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Is a finished homebuilt worth more than the cost of the parts?

I’ve been pondering this a good bit lately. You get a big box of bits, add engine/prop/avionics and a huge amount of effort. Is the end product valued at more, or less than the sum of the initial cash outlay to build it? Assuming you don’t go mad over spec with the build. I’ve been out flying my homebuilt this week for the first time (as the second owner not the builder) and pondering the thought process involved in someone deciding to build a plane. Is it a value creation or value destruction exercise…..

I know you could derive an amount of non monetary satisfaction from the process.

Buying, Selling, Flying
EIBR, Ireland

My RV10 certainly is. I’ve been offered 20k over my build cost. Obviously that doesn’t value my labour very highly!!

EGKL

Can anyone post some typical figures? I believe Vans offer (or have offered) differently completed kits at different prices.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Shouldn’t it be worth less because building it is part of the fun, so once it is completed there is less fun to be had?

Only half kidding, but from what I hear and see, while there are a few people who just want a particular aircraft not available as certified and then use pre-fab kits, “builder assist” or hiring some people they then “supervise” to varying degree, the majority of builders both want to fly AND to build..

Biggin Hill

I guess “plans built” has to be the cheapest in terms of material only so I would guess if you factor your hours at zero cost that’s where the biggest number on the bottom line would be. Of course, plans built also takes the longest, sometimes many decades!

Forever learning
EGTB

Plans built planes are not typically worth much because the buyer has less assurance of quality than with a kit built plane. However, a plans built plane from a well known builder will often be sought after as being the best of both worlds: not so generic like a kit plane, and often built with better quality than a factory built plane.

Regardless of all of the above, I don’t think many builders are concerned with resale when building a plane. They build it for the life experience, education and performance available for a relatively small investment.

WilliamF wrote:

Is the end product valued at more, or less than the sum of the initial cash outlay to build it?

It’s valued whatever the next person is willing to pay, but in general the quality of the kit, and the performance of the aircraft, are the deciding factors. Price equals kit quality to some extent, but not always as Silvaire points out. Some people mainly build also, and then they sell them soon afterward. These aircraft tends to be build, equipped and finished (paint, upholstery etc) to be sold to the highest bidder (They look good and have “Garmin type” equipment). People who build to fly them, tend to finish them more “industrial” like. (practical rather than flashy).

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

The homebuilt I have is an Alpi 300. A new one costs €80k for the kit, plus the engine/prop/avionics. Built it would cost about €108k. Funny I bet it’s not worth near that figure that the day you first fly it. Strange maths, but so is buying a 911 and selling it after a few years.

Last Edited by WilliamF at 12 Nov 21:17
Buying, Selling, Flying
EIBR, Ireland

I suppose, to state the obvious, a freshly built kit, built to a high standard, must be worth more than the kit.

So, what factors would make it worth less?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

I suppose, to state the obvious, a freshly built kit, built to a high standard, must be worth more than the kit.

So, what factors would make it worth less?

Weird paint colors or scheme, odd equipment choices that will take effort to change, undesirable or unusual type of airframe or engine.

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