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Old 04-12-2020, 01:05 PM   #1
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Chicago , IL
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Financing a remodel

Hi,

I'm new here and I've searched around but couldn't find this question. If it has been answered before, please point me to the right place on this site.

I'm wondering if anyone has financed a full or partial remodel of an airstream. I thought it might be possible to pay out of pocket or via credit card and then finance the airstream after it's been appraised and use the airstream as collateral. Is this possible or is that really not an option?

Any suggestions are welcome!

Thanks and Happy Easter!!

- Ryan
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Old 04-12-2020, 01:33 PM   #2
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Hello, welcome to Air Forums - you've come to the right place for all things Airstream. Creative financing is not my specialty but I have some ideas...

If you own a home, how about a home equity line of credit? That would give you some cash now and you'd have to be careful to only use it on Airstream projects. Then you pay it off over time.

Similarly, credit unions and banks offer "personal" loans based on your ability to repay the money - credit rating, job income, etc.

Your idea sounds possible and there may be some folks who have done it. Perhaps contact an Airstream restoration shop to see if they are aware of how it can be accomplished. Contact a few appraisal outfits to see if they know how to approach the subject.

on edit: it's not uncommon for upgrading/refurbishing/restoring to add up to more dollars than the trailer is worth in resale value. Yes, there are lots of ways to slice the numbers but go into this with a bit of caution. Learn from others. A few phone calls and emails are in order to restoration shops.
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
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Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 04-12-2020, 02:47 PM   #3
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Chicago , IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Hello, welcome to Air Forums - you've come to the right place for all things Airstream. Creative financing is not my specialty but I have some ideas...

If you own a home, how about a home equity line of credit? That would give you some cash now and you'd have to be careful to only use it on Airstream projects. Then you pay it off over time.

Similarly, credit unions and banks offer "personal" loans based on your ability to repay the money - credit rating, job income, etc.

Your idea sounds possible and there may be some folks who have done it. Perhaps contact an Airstream restoration shop to see if they are aware of how it can be accomplished. Contact a few appraisal outfits to see if they know how to approach the subject.

on edit: it's not uncommon for upgrading/refurbishing/restoring to add up to more dollars than the trailer is worth in resale value. Yes, there are lots of ways to slice the numbers but go into this with a bit of caution. Learn from others. A few phone calls and emails are in order to restoration shops.
Thanks for the recommendations!

I don't own a home now so the line of credit is not an option for me. This would be my primary residence after the remodel is complete which is why I'd be interested in financing it. I have the funds but I don't want to cash in on all of my savings and stocks if I don't have to. I think talking to restoration companies is a great place to start. Do you know of any offhand? I'll do a google search but if you know of a good one then I'll reach out to them.
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Old 05-12-2020, 05:58 PM   #4
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One suggestion is to open an account at Lowe's or Home Depot and take advantage of their no interest charges. Usually if you spend $300 you get 6 months no interest. If you spend $2,000 its usually 2 years no interest. You could easily rack that up and give yourself a good start buying some of the big ticket items they carry. Just a thought.
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:00 PM   #5
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I noticed that you hail from Chicago, and my conscious leads me to ask if you are planning to live in your Airstream over the winter north of 30 degrees latitude -- if so, you are going to be quite cold in an Airstream, unless you spend a small fortune on propane, electric heat or something else. Search the forums on winter camping. In brief, imagine staying outside in a metal building with just a blanket on the wall, and there you go.

An Airstream remodel, from an investment perspective, is not like a home referb because houses will retain that added value much more and for a longer period of time than will any camper, even an Airstream.

If a friend wanted to borrow money to fix up an old car to use to drive and put the car itself up as collateral, that is more analogous to what you are proposing and about as wise from a purely financial perspective. You would likely be underwater from the get go.

There have been folks here who have refurbished their Airstream trailers and then later sold them for more money than the original purchase price, and in some cases, more than the cost of the materials used in the referb, but rarely if ever covered their labor in the referb. The only folks who make a profit from a referb are professionals like Timeless Travel Trailers who do a top-notch job but charge plenty for it. Note that even they do not take used trailers on spec, fix them up on their own dime then try to flip them for a profit, because that market does not exist to any sustainable degree.

I do not know the real estate market in Illinois, but is there any scenario in which borrowing money to finance an Airstream referb as a primary residence would be less costly in either the short or long term than almost any housing option?
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Old 05-13-2020, 03:11 AM   #6
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Take Skyguyscott's words as the gospel. Refurbish almost anything and odds are it is a money pit - even houses. A husband and wife team who are friends of mine "made $49,000" redoing a house in just 3 months... both working 80 hour weeks. Using third grade arithmetic that comes out to 80 hrs X 2 people X 13 weeks = 2080 hrs. $23 per hour each. Betting they didn't have workers comp or pay social security self employment rates or have hospitalization. Lots of risk and good luck in that profit, and then the IRS chimes in.

In today's world, it would be MUCH easier to buy NEW and finance it, then pay it off ahead of schedule. And you would have use of it almost immediately. How long will it be until you can LIVE IN a reno?

It will feel hideously expensive, but after you have plowed 2 years and $35,000 into a Reno and figure "just another $5000"...
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