Question for Hangar Owners

germb747

Well-Known Member
For the past five years, I've rented a T-hangar near Houston for my J3 for $250 / month, and I'm wondering if it might make financial sense to go ahead and buy one, likely in the San Antonio area since that's where I'm now living. I'm not really sure what's available out there because I'm just starting to look; I'm just tired of throwing away $250 every month on something I don't even own. I might consider getting something big enough so that I could rent a space to a low wing aircraft and put them both in there. Theoretically, while renting a space to somebody else (who I'd charge somewhere in the ballpark of $250 / mo), I would have about $500 per month to spend on this proposition without changing what I'm currently spending on hangar space. I'm 29 with outstanding credit; what kind of financing terms should I be looking for? Specifically, are these typically short-term loans like purchasing an automobile, or is it more like buying a house with 15-30 year terms? Obviously I'd be looking at different options at local airports, looking for the right deal, but most importantly, would you guys say this is worthwhile to pursue, or would you continue just spending the $250 per month on rent? Also, are there any good resources on the web to check for specific listings? Thanks for your input.
 

bdhill1979

Gone West
One thing to be very careful of is know what terms you own the hangar under.

We own our hangar, but the city owns the ground that it is built on (the airport grounds). We are on a 20 year (I think) ground lease, so we pay $500 a year (I think) to the city.

I have heard of city councils deciding that they wanted to do something to an airport, or tear down the older hangars to build bigger, newer hangars (read as corporate jets), so they jack up, or just don't renew the ground leases. If the city you buy in decides to do that, then you own nothing in the end.

Not that it is always a big issue, most of the time it is not. But make sure you know the politics behind the airport and who controls it.
 

ComplexHiAv8r

Well-Known Member
And then some at the end of the agreement you give them the hangers as well. There are some around my area on 99 year leases, but at the end of the lease the city gets the buildings as well. There are some nice condo hangers, but I just cant seem to justify it even if there are 90 years left on the lease.
 

Airport7

New Member
Please don't confuse "owning" a hangar at most airports vs. owning a home. Like someone said above, you will own the physical structure of the hangar, not the ground. You will still be renting (leasing) the ground from the airport. As a result, most minimum standards that apply to hangar renters will still apply to you. In particular, you will likely not be able to sublease the hangar to someone else or use it for storage of anything other than an airplane. If the airport changes layout or closes all together, you could be relocated or simply asked to pack up your belongings (in this case, the hangar) and leave. If you are absolutely going to own an airplane for the foreseeable future, then it may be a good idea. If you think you are "throwing your money away" on rent or buying it solely as an investment, I would get in touch with the airport manager to discuss specifics in detail before making any big decisions.

Basically, owning a hangar at most airports is like renting a hangar; except you have to pay a bunch of money for some corrugated metal, pay for the upkeep, and be responsible for the liability in exchange for paying less per square foot per month (think 8 cents/sqft vs. 20 cents/sqft) .
 

BillErvin

Peddling as fast as I can
Find a residential airpark in your area, buy a lot, build a home and a hanger. Thats what I did, and I love it

Bill
Eagles Nest Estates 2TS6
Midlothian TX
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
I appreciate everyone's input, and will definitely look into the specifics before agreeing to anything. I just look at the $15,000 I've already thrown out the window on rent and ask myself if perhaps there is a better way to save money overall in the long run.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
I appreciate everyone's input, and will definitely look into the specifics before agreeing to anything. I just look at the $15,000 I've already thrown out the window on rent and ask myself if perhaps there is a better way to save money overall in the long run.
You didn't throw it out the window on rent, you purchased shelter for your airplane for a period of time. The flexibility of renting a hangar frees you from the burden of ownership. Much like renting an apartment vs. owning a house, neither are throwing money away. Although I felt like I was wasting money when I was renting an apartment, after I bought a house I realized how much cheaper it was to rent. For me, owning a house was more about a lifestyle choice than finding the cheapest shelter.

As someone else said, buying a hangar should be a long-term decision based on the desire to "own" your own airplane roof for an estimated fee & unknown headaches instead of borrowing one for a worry-free flat fee. Buying a hangar isn't an investment, so don't confuse that with your decision. I doubt you will be able to sublease part of your hangar, as most airports I've visited won't allow more than one airplane per hangar (unless it's specifically built for that purpose).

When I owned a plane I looked at the price of a hangar vs. tie-down. A tie-down was $35/mo, and a hangar was $250/mo. When I had my plane painted, it cost $5000. For the price difference, I could have had it painted every 2 yrs. My paint job finally started showing the signs of age 5 yrs after I had it painted, and I tied it down the entire time I owned it. I had it painted in 2000, and I found a recent picture on the internet and it's still wearing the paint I put on it, but I have no idea if it's been in a hangar since I sold it in 2004. I know there's a lot more to having a plane in a hangar than protecting the paint job, but that was one of the big factors in my decision to tie it down.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I've owned small airplanes since the 80's. Never been a hangar guy, but had a chance to get into a 2400 sq ft hangar with 600 sq ft of office, plus a bathroom, for 75K. It's perfect for making into a home away from home, at some point, and I could put three planes in it.

Lease is $1800/yr.

I really think you have to compare costs to rent over costs to own over the long haul. OP says he's got 15K into rent. What would you have had into it if you had bought a hangar back in the beginning plus the lease fees? I really think, the more "long haul" you are talking, the more it makes sense to own.
 
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