Futile Search: Are You Ready to Buy But Can't Find Your Airplane?

NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, discusses the futile search you may face when buying an airplane.

You are pre-approved for a loan, have a hangar secured, and now all you need is the turboprop of your dreams. You know exactly what you want. The only problem is there don’t seem to be any on the market, or at least at what you think is a reasonable price.

This is where a broker or dealer that specializes in the particular make and model your looking to purchase can be of tremendous value. Let’s say for sake of discussion you’re looking for a TBM 850. A good place to start is your local new TBM dealer. While they may not currently have an 850 available for sale, chances are they’ve sold one and may know someone looking to purchase a new TBM if they could only sell their used one. In the real estate world, agents frequently have so-called “pocket” listings where they have talked with owners who are interested in selling someday and the aircraft world is no different. Their property may not be listed on the market. If you choose an aircraft that is in high demand, it is not unusual for a broker to know about an aircraft that is not for sale…yet.

Should that approach fail, take a look at your search. What is it about your dream plane that is limiting your results? Do you need to shop for similar aircraft that nearly match, but not exactly match, your ideal model?

Here’s the good news. In general, there is enough of an aircraft inventory out there that, unless you are looking for something really unique, you should be able to find what you want. If not, there is still a final plan. Find someone who has what you want but has no intention to sell, and make a generous offer, you may be surprised.

Doing so may necessitate an appraisal to justify the value of the aircraft, however, even if the appraisal comes in less than what you’re paying, most lenders are still more than willing to provide a loan. Virtually all lenders lend on the lesser of a loan to value or loan to purchase amount. You may just need to put a little more down than you were originally planning.

When the buying fever strikes, AOPA Aviation Finance is here to help you find the lender that is right for your specific purchase.

Considering aircraft ownership? AOPA Aviation Finance will make your purchase experience as smooth as possible. For information about aircraft financing, please visit the website (www.aopafinance.com) or call 1-800-62-PLANE (75263). 

This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance on January 4, 2019.