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Old 05-14-2014, 10:20 PM   #99
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Let's see, 5% down, 20 year finance of $430k at 5%...sounds like about $2840, if you have excellent credit. 33% tax bracket and declare as a second home gets you back about $937 in tax relief in income tax (no state if you live in SD, TX, or FL). Guess that means an effective payment of $1903/mo. Sounds like a pretty hefty payment!

I guess you have to decide #1 - how much are you willing to spend if you are part time, or full time #2 - how it affects your tax situation #3 - how long you're going to live thus how much you're going to saddle your estate with #4 - how it fits with the rest of your financial situation. If you got the money, either up front, or financed, go for it! Pretty damn hard to make something happen you wish you did on your death bed.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:10 PM   #100
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With a depreciating assset I always want to lesson the blow. Paying interest on top of the depreciation is double trouble in my world.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:39 PM   #101
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True enough...one the other hand if you are making 10-12% on your money in the markets, then 5% seems reasonable in interest. The problem is in the risk associated with the depreciation against the risk in the investment elsewhere. I'm not suggesting an answer.

There was a time in the horse racing industry when accelerated depreciation made owning a race horse with all the expense of racing it made it a reasonable hobby for the upper middle class and the rich. They changed the tax structure and it became a horribly expensive hobby. We already have one, unless it becomes your full time home. In that event, yes you risk depreciation, but only as a cost associated with living expense.

So if it sounds like I don't have an answer to the original question, I don't. For me, the prudent thing was to put enough money in to assure I wasn't upside down in the first 3-5 years. Was that the smart thing to do, h e double matchsticks...I don't know.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:48 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVUS101 View Post
Maybe a dumb question, but are most people paying cash for these Cornerstones or are they carrying a note. What would be the smartest way to do this. Thanks

Jim & Natalie
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Kind of depends on your personal financial situation. Currently, loan rates on on one of these runs about 3.99% (personal experience). If you can make more money on investing than that, financing makes sense. If not, probably better off shelling out cash. I personally think that at those rates you are better off financing the coach and deducting the interest on the coach as your second (or first) home. It does qualify.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:20 AM   #103
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I appreciate the wisdom you all are providing. Here is my thoughts for now and some financial matters I am looking at. Please don't hesitate to tell me I have lost it..the Wife and I will retire by January 1st next year. Which according to the wife is 165 working days but who is counting. The house is almost paid off. Not much of a write off anymore. (Low 40s ). We have set up our retirement to pay between 15k & 16k a month before taxes. Won't have any real expenses other then health insurance and taxes.

So if we take 100k cash and put that down on the Coach with a 20year note at 4% I figured the payment would be around $1800 a month. Now I know there will be added expenses such as insurance, fuel, and where we stay. But with all that being said and on top of this we have never owned a Coach before. We continue to read that you all upgrade overtime. We thought it might be smart to start with a Coach we wouldn't have to upgrade. We like the Cornerstone 45b but also the Anthem 44b. Your opinions are very much appreciated as we feel we have come to respect your honesty on these pages overtime.
I mentioned on a different forum that we will be driving to NC next month for three weeks and look forward to stopping at the dealerships that carry these models. Again thank you for your feedback.

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Old 05-15-2014, 11:43 AM   #104
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I think you'd be comfortable in either coach...I'm in the Anthem DEQ and considering Cornerstone. I think on those numbers you'll be very comfortable, given the kind of expenses we see full timing, and the Cornerstone looks very affordable against those numbers.

If it were me, I'd go Cornerstone in the way you're looking at.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:53 AM   #105
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Jim, welcome again to the forum.

Here is my "two cents" for what its worth:

- Either the Anthem or Cornerstone are fine motor coaches and will provide you with years of enjoyment. Naturally, I'm a bit biased towards the Cornerstone.

- According to an industry (NRVA or RVDA) study that I read, the average RV owner will buy 7 RV's over their lifetime. (We are on number 5). Unless you have a supreme amount of willpower, you will want to buy up sometime in the future.

- Because you are just getting started, I'd suggest going with the Anthem because it is substantially less expensive than the Cornerstone. Get use to RV'ing and what you do/don't like about the coach and lifestyle. If you do decide to abandon it all together, the exit cost will be substantially less with the Anthem (believe me, I know). If you opt for part-timing, the lower payment of the Anthem will provide you with additional budget flexibility.

Tom Johnson is the Entegra dealer in NC. I haven't worked with them but I've heard in the iRV2 forums and elsewhere that they are a pretty good outfit. They sell other brands of motor coaches so they know how to treat them right.

Good luck with your choice and let us know how things go.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:58 AM   #106
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I second the recommendation for Tom Johnson in Concord, NC. They are a fine outfit and carry several major brands including Entegra.

On the income you will have, it will be very comfortable and you should have money left over to splurge or save. However, you did not mention maintenance in your discussion, which will be low on a new coach but considerable as it gets older. For example, a set of new tires (needed every 7 years or so regardless of mileage) costs $6,000 or more. New batteries cost about 3 grand every 5-8 years. Routine oil and filters plus washing waxing etc. (which many of us hire out as we get older), plus whatever breaks after the warranty period.

You are making a good choice in which coach to start out with. Too many people start with entry-level coaches and lose their shirts in the inevitable trade-up. As for Anthem or Cornerstone, there basically is no difference in functionality between them, the difference is luxury. Whether the Cornerstone is worth the extra is your call. Either one is a great choice. I chose Anthem because I am frugal, but if I did it again I might step up to Cornerstone. However, I enjoyed my first coach for 10 years, and I hope to enjoy this one at least that long.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:02 PM   #107
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X2 on Tom Johnson. They do our maintenance and we've bought from them (First Coach). I think only Concord carries Entegra, not Marion. I did see that Marion has Newmars when I was there for annual inspection. Not sure about Concord, but it would make it easy to do comparisons. Obviously I have drunk the Entegra Kool-Aid though so need for us to do comparisons!

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Old 05-16-2014, 04:10 AM   #108
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Jim,

We mirror your situation; however, we sold our residence and will use that cash to purchase an Entegra with cash. Another option to consider is to purchase "used." We only have so much cash from the sale of our residence, so most likely, it will be a 4-year old Cornerstone or 2-year Anthem. We're leaning towards the Cornerstone. I did see a 2010 Cornerstone for an "asking" price in the $290K price range on RV Trader. I think you could get it for less, but I'm not ready to purchase till next year. Used Cornerstone's are hard to find though so be ready to wait it out. Good luck!
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:00 PM   #109
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Well....I'm going to suggest that you may not have provided enough information to really make an informed recommendation on which purchase method - or coach - would be appropriate. If you choose to pay cash, where are the funds originating? Are they in deferred earning accounts? Investments that would need to be liquidated? Would paying cash impact your retirement income (and I'm assuming not or you would have mentioned that)? Do you have accounts that will require minimum distributions prior to paying off the coach? Do you have other methods of creating deductions on your taxes - for example, sole proprietor business expense? And that's just the questions I came up with off the top of my head. Then there's all the other kinds of questions....do you need to self pay your health insurance? Do you have long term care insurance? Are you going to be using the coach full/part time? I would hope you would take the time to discuss this with your financial planner and get his/her recommendation on which course of action would be most appropriate for your needs. The answer will be different for each of us. Good luck with whichever you decide. You've done a great job to get to this point in your life!
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:35 PM   #110
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Jim.....in late 2010 we decided to go full time RVing and our situation was very similar ($$) to yours. However, as much as we would have loved to have been "styling " in a new Cornerstone, we also realized that after crunching the numbers we just couldn't afford one. In hindsight the actual numbers proved that our intuition and forecasts were correct.

We kept a pretty accurate expense log for the time we were travelling. We were also interested in maintaining our current lifestyle and therefore not interested in workcamping, boondocking in Walmart or Rest Area parking lots, surviving on a $10 p/day grocery budget and /or never going out for a meal, etc. We generally stayed where we could have 50amp power and our sewer slinky was connected so we could shower and run our appliances. We didn't extend our stays to capture discount 30 day campground rates or worried too much about the cost of diesel. As a result, our "all-in" monthly expenses ran pretty close to $6000p/mo. This was a very comfortable budget, but it didn't include many fancy excursions, expensive $100 rounds of golf or plane fare home to visit elderly parents.....or a budget for toad replacement!

Had we come from Nevada we would have calculated that a new Cornerstone ($430K) + State Taxes @6.85% ($30K) would have run us $460K. Assuming $100K down on the loan and that we'd keep this new toy for 5 years before upgrading or exiting the lifestyle....our cost of borrowing $360K + depreciation @ 50% would have run around $300K or $5000p/mo. (Taxes, Interest & Depreciation). In order to keep going forward we would then have needed a fresh $250K to replace the Old Cornerstone and another $75K to clear the original $100K loan. In other words, the cost of just. "Standing Still" with a +400K Coach would have been more or less $10K p/mo. Add to this our $6000 p/mo. living expenses and we would have needed $16K p/mo....... after tax not pre-tax!

Maybe you can make the numbers work differently, but be very careful with wishful thinking. In our case I am glad we made a modest MH purchase and kept records which allowed us to truly know how much it cost "us" to RV. Perhaps you should consider starting more modestly and "ramp-up" several years down the road when you have a solid handle on your expenses, your equipment needs and your compatibility with the lifestyle.

Anyway, if you decide to go with the Cornerstone.....wooooooooo...you'll definitely be stylin!
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:38 AM   #111
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Well, I take issue with your 5-year replacement cycle. I bought my first RV new and kept it 10 years. It was almost like new the day I traded it in. Had I wanted or needed to, I could have kept it twice as long. The real value in these coaches is AFTER the first 5 years, when depreciation costs are dramatically lower. That is why many people save big-time by buying used to begin with. Try running your numbers by buying a used Cornerstone for 250-300K or even buying new and holding for 10-15 years and it will make a big difference in the numbers. These coaches can easily go 20 years and more if given proper care.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:28 AM   #112
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Driving the 2014 CS

While at Lazy Days in February I was able to drive a 2014 Cornerstone. The course was over the nearby Interstate and then back along a fairly bumping MLK boulevard, parts under construction.
Before going further, I currently have a 2001 Monaco Exec with 85k on the clock.
The interior of the Cornerstone is great... lots of improvements, Most notably adding a small pantry between the refrigerator and the galley counter in the model I like. (Fridge up front) This prevents the right hand door of the fridge from banging into the counter and getting "dimpled."
Still no medicine cabinets in the rear bath. Shaving and other gear would have to be stowed below in a small tray or two from Wal-Mart.
Now, the good stuff. That 600hp Cummins really moves this coach! Driving my Monaco seems a bit sluggish with the 500hp Cummins.
Steering and cornering with the cornerstone is good which would be expected with its stiffer ride. I did not detect "diving" when rounding a turnpike exit a little too briskly.
The ride is my only complaint and that's my only problem...the Cornerstone has a more "truck-like" feel than the Roadmaster S chassis (with ten air bags) under the Monaco.
The ride will be a matter of taste for anyone driving a coach of this size and the only way you can make a decision is to take it out for an extended drive over a variety of road surfaces.
Lazy Days has gotten much better about test drives and I highly recommend that you see Steve Mitchell at the Tampa sstore. He's also the "Bus Manager" and has some good deals on Prevost conversions.
Entegra has some really good prices on all three coaches in their line and Steve will whisper nice things in your ear about pricing.
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