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Old 08-06-2016, 10:50 PM   #1
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Question How did you do it?

I'm in the process of researching the purchase of a used class A motorhome(purchase price $50,000+). Sorting through all the info can be challenging. What I'm trying to get a handle on is the process of purchasing from a private party, with financing. I was wondering if anyone would share the steps you followed if you purchased your motorhome this way? From the point where you and the seller agreed on a price. For example, did you make a deposit, timeline of financing, 3rd party inspection, was there some type of sales agreement, what would break the deal. If I decide to go this route, real world examples would be invaluable.
Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:55 PM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2.

For the best information on private transactions and the paperwork involved, it would be best to add your home state/province to your post, as the paperwork may vary.
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:08 PM   #3
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Depending on how old the rig is, financing may not be possible. Most lenders will not lend unless you have a large down and then they will want the sales price to be well below wholesale NADA. There are many variables, so simplifying the process is ....If you have home equity and can cash out refinance, rates are low. If the seller is motivated, take him to the lender with you and hash it out with a loan officer. That may even bring the seller into the world of reality, if he is asking retail NADA.
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:22 PM   #4
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I would not give a deposit until you have arranged financing. I also would not have it inspected until you have financing arranged. If the seller has a loan on the rig and is upside down in the loan (owes more than the rig is worth, very common), that is a huge problem. I'll stop here until you give us more details. There are to many what ifs...
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:24 PM   #5
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I suggest making friends with your banker. Three years ago we started making definite plans to sell the house and buy a large coach. We contacted several banks/credit unions looking for one that would work with us. Ended up staying with our longtime bank as they were the most competitive and easiest to work with. We bought an 04 Monaco Signature 45ft 4-slide.

We just sold that couch two weeks ago to a private party. Our buyer had credit union that was willing to finance him for X amount and he set about finding a coach to his liking in his price range. He found ours. We had his banker talk to our banker. His banker over-nighted a check to our banker with the agreement to hold the check until the buyer inspected and officially agreed to buy our coach. We live in Wyoming and he lives in New Mexico. We met at our bank and the buyer inspected and drove the coach and agreed to complete the purchase. We took the title in to the bank, signed and notarized it, gave him a bill of sale, cashed his check and he drive off into the sunset.

Our bank used the proceeds of the buyers check to pay off our loan, deposited the remainder into our account, and sent the title to the buyers bank. I never saw the buyers check.

Our bank made our coach buying and selling experience easy and as painless as possible. Make friends with your banker...
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:29 AM   #6
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Follow up to questions posed back to me.
I live in PA, but looking in surrounding states as well.
I don't have a specific unit in mind at this point, definitely looking for 2006 or newer.
I understand that there are a lot of variables involved. To me, it would helpful to just see the steps that someone went through in their transaction. Then I can learn from those ideas and apply to my specific situation when it becomes more clear.
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:55 AM   #7
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OB-ONE gave you a good example of how it works and I agree, securing finance comes first. The rest is just like buying a used car. Kick the tires, drive it, have your mechanic look at it and negotiate price. If you have good credit and a down payment and the coach is not over priced, you should have no problem at the bank. Your lender will direct you step by step as to what is needed to close the deal.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:16 AM   #8
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I got a pre-approved loan for $40K. I made sure the credit union knew the age of the coach we were looking for. They said no problem, put 20% down and the longest term we could get was 5 1/2 years. The coach had to sell for less than NADA average retail. Once we had financing was arranged, we went looking. We had to get the loan re-approved every 90 days and it took us over six months to find the coach we wanted. We put down a $500 deposit and drew up an agreement. The coach had a minor mechanical issue and we made fixing that and the coach passing inspection conditions of the sale. After the coach was fixed and passed inspection, the seller brought it to our credit union to complete the sale. It wasn't difficult and we had good feelings about the seller and they must have felt the same about us. I don't know if it would have gone as smoothly if that hadn't been the case. We passed on a lot of coaches, some because of the coach and some because of the seller.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:08 AM   #9
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We bought our 2008 a couple of years ago from a private party. I also had to arrange a loan for a short time. I checked with 2 banks and 2 credit unions that I do business with. The banks weren't interested but the credit unions were very competitive. It is very important to secure your financing BEFORE you settle on your RV. What if the interest rate makes it unaffordable? Or if they have a requirement of less than 100K miles or a certain age that they will only finance? You also have to determine how will they finance your rig. Will they loan 100% of NADA or do they require a down payment? How long will they finance for? Depending on the amount financed, lenders typically will only finance for specific time. What will your payment be? Finding out what they use to value your rig will dictate how much you can pay for one and that info could be useful in your negotiations. Not all banks and credit unions operate with the same guidelines so it pays to shop around.

Our search took 2 years to find the RV we wanted. If I had paid for an inspection for every RV we were considering during that time, I couldn't have afforded to buy one. That means you have to eliminate or qualify your potential target before you decide to have it inspected. That means not only should you check the mechanicals but should also arrive at a purchase price with the seller with a caveat that it has to pass an inspection by a shop of your choosing. I feel that an independent shop is very cheap insurance and necessary on any used rig. My inspection which was a full chassis and house inspection, cost only $250 and took about 4 hours. It would be smart to find a shop and get the cost prior to finding your RV. If there are any problems, then you can either walk away or renegotiate your agreed upon price with the new information. Be aware that the seller holds an advantage in negotiating after you have spent for the inspection as you have already invested some of your money towards the purchase. I would get a bill of sale with the conditions (inspection and accessories) in writing before I would take the RV to be inspected.

We met at my credit union to do the paperwork exchange. Fortunately in our case the PO owned the rig outright so there was no loan to pay off. Unfortunately, she didn't bring the title to the credit union so we had to drive her back to her house while she searched and eventually found the title. No money exchanged hands until she had the title. We then went together to the DMV to transfer the title. This step isn't required but it eliminates any issues with the title that the PO may have. In our case there was a minor issue that took a few days to sort out but it did get sorted out.

Good luck and to summarize, first get your financing all arranged including a prequal letter, then find your RV, then have it inspected, complete your paperwork at your lender. Then go camping!
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:37 AM   #10
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Step 1. Get pre-approved. Know your money limits before you start. How much down, how much do you qualify for and more importantly, how much do you FEEL you can you afford and still be able to put $1000 thru the fuel tank in a week. Financing is possible, but the rate and conditions are flexible
Step 2. Welcome to the site. Soooo much experience here and all we ask is you give advice where you can. This was a good move.
Step 3. Go looking, online, on lots, looking at stuff driving down the road. Stick to your budget or you'll have a beautiful rig in the driveway and no fuel in the tank = bummer.
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Old 08-07-2016, 05:47 PM   #11
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I shopped for financing before I started serious shopping, and I am so glad that I did. I knew that I would be looking for a 15+ year old high end DP, so finding an agent willing to arrange the financing took some time. I chose to go with an independent financing agent who specializes in RVs - leaving it to them to arrange the details with the bank. This also proved helpful

Once I had financing approved for the amount I intended to spend, I began shopping. I expected to spend at least six months shopping, but I found my perfect coach after only about a month. I was glad that I had done the financing early. The purchase was a private sale. I was in VA, and the owner was in AR. The actual owner was an AR credit union, and the owner owed a little bit more on the loan that what I was paying him, but he had the cash and was ready to go. I flew to AR, viewed the coach, and gave the owner a $1,000 check to hold it.

The bank that my agent had found for me backed out once they had all of the paperwork. They claimed that the coach was a year older than they were comfortable with. My agent then spent about two weeks finding another bank and getting all the approvals arranged.

While this nonsense was going on, I arranged by phone and email for a PPI with a local AR maintenance company that worked with the engine, transmission and the chassis systems in the coach. The owner agreed to drive the coach to the shop and get the inspection. The next day I received a detailed and glowing inspection report from the shop.

Getting the paperwork finalized and managing the transfer of funds from the bank and from me to the AR credit union went like a Chinese fire drill. Over a week went by as errors cropped up and had to be corrected. The owner and I bonded over our mutual frustration with the screw-ups. Everything was done by email and text. The transaction was concluded about three weeks later than expected, but it all worked out properly. Finally, I had the title and the owner had the money.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NKA View Post
I shopped for financing before I started serious shopping, and I am so glad that I did. I knew that I would be looking for a 15+ year old high end DP, so finding an agent willing to arrange the financing took some time. I chose to go with an independent financing agent who specializes in RVs - leaving it to them to arrange the details with the bank. This also proved helpful

Once I had financing approved for the amount I intended to spend, I began shopping. I expected to spend at least six months shopping, but I found my perfect coach after only about a month. I was glad that I had done the financing early. The purchase was a private sale. I was in VA, and the owner was in AR. The actual owner was an AR credit union, and the owner owed a little bit more on the loan that what I was paying him, but he had the cash and was ready to go. I flew to AR, viewed the coach, and gave the owner a $1,000 check to hold it.

The bank that my agent had found for me backed out once they had all of the paperwork. They claimed that the coach was a year older than they were comfortable with. My agent then spent about two weeks finding another bank and getting all the approvals arranged.

While this nonsense was going on, I arranged by phone and email for a PPI with a local AR maintenance company that worked with the engine, transmission and the chassis systems in the coach. The owner agreed to drive the coach to the shop and get the inspection. The next day I received a detailed and glowing inspection report from the shop.

Getting the paperwork finalized and managing the transfer of funds from the bank and from me to the AR credit union went like a Chinese fire drill. Over a week went by as errors cropped up and had to be corrected. The owner and I bonded over our mutual frustration with the screw-ups. Everything was done by email and text. The transaction was concluded about three weeks later than expected, but it all worked out properly. Finally, I had the title and the owner had the money.

Hope this helps.
Reminds me of our closing. We were at the CU over 5 hours trying to finish the paperwork. The sellers had the coach titled in their business' name so we had to have incorporation paperwork to complete the sale. Then somehow, they lost the original copy of the mandatory Texas vehicle inspection and didn't tell me for over a month. That delayed the title transfer and I had to go buy a temporary plate so I could take the coach to be reinspected. Even when you think you have it all together, people can screw it up.
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