of admission, is of course higher than a vintage plane.  There is MINIMAL maintenance on a fuel injected Mooney.  IF manual gear/flaps/brakes have been sorted they are indeed LOW maintenance.  

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4 hours ago, AdventureD said:

I am building an experimental (Lancair), but in the interim I am considering purchasing a Mooney to travel to/from where I am finishing the experimental and between the Bay area and a second home.  I envision selling in a year or two after the experimental is finished.  My mission would rarely require more than two people.  Looking at J and older.  Any thoughts on which of these models are likely have the lowest cost two year operating cost when taking into account operating costs and likely resale value in a couple years?

The price of almost any 25 plus year old Mooney is determined by condition and equipment. A strong market exists for most vintage birds though I doubt many folks go looking specifically for G models they still move if well maintained. All the 4 cylinder machines are inexpensive to operate. I personally prefer the the injected engines to their carbureted brethren even though the cylinders a more costly to replace. If you’re selling inside of a few years get a well equipped E or F.  The F will do 95% of what a J will do at at 2/3rds or less of the purchase price. An E will work just fine for your mission of 2 people or less.  Block times between any of the 4cyl birds will be so close as to only serve bragging rights. The injected birds are more efficient at all power settings but not by a huge margin.

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Thanks for all the thoughts.  Any thoughts on pricing on this?  http://www.skywagons.com/airplanes-forsale/1983-mooney-m20j-201-99900-here-placerville-n87pm.  Biggest negative is no GPS, but I've got a 430 I could drop in there.  The interior is a little rough, but I can live with that.  I'd have a thorough pre-buy to check for corrosion and the engine given that it was rebuilt in 2016 after a gear-up.

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Welcome to Mooney Space D,  what kind of Lancair are you building. We have a fellow hear Yooper that has built one of the finest examples flying.

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9 minutes ago, AdventureD said:

Thanks for all the thoughts.  Any thoughts on pricing on this?  http://www.skywagons.com/airplanes-forsale/1983-mooney-m20j-201-99900-here-placerville-n87pm.  Biggest negative is no GPS, but I've got a 430 I could drop in there.  The interior is a little rough, but I can live with that.  I'd have a thorough pre-buy to check for corrosion and the engine given that it was rebuilt in 2016 after a gear-up.

That’s a nice plane!  Paltry useful load that’s not really going to affect you but may affect resale. The recent gear up is a negotiating point that withers with time.  Could make for a nice discount now but will be 4-5 years out when you sell so less of a story. I don’t know why people always go 3 blade after a gear up. With under 900lbs of useful it didn’t need to carry another blade. 

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56 minutes ago, bonal said:

Welcome to Mooney Space D,  what kind of Lancair are you building. We have a fellow hear Yooper that has built one of the finest examples flying.

Lancair ES.  Long project.  Made great progress early on, then stalled (family, etc., the usual stuff).  Finally finishing it.

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52 minutes ago, Shadrach said:

That’s a nice plane!  Paltry useful load that’s not really going to affect you but may affect resale. The recent gear up is a negotiating point that withers with time.  Could make for a nice discount now but will be 4-5 years out when you sell so less of a story. I don’t know why people always go 3 blade after a gear up. With under 900lbs of useful it didn’t need to carry another blade. 

I wonder why the useful load is so low.  ??  Not sure.  

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I wonder why the useful load is so low.  ??  Not sure.  

Maybe he had it weighed
A modern panel would get you 50lbs easy. The 3 blade prop cost you 20lbs.


Tom

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9 hours ago, ArtVandelay said:

Personal opinion, Js will hold their value better, but C probably has lowest maintenance (no fuel injection, manual gear/flaps).


Tom

Given the age, wouldn't you think the vintage planes have hit the bottom of any depreciation curve?  I think a newer model would be better for upgrades from a resell standpoint.

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4 hours ago, AdventureD said:

I wonder why the useful load is so low.  ??  Not sure.  

Fiberglass is heavier than aluminum. As Mooney incorporated more of it into the airframe it got heavier. It’s also a well equipped bird but the avionics are vintage.

 

 

Edited by Shadrach

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2 hours ago, ArtVandelay said:


Maybe he had it weighed emoji38.png
A modern panel would get you 50lbs easy. The 3 blade prop cost you 20lbs.


Tom

50lbs easy? That seems optimistic. If that’s true, I should be able to get my F’s useful into the low 1100s. 

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3 hours ago, bluehighwayflyer said:

A more interesting question to me, though, is what the “micro switch failure” was that caused it’s backup manual gear extension system not to work, resulting in a gear up landing? 

I spoke with the pilot.  He realized the gear wasn't actually down late and had an inkling to go around and follow the manual procedures.  But he didn't.  I don't have all the details, but that's what he told me.  Humans screw up.

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1 hour ago, rbridges said:

Given the age, wouldn't you think the vintage planes have hit the bottom of any depreciation curve?  I think a newer model would be better for upgrades from a resell standpoint.

OP here: As I think about this, the 201 is the creme of the vintage Mooneys, and at this price point, a buyer will want a much nicer panel.  I'm gonna look at older models for my mission.  I'm thinking the resale for an E, F, or G (or even a C) is likely more assured a few years down the road.

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Adventure D...

Let me point out a few things regarding Mooney values over time...

Then you can share with us the Lancair economics...

1) Most Mooneys around here have completely finished their depreciation in their first 15- 20 or so years...

So don’t go buying anything built after Y2K and expect it to hold its value... it will drift some.

2) The  cost of owning and operating a plane is huge...

3) depreciation and resale costs are tiny on a plane that is 40+ years old...

4) If you decide to upgrade in any way... the additional total installed costs will be crummy economics...

5) How Long will you be flying the Mooney? 5,10,20 years...?

6) Expect that you are describing an addiction...  now you have two addictions...

7) It takes a lot of financial strength to keep two birds aloft...  and a tremendous amount of effort as well...

8) this will be keeping one aloft while building the other...

9) Also keep in mind wear and tear is expensive.... If you are flying a Mooney around for years.... keeping it in the condition you bought it in takes some care...

10) To lose the least... buy the mid range of the lower cost model... keep it indoors... fly it regularly... don’t hold it too long as interest rates and inflation are going to make messes with all financial projects....

 

If I wanted to buy/build a lancair IVPT how would I do that?

Got any pics of your project?

I hope you can stick around...

Best regards,

-a-

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If I were you, I'd look at an E. Every mooney holds its value exactly the same. but they all follow the market. now if the economy collapses, which eventually it will, each plane will lose about the same percent of value. so if the aircraft market loses 10% value, all mooneys are going to lose 10%. if it gains some value, they'll gain some value. So maybe if you buy a nice J, you buy it for 100K, if the market is strong next year, you might get 110 for it. if its weak, you might lose 10K. but with the E, you might only lose 5K. Realistically speaking, you're going to sell it in 2 to 3 years, and ownership wise that isn't very long. just get a M20E that has everything covered for the next 2 years and just fly it. I would stay away from anything without ADS-B. @RogueOne 's M20E would look very appealing for something IFR capable. And what ever you do, don't upgrade anything. it just isn't worth the price, and on an E you'll get pennies on the dollar.

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50lbs easy? That seems optimistic. If that’s true, I should be able to get my F’s useful into the low 1100s. 

I personally lost 60lbs doing avionics upgrade, notably:
Removed all engine instruments, replaced with JPI 900, 5lbs
Removed vacuum and electric backup when I installed G5, 18lbs.
Removed ADF, older avionics (WX10 weighs 10lbs, KNS80 6lbs, NSD 360 5lbs).


Tom
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Given the age, wouldn't you think the vintage planes have hit the bottom of any depreciation curve? 

I think a newer model would be better for upgrades from a resell standpoint.

The problem is the engine&prop, on older planes they are inherit value of the plane. A new prop and engine is as much as most Cs&Es with original interior/avionics. Since he is flying the plane, the value decreases as hours accumulate.

Definitely agree with your last statement.

 

Tom

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I might would buy a Lancair if I were building one.  

1.  You will learn how to fly it safely

2.  Owning a completed plane would save many hours in the build process.

3.  You will find areas that you may want to construct differently.

4.  The scary part is that you may end up not liking the Lancair in the first place.  Possibly a reason to get a Mooney so that you will not discover this until after building the L.

5.  If economics is a concern the C model is pretty much depreciated out and can conceivably only go up.  The Js were selling in the 80s just a few years ago but now are in the 100s quite often.   

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I would look for an E or an F.  Find a J that you like and then look for a similar equipped and timed E or F.  You will buy it for many thousands left and in theory will hold same percentage increase or decrease in a 2 to 4 year window.  I particularly think if you can find a good F with some mods is the best value on the older planes.  Remember the J is only an F with a few speed mods (windshield and cowl being the biggest two). 

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Remember the J is only an F with a few speed mods (windshield and cowl being the biggest two). 

Not really true.
Improved engine and intake design (ram air becomes superfluous on the J).
In 78 they completed the transformation: push/pull controls, higher gear speeds.


Tom
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The carrying cost of Mooneys (and most high performance piston singles) is very similar. Insurance cost is primarily a function of hull value. Pick your price point not the plane.  Differences in plane models will be a factor, but it’s fairly small in the overall cost of owning a plane.

Fuel burn per nautical mile is the second biggest factor. Most Mooneys will be in the high teens, some pushing 20 NM/Gal.  The faster birds will be very close to the slower planes if you slow down for efficiency.

The issue with Mooney aircraft isn’t depreciation, it’s liquidity. The market for Mooneys is thriving, but it’s smaller than other brands.  Js appear to be bid up right now, along with all other Mooney aircraft. I don’t know what actual selling prices are, but asking prices are up 20% over the last 5 years.

You pay your money and take your chances. If you’re looking at J and older, a well equipped C or E doesn’t appear to be priced at enough of a discount given the relative age of the airframe compared to a J. When early Js get bid up over 120-130k, the same relative value analysis can be run against an early ovation. 

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