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View Full Version : I know, no financing but... whats a good down payment?


Cuttinitclose
07-12-2009, 06:45 PM
I know you all say to buy equipment outright but Im only am 15yo, my mower isn't going to last much longer using it commercially, and I want one before fall.

My price range is $6500 - $7500. What is a good down payment? Is there anyway to bargin w/ the dealer to knock the price down a little? I can probably have around $1500 before leaves start to fall.

There is no way for me to buy one outright. I want a warranty on one. There is good financing right now. It would be in my dads name until January then it would be in mine.

Do you think I should try to stick it out until next year?

I really appreiciate it. If I posted this in the wrong place please move it.

unkownfl
07-12-2009, 06:56 PM
Your 15 walk a little bit more with a walk behind before you go rack up some debt on your big zero turn rider.

P&C Lawn Care
07-12-2009, 07:00 PM
Have you considered USED equipment? Or possibly re-powering what you have? Why do you say what you have won't last much longer? $6500 - $7500 for a 15yo is quite a chuck of money to invest in a mower, and one should really never finance (unless it is very very short term). What about a nice walk behind mower? From looking at your list of equipment nothing really screams commercial stuff. Why jump right into a mower that expensive? I've seen some really nice used stuff. Don't over extend yourself too much.

Cuttinitclose
07-12-2009, 07:00 PM
1. I dont use a walkbehind.
2. I use a rider.
3. Its either now or later.
4. I have a bad knee so I cant walk behind a mower a day.
5. I dont want a walkbehind. I see no point in them for my uses.

Pietro
07-12-2009, 07:12 PM
Think about what you do before you do it. We all make purchases we regret later on. My first zero turn was a 60 inch diesel, then we got a 48 zero turn for gated yards. We now realize we only have 4 yards that absolutely NEED the 48, but we have many big ones that would benefit from another 60 diesel. So we wish we never got the 48 and just parted with the 48 inch back yard gated houses. However, we do have my clients with small gated yards, where we use our exmark 36 inch walk behind. Honestly, if the 60 goes down, we get away without it, 48 goes down, we get away without it. 36 goes down, we are screwed. My point being. Your first mower should be a 36 inch walkbehind. You will always need one of those, unless you can afford to turn down business. Start with one of those, and get a 2 wheeled velky for your bad knee. Use that to speed up your mowing, and bank some money for a zero turn. If you buy a zero turn first, youll QUICKLY mow the front yard, but the back will be done with a 21 inch slow mower, killing your time per yard. Do it all with a 36 with a velky, and youll be ahead......think about it.

93Chevy
07-12-2009, 07:20 PM
1. I dont use a walkbehind.
2. I use a rider.
3. Its either now or later.
4. I have a bad knee so I cant walk behind a mower a day.
5. I dont want a walkbehind. I see no point in them for my uses.

1. I've recently picked up learning a WB. It's not hard once you get the hang of it.
2. A WB will save you time over a riding mower.
3. Then why rush it?
4. Then get a sulky. Do some leg exercises and you'll strengthen your knees. Unless it's a serious problem, walking can be good for building up strength.
5. Try out a WB with z-style controls. Toro T2 or Gravely Pro-steer are good options. Same control as a ZTR, but gives you the added benefit of a WB as a first mower.

djflats
07-12-2009, 08:02 PM
Somewhere between $6500 and $7500 would be a good down payment.

SNAPPER MAN
07-12-2009, 08:09 PM
Just get a 48" hydro walk behind and a sulky. That would be productive and cost a couple thousand less than a ztr. Dude if you are 15 and you already have knee problems then this is not the right profession for you. I'm 16 but I will walk behind a 36" belt drive all day no problems. You just got to suck it up. I wouldn't spend that huge amount of money on a mower when you don't have to do this for a living. Just get something in between like a hydro walkbehind.

mowisme
07-12-2009, 08:56 PM
I'm still using 'used' stuff past 3 years..has treated me well for my needs. Not one payment. Had I had zillion accounts then I'd have to go new I suppose. You came on 'asking' opinions guy..Don't get bent out of shape if you get advice that doesn't lean toward your opinions. These guys have been down your road..some several times over. They are trying to tell you the 'best' advice. Most comes from experience. No one said you 'must' do this or that..it's your call- but if I were you I'd keep the 'don't answer if not going to help' remarks to yourself and just ponder on what has been suggested. You know the final is your call..so take in all the advice you can and be thankful guys are willing to share their opinions. It is from folks that are in the buisness and know the ups/down of what it takes to be profitable. You asked..you recieved. I do wish you well- Geno

Stillwater
07-12-2009, 09:13 PM
[QUOTE=P&C Lawn Care;3089405]From looking at your list of equipment nothing really screams commercial stuff. QUOTE]

P&C You should brush up on your equipment knowldge......

1) The stihl fs90 happens be be one of the finest commercial line trimmers on the market.

2) The stihl BG86 is without question the the only commercial hand held blower worth owning

3) The BR600 Backpack blower Well I don't need to comment on this machine it speaks for itself.

lawnguyland
07-12-2009, 09:41 PM
The fact that I mowed lawns to pay for my master's degree may not make me smart, but I'm smarter than the 15 y/o kid who's asking about taking out a $7k loan on a lawn mower. I also don't have any student loans or debt to pay off...did it all without a ztr.

good point...

but a 7k loan on a mower over 3-4 years is something like 200$ a month. That's what...1 account's revenue for a month? I'd rather ride and be able to do a lot more houses in less time with less fatigue.

Scagmower48
07-12-2009, 10:09 PM
Foffel, how many yards do you mow a week? This would give us an idea of what you can afford.

Yater
07-12-2009, 10:17 PM
good point...

but a 7k loan on a mower over 3-4 years is something like 200$ a month. That's what...1 account's revenue for a month? I'd rather ride and be able to do a lot more houses in less time with less fatigue.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but around here, anyone under 18 years old is considered (legally) incompetent to sign a contract...loans included. If the kid can't come up with $1500 "before the leaves fall", what makes you think he can pay back a $7k loan? We all know he can't drive and doesn't pay any bills. In other words, he doesn't have the means to pay for the mower.

To top it off, he runs his mouth. I'm sure his daddy will buy him a diesel kubota and a crew cab lariat 4x4 before he can drive.

93Chevy
07-12-2009, 10:20 PM
There is no way for me to buy one outright. I want a warranty on one. There is good financing right now. It would be in my dads name until January then it would be in mine.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but around here, anyone under 18 years old is considered (legally) incompetent to sign a contract...loans included. If the kid can't come up with $1500 "before the leaves fall", what makes you think he can pay back a $7k loan? We all know he can't drive and doesn't pay any bills.
Today 09:09 PM

Well, I agree with a lot of what you say in this thread, but...

Check you facts on him signing a loan.

Yater
07-12-2009, 10:24 PM
Well, I agree with a lot of what you say in this thread, but...

Check you facts on him signing a loan.

I do it for a living. In Texas, a party is not competent to enter a contract if they are under the age of 18. That includes insurance policies (which the OP obviously doesn't have).

93Chevy
07-12-2009, 10:26 PM
Sorry boss, I think I misspoke.

What I meant was, the loan will be in his father's name, so it will be a legal contract.

Cuttinitclose
07-12-2009, 10:27 PM
I do 6 yards a week now and am wanting alot more next year. My dealer said at 16 you can get a loan. Maybe it in both of our names IDK. I might also help with the schools fall cleanup. I also have another job making $200 every 2 wks. Its for my grandpa. I bring home around $800 a month if there is no other work of any kind.

Yater
07-12-2009, 10:33 PM
I do 6 yards a week now and am wanting alot more next year. My dealer said at 16 you can get a loan. Maybe it in both of our names IDK. I might also help with the schools fall cleanup. I also have another job making $200 every 2 wks. Its for my grandpa. I bring home around $800 a month if there is no other work of any kind.

I hear what you're saying, and I know it's impossible to take advice from an old man in his 20s, but we've all been 15 years old. You can knock out 4x your current productivity with a hydro WB and a velke. Save your money to put gas in your truck and buy your date a drink (soda, of course).

93Chevy
07-12-2009, 10:33 PM
That's good money for your age. I still say buy a WB with a sulky, but you know your wants and needs better than I do.

Don't get too ahead of yourself now. Save your money and look at the future. I've got one close relative trying to talk me into getting an 18' enclosed trailer. While I would love to have an enclosed trailer, I can't justify the cost of one right now. Instead, I'm going to buy my bosses old 16' open landscape trailer for $500. You need to look at where you want to be instead of where you are. And work your way towards that goal. Don't get excited and try to get everything now. 6 yards is doable with a commercial 21 if it's your only job.

Cuttinitclose
07-12-2009, 10:39 PM
Id look at a stander before a WB w/ sulky. I ZTR is better for my uses. I need to pull stuff and would like to have a bagger. I know you can get one for a WB but a ZTR holds more. Not many people have WB's around here until you get into Peoria and the bigger cities.

93Chevy
07-12-2009, 10:41 PM
You're right, the bagger for a ZTR is better then for a WB.

SNAPPER MAN
07-12-2009, 11:07 PM
If you already have your mind made up then why did you ask for others opinions?

KS_Grasscutter
07-12-2009, 11:21 PM
If you get 0% financing, just put the minimum down. Otherwise, I like to put 20% or so down if possible. That way you don't get upside down on the loan. You are going to have a tough time getting a new zero turn with a bagger under $7500, but baggers on WB's or standers SUCK. If you get used, you won't get as good of financing (as a general rule). I would probably look at Dixon first, as they are a good product and last I checked you could get a 52" Kodiak for like $6500, then another $1500 or so for the bagger. Not sure what they are doing on financing right now though.

Cuttinitclose
07-12-2009, 11:33 PM
JD has 3.99%. I could put $1000-$1500 down. I could also use a OCDC until I get the bagger.

Scagmower48
07-12-2009, 11:49 PM
I do 6 yards a week now and am wanting alot more next year. My dealer said at 16 you can get a loan. Maybe it in both of our names IDK. I might also help with the schools fall cleanup. I also have another job making $200 every 2 wks. Its for my grandpa. I bring home around $800 a month if there is no other work of any kind.

OK for that kind of work per week you don't need a z turn. Your tractor will suffice for 6 yards per week as long as its in mechanically good condition. If work picks up and you get many more accts then you need a commercial machine.

I mowed 35+ yards per week with my Scag belt driven before I bought my Kubota. Yes some were small and some were an acre or more with most being a half an acre.

But if you want another machine my suggestion is to buy a used belt driven commercial mower for $1000 and keep the JD for a backup. Your will see a difference in quality of cut and shorter mowing times. This mower will last you for years.

The stupidity on this site amazes me. If you can't pay for lawn mower cash then there is something wrong, and you need to be walking more. (This is not directed at anybody). The excuse is not to finance it. Don't give 2 to 3% to JD. Save up to pay for it.

You have only 6 yards. That is hardly an established business. What if 2 dropped you tommorrow? How would you make the payments?

Who cares about the schools cleanup. With 6 yards you have a lot of free time. Who cares if it took you 6 hours insead of 3. You weren't doing anything else anyway. Just saying an example.

Cuttinitclose
07-12-2009, 11:54 PM
The tranny on the Deere could crap out anytime. How many time do I have to say I DO NOT want a WB or Used w/o warranty. I can make the payments with the 2nd job and have some leftover.

JB1
07-13-2009, 12:10 AM
The tranny on the Deere could crap out anytime. How many time do I have to say I DO NOT want a WB or Used w/o warranty. I can make the payments with the 2nd job and have some leftover.



well go buy the damm mower and don't ask for any opinions.

Scagmower48
07-13-2009, 12:11 AM
The tranny on the Deere could crap out anytime. How many time do I have to say I DO NOT want a WB or Used w/o warranty. I can make the payments with the 2nd job and have some leftover.

With only 6 yards you do not NEED and CANNOT afford a z turn. Grow up and walk. Why do you need a warranty. A belt driven is a pretty simply machine. If the tranny goes you get a new one from J thomas for $209. You would have the JD for a backup, no worries.

But since you know it all go spend the 7 G's you don't have for your lousy 6 yards. You'll be in debt for years.

Yater
07-13-2009, 12:17 AM
Just get your dad to sign the loan and quit bothering us. I'm sure you'll make a killing with that ztr and no driver's license. I'm guessing that's why you need to "tow stuff" with your garden tractor.

Scagmower48
07-13-2009, 12:18 AM
Remember your in the this business to make money, well thats why I am, not to come on this site and show off all your equipment.

ANYONE that comes on this site and talks about their fancy truck payments and stupid mower payments is NOT making money. I don't care what kind of sweet talk people put on me that financing is the way to go and how it allows you to grow you business. its all BS.

Scagmower48
07-13-2009, 12:20 AM
Just get your dad to sign the loan and quit bothering us. I'm sure you'll make a killing with that ztr and no driver's license.

My guess is that you did not talk to your dad about this either yet. Because if he had any common sense then he would not sign unless he really wanted the z turn for his yard.

unkownfl
07-13-2009, 12:24 AM
Remember your in the this business to make money, well thats why I am, not to come on this site and show off all your equipment.

ANYONE that comes on this site and talks about their fancy truck payments and stupid mower payments is NOT making money. I don't care what kind of sweet talk people put on me that financing is the way to go and how it allows you to grow you business. its all BS.

100% agree. Kid you state you can afford to pay it off in a year? I do not know how you plan on it unless you are going to use your x-mas money a b-day cash as well. Lets say you make you 800 per month year around that is just over 9000 for the whole year. Then you have to subtract your gas blades string oil etc. Your crazy buy another tractor and be done or a homedepot ztr

Scagmower48
07-13-2009, 12:27 AM
100% agree. Kid you state you can afford to pay it off in a year? I do not know how you plan on it unless you are going to use your x-mas money a b-day cash as well. Lets say you make you 800 per month year around that is just over 9000 for the whole year. Then you have to subtract your gas blades string oil etc. Your crazy buy another tractor and be done or a homedepot ztr

He ain't mowing in Dec. like you do. He works 6-7 months.

7x800=5600 AT MOST minus expenses

Shasta Lake Landscaping
07-13-2009, 12:36 AM
That's a lot of money to spend to cut 6 lawns.

Yater
07-13-2009, 12:40 AM
My guess is that you did not talk to your dad about this either yet. Because if he had any common sense then he would not sign unless he really wanted the z turn for his yard.

You talkin' to me? I don't have a zero turn....or a dad.

LALawnboy
07-13-2009, 12:42 AM
There needs to be an age limit on this site now. It used to be that you could come here for sound info and sometimes a couple of good stories to laugh at. Now, all we have is a bunch of teenage know-it-alls on this site with more posts in six months than I've posted in over four years of being a member here.

Not trying to be harsh, but seriously kid, if you have six yards, you have no need for a ZTR. Trust me, I know they're fun to ride (I get a kick out of using them, but I don't use one for my own business), but you should start putting money away instead of spending it all. In the past couple of months, you've posted countless threads asking for advice on buying your new trimmer, then you handheld blower, and then you go out and buy your BR-600. I understand you see a lot of guys on here with the high-end blowers and all the nice equipment, but most of these guys are doing well over 50 yards a week. Therefore, they NEED this equipment (keyword: NEED, not want).

The reason I know you can manage without the ZTR is because before I upgraded to my setup now, which consists of a 36" Toro walkbehind and a 21" Toro, I was cutting 24 lawns a week with simply the 21" Toro. Would it have been nice to have been riding most of those lawns? Of course, but it wouldn't have been smart financial-wise.

Moral of the rant...save your money, rehab your knee, eventually buy yourself whichever mower you want (but pay cash, don't fall for the interest payments and all that garbage), and make that $$$.

djflats
07-13-2009, 07:21 AM
Have you tried looking at an Exmark LXS35BV725? They shouldn't cost too much? :laugh:

93Chevy
07-13-2009, 07:54 AM
Have you tried looking at an Exmark LXS35BV725? They shouldn't cost too much? :laugh:

Or a Walker. Might as well go all out.

stephen424
07-13-2009, 08:24 AM
Get a Toro with 0% financing. You're only 15. If you see that you can't pay for it, just say screw it and stop making payments on it. It'll go on your credit for 7 years and then clear. You won't need to finance anything anyway from ages 15-22 so what the hell.

I say go all out with a 60" Z master from Toro. You'll cut those yards in 5 minutes or less!

But seriously speaking, at the end of the day, talk with your dad about this.
I got the same response when I first joined the board, asking about financing and buying a new mower. I'd say the majority of the people on this board have started out the "economical" way...with a used mower and worked their way up.

I got alotta flack cause I went out and bought all brand new, expensive stuff with only a few accounts. But I'm grown and I could afford it so our situations are different. If your dad is going to cosign on the loan, then it's best to come to this board with questions about WHICH mower to buy, not how you should pay for it.

Talk to your dad about how to pay for it, how much to put down and such. Cause if something goes bad, it'll fall on him, not the people on this board.

You gotta understand that there are 30+ year old guys on this board that are stuck with a 1999 mower for whatever reason and may become a little jealous to see a 15 yr old wanting to buy a 2009, understand.

About the down payment. I've never been a "downpayment" guy and its worked for me.
I'd rather have a $10,000 loan and $5000 in the bank for emergencies....than have a $5000 loan with $0 in the bank.
If you're buying a $7000 mower, don't put anything down. The money that you were going to use to put down...throw that in a savings account and let it acrue some interest. Or make your monthly payment out of the downpayment money if you go with a deferred payment setup.

93Chevy
07-13-2009, 08:32 AM
Good advice stephen424. I didn't put any downpayment on my truck when I took a loan out for it. I always pay early and pay over every month because I can afford it.

stephen424
07-13-2009, 08:40 AM
$6000 financed @ 3.9% over 36 months is $177/month
$5000 financed @ 3.9% over 36 months is $147/month

Putting $1000 down will save you roughly $30/month. Gotta figure is better to save $30/month and have $1000 for emergencies. Or have $0 for emergencies, but have a cheaper monthly payment.

However, more interest is being charged on the greater financed amount, but still...

Like you 93Chevy, I put zero down on my car. And I put $500 down when I bought my house and still didn't have a PMI. Glad I didn't throw 20% down on my house, with home values declining like they are. (wiping 4head)

JB1
07-13-2009, 10:56 AM
My god, you guys put Dave Ramsey to shame with your financial minds.

Duffster
07-13-2009, 11:51 AM
And I put $500 down when I bought my house and still didn't have a PMI. Glad I didn't throw 20% down on my house, with home values declining like they are. (wiping 4head)

Did you lose it?

stephen424
07-13-2009, 01:12 PM
No I didn't lose my house. I was saying that I'm glad I didn't throw 20% of my savings into it, since values are on the decline.
I would be sick
Posted via Mobile Device

Yater
07-13-2009, 01:25 PM
Savings doesn't make jack for interest anyway. You'd still lose your ass + interest on the full amount of the loan if you decided to sell. Otherwise, appeal your property value and get a break on your taxes.

no1knosme12203
07-13-2009, 02:27 PM
I started my business when I was 15. It was right after Hurricane Katrina and it was perfect time for me to start a business. I got my first 10 yards around my neighborhood and I was making a little money. I was so excited, I got my parents to take a loan for me to get a truck. I bought a new silverado ( work truck ) and I slowly built up more lawns. My dad drove the truck for the first few months until I got my license and he would drop me off at the yards that were further away. I kept growing my business until I had 20 lawns and ( dumb move ) took out another small loan to purchase most of the equipment you see in my signature. I kept my business going for 2 years, and I was making a lot of money. I had around 25 lawns that I was keeping up, but I was making a lot of mistakes. I wasn't caring for the equipment properly and I wasn't keeping up with my payments. I screwed up an awesome business. I sold it when I graduated because I was so behind on payments. My parents would make the payments for me. I now owe my parents $10,000 and have no equipment except for the truck. I am working my ass of now in college working 2 jobs trying to make that money back. I lost my business because of stupidity. I was 16 and spent all my money going out with friends and just having a good time. I regret all of it now. I am now saving up, trying to get $1500 so I can buy some used equipment and start off right. I regret every loan I took out. I suggest you listen to the people on here. There advice is wonderful and will help you in the long run. I am not saying you will screw up like I did... but now I hate myself for screwing my parents over and now being in so much debt at only 19. It sucks and now I have to work my ass off and do things right.

Good Luck and I hope I helped

Duffster
07-13-2009, 03:19 PM
No I didn't lose my house. I was saying that I'm glad I didn't throw 20% of my savings into it, since values are on the decline.
I would be sick
Posted via Mobile Device

So you are happy you are upside down?

:confused:

Yater
07-13-2009, 03:54 PM
So you are happy you are upside down?

:confused:

That's what I was thinking. You still owe the 20%, you're paying interest on it, and you have no equity in the house.

stephen424
07-13-2009, 04:35 PM
i'm not saying i am happy. i'm saying that i am GLAD i didn't put 20% down on my house.
i'm glad i have that money in the bank. i, like 99% of all homeowners, are still sick that i have minimal equity (if any) in my home. but it makes me feel less sick knowing that i didn't put 20% down thinking "a home is an investment"

that's all

stephen424
07-13-2009, 04:36 PM
understand mr yater?

Yater
07-13-2009, 04:50 PM
understand mr yater?



Sure...but you still borrowed that 20% and are paying interest on it. I have to assume that you bought before the market crash and you've taken a hit. I'm hoping to buy before there's a rebound (soon) and will probably put ~20% down. The deals I'm looking at right now are SICK (in a good way).

stephen424
07-13-2009, 05:18 PM
yeah i bought before the market crashed. but what's your point?

i guess we look @ things different.

there's two ways to do it. say you're buying a $400,000 home.

option 1: put 20% down is ($80,000). have a $1715 payment (plus taxes and insurance)
option 2: keep your $80,000 and have a $2145 payment (plus taxes and insurance)

personally, i like having cash in the bank and make more of a payment than have 2 dollars in the bank and have a lesser payment. not saying its the right way to do it. but its worked for me.

good luck with your purchase tho. it's a good time to buy if you can. they are building homes in my neighborhood that are going for $90k less than what i paid, same home, same everything. its sickening (in a bad way)

Wizz
07-13-2009, 06:41 PM
Coming from a 33y/o you should honestly listen to some of these people. Financing is a trap for younger people, that's why credit card companies setup tents on College campuses drawing kids in then they get in trouble. With 3.9% on a $7k mower you're now paying over $9,300 for it when all said and done, they draw you in with a low monthly payment but you pay for it in the end. Only type of financing I would consider is 0%...and even then if you miss one single payment or are a day late they will automatically slam you with the full percentage. Take your time and find something used in your area, patience is key, and take an experienced older person with you everytime you look at a used mower to make sure it's worth it, if you're patient you'll find something you like that won't put you in debt, the paint my not be shiny and pretty but it will work the same. I'm not trying to sound like a know it all, but in 15 years you'll know what we're talking about, these guys have given some good advice and I'd take advantage of it and consider yourself ahead of the game. Best of luck to you.

Maple Wood
07-13-2009, 06:54 PM
Some lessons are best learned the hard way. Go out and buy the biggest diesel ZTR you can find. Finance 100% and then proceed to learn.

Puddle of Oil
07-13-2009, 09:08 PM
I don't care what kind of sweet talk people put on me that financing is the way to go and how it allows you to grow you business. its all BS.

well i dont agree with this, yes your right to a degree, you dont wanna finance truck, trailer mower ext all at the same time. you can still make money by financing just a mower. in this guys case......no he cant, but your not 100% right. let me give you an example. last year i financed my surfer cuz my lesco broke down, it was taking to long to fix and i didnt have all the time in the world, so i bought another one cuz of that reason alone. I know you should never rush into something blind like that but i did and it was the best thing i have ever done for the business! its been running strong and has cut my time in half compared to the lesco, and the cut quality is so much better. so financing isnt all bad, you make it sound like the end of the world!:)

ohiogreenworks
07-13-2009, 09:32 PM
Man this thread is packed full of good advice and personal stories. I know at 15 it is hard to listen to other people but if you ignore what has been shared in this thread you will regret it. Debt is the worst thing you can get into and it may start with a mower, then it is a new truck you "need", then another mower, etc etc. If you just stay out of it to begin with you are so far ahead of a lot of other people trying to do the same thing you are doing...

Take a deep breath, look yourself in the mirror and ask "why does almost everyone tell me not to finance or go into debt?" Do you really think they are saying all of this to hurt you? Or maybe it is to help you? Think about it....

unkownfl
07-13-2009, 10:31 PM
For the last time take your 1500 bucks and buy another tractor. You will get a lot more use out of it not having a license; furthermore, do you really want to work over a year to pay yard card or etc.?

On another note putting money in a savings account over putting it down on a 7% loan is dumb I don't care how you cut it. The better thing to do is save enough for a down payment and then have at least 6 months in the bank at all times if you don't have this don't buy. Only other way is to be able to make more off the money then the interest which is going to be hard unless you are on wall street, and then you have no time to mow so you wouldn't be on this forum.

thestripmaster12
07-13-2009, 11:07 PM
just buy a used Z like a scag, toro, exmark etc. unless the machine wasn't maintenance at all or beat to **** i think youll be fine, spending 7500 at 15 years old isnt smart unless your so packed you don't have enough day light to cut. WB is good as well, dont get ahead of yourself kid... the best thing i can say is dont spend money you dont have, the only payment i have is my truck and thats because im trying to build some good credit as. take some time to go over your numbers and then make a decision

ecko
07-13-2009, 11:08 PM
You said your knee is bad so you have to have a ZTR? I see plenty of older guys around me with a walkbehind, some belt drives, no sulky mowing lawn after lawn here in the Florida heat and humidity. You don't think their knees hurt do you?

Out of curiosity, what is wrong with your knee? I think you said you only weighed 100 pounds in another thread? Maybe it could use some strength training.

Cuttinitclose
07-13-2009, 11:30 PM
You said your knee is bad so you have to have a ZTR? I see plenty of older guys around me with a walkbehind, some belt drives, no sulky mowing lawn after lawn here in the Florida heat and humidity. You don't think their knees hurt do you?

Out of curiosity, what is wrong with your knee? I think you said you only weighed 100 pounds in another thread? Maybe it could use some strength training.

When I was in like 2nd grade I got stabbed w/ a stick about a 1/2 inch round and about 1 in deep. Torn tissue and all the good stuff that keeps your knee together.

YardBoss Lawncare
07-14-2009, 02:54 AM
I agree about financing. It's not always the right decision, but it's not always terrible either. When I first started out, I had nothing. I built decks, privacy, and chain link fences for a living. I had no lawn equipment at all. The city ran an ad in the newspaper saying they were accepting bids on mowing and to pick up a packet at the city hall. I did. There were 10 properties up for bid. I drove around and looked at them, filled out my packet, and turned it in. A few weeks later the city manager called and said I got 8 out of the 10. One was a 29 acre roadway, the museum, library, and all kinds of stuff. I had a co-signer who helped me out, and I went out and bought 2 big ZTR's, a landscape trailer, etc. The 2 mowers I bought were financed and together were over 23 grand. I'm in a small town and know alot people. One of the main landscapers got out of the business that year and bought a concrete plant, so I was able to suck up alot of his accounts. I made more than double what I financed in equipment that year. Here I am, about 4 years later still going strong. I ended up getting my applicator's license, sold my construction tools off (nail gun, auger, etc.) and have a good lawn business. Granted, i'm not 15 years old either. I was old enough to bid on jobs, already familiar with business in the town due to my construction, etc. I didn't have the cash to go buy all of that stuff back then, that's why I financed it. Had I not, I would not have been able to full fill my contract with the city. Nor would I have made the amount of money that year and established a name for myself so quickly. Moral of the story is, sometimes financing can be a good thing. However, considering your situation, I don't think it's the thing for you. Keep in mind that I didn't go finance that equipment until I signed the contract with the city manager, knew I for sure had the income secured, knew how often I was going to get to mow everything, etc. Then and only then, did I jump in with both feet. Good luck to ya either way, as I am a firm believer in the old saying "scared money makes no money".

stephen424
07-14-2009, 07:36 AM
Exactly, scared money doesn't make money. If you have to finance it, then finance.
There's always a "smart" thing to do. Then there's a "gut feeling" option. There's a "testosterone" option, which is very similar to a "dumb" option.
Just do what YOU feel is right for YOUR situation and move forward.
You're 15!!! Let's say you go against all the advice (except mine) and finance the dang thing. It will only take you six months to realize if you made a good or bad decision.
You have time to rebound from that. Its not like you're financing a house. Its only 6 grand.
Plus, this will be a good learning experience for you. You'll either learn to be responsible or learn from a mistake, and you can't put price tags on gaining lessons (well maybe you can).

When I went to college my dad said "stay away from the credit cards son"
Of course I didn't listen, got one, maxed it out, then had to work @ footlocker to pay him back for paying it off so my credit wouldn't take a hit.
Out of that mistake, I learned to listen to advice from ppl who know, I learned to be more responsible in my decision making.
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stephen424
07-14-2009, 07:37 AM
And about the mower? What kind are you looking at that will cost you 7500?
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HOOLIE
07-14-2009, 07:49 AM
When you finance a piece of equipment for work, it should be for the reason that it's going to make you more money than with what you currently have. Going up to a larger deck, you figure you can do a couple more lawns a day (at least) Even assuming you just can squeeze in 10 more lawns a week, you're already talking an additional $350 or more a week...$1400 a month...over $10,000 additional for the year.

When you look at it that way (as we all should as businessmen) then it is a little ridiculous to worry about a couple grand in interest over a 2-3 year period. There's bad debt and good debt. This is good debt. Maybe not for this particular kid in this situation, but for most of us.

93Chevy
07-14-2009, 08:03 AM
In the fall, I will need to finance a WB. I will be buying a trailer and fixing it up with cash, so that's where my cash is going. I'm in a rut now with a 21." I'm not making enough with 5 lawns a week, but with a fulltime job and being a fulltime student, I don't have time for more than 5 per week. Next year, with a WB, I'll be able to double that. I make roughly 160 per week if I mow all my accounts. Say I mow 20 weeks per year, which is way under what I usually do. That's $3200 this year. If I double that, I'll be at $6400, which is enough for a nice dual hydro WB. That's assuming 20 weeks of mowing, and when fall cleanups are taken into account, 20 weeks is an under-estimate. In my instance, I can't afford NOT to finance a new mower.

Responsible financing is an EXCELLENT way to grow a business, like in my case. Irresponsible financing is one of the reasons our country is in the situation it is. Not trying to start a political debate.

If you feel you can grow your business in the next year to cover the cost of a $7500 mower, then go for it. But remember, you also want a truck and trailer next year also. Don't go into too much debt at this point.

STCL01
07-14-2009, 10:52 AM
I usually don't reply to these things, and there are certainly a lot of people on here that have given you good advice. You are the one that needs to make the decision, and it needs to be a business decision. Effectually, what you are doing is running a business. Whether you continue to run this business in the future doesn't make a bit of difference right now. However, how you run this is a foundation that you can build on to run other things in the future.

So think about this purchase. You need a goal in mind, but it needs to be realistic. You plan on getting more yards next year. How? What size? How much time do you have to manage these extra yards? How much does that time cost you? How much revenue will be generated from the extra yards? Does that revenue justify a new mower? Does the increase in potential customers justify a new mower? What if you don't get the customers?

All business decisions. Not wants or needs, but educated well thought out decisions that you must make as a business owner. Doesn't matter whether you are mowing yards or making widgets. It's the same principles on a different scale.

Aren't you going to need to fix your tractor as a backup for the ZTR? How much is that going to costs? Can you get by with your tractor for now and get pre-approved for a loan on a ZTR? If your business model needs/ justifies the ZTR next year then you can go get it. You buy it right now, and you have only a six acounts and a couple of months of productive mowing season. Doesn't sound like you have put the pencil and paper to it. Make business decisions. It's your business. Treat it like one.

OK. Enough of my rambling, but I want to leave you with one other thought. There are a lot of common opinions listed on your course of action. A lot of these guys have been doing this for years. I dont' mow yards for a living, although I had a ton of them that I cut with a push mower when I was a kid. I want you to consider that if five of the guys that answered your question had 20 years experience each then you have drawn on a combined total of 100 years of experience mowing yards. Realistically you probably have reached more than that. Everyone that has offered an opinion has done so base on there experience. Look at the common thread among these. Use your head and your pencil, and make a business decision.

topsites
07-14-2009, 11:12 AM
I have a dumb question...
Because I was just thinking ...

Will they even GIVE you the loan?

It ain't free money, and you might think they will, but have you gone up there?
They can check this much out without you buying, so at the least you should find out if you can even get it.

The wittier half of me is guessing this is the last we'll hear for a while.
Lawdy lawdy :laugh:

Scotland Yard and Garden
07-14-2009, 12:47 PM
I know this is way off the original post but, isn't the point of buying new equipment to make more profit? A lot of people confuse making more money and making more profit. Its great if this guy is making $800 a month but if he spends $7k to make an additional say $500 a month but he has to make the payments of $250. What is he really making. I have seen this way to many times including myself. It is easy to make payments and buy impressive new toys but its hard to make money when your trying to pay it all back. To the young guy trying to justify buying a $7500 ztr, do as you like, just remember the grass doesn't know and the clients don't care if you are using a new $7500 ztr or a used $500 walk behind or even your busted tractor your are so ready to replace. Just look at it as a return on investment. (If you don't know this term - honestly you should study up on some basic business - the lawn business isn't about cutting grass you know)

By the way wouldn't it be better to have a mower that works and a nice shiny truck and date money to impress the ladies versus a new lawn mower to impress the guys.

Its all about what's important to you.
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YardBoss Lawncare
07-14-2009, 02:30 PM
It only takes a few months to "drive the new" off of anything. I think everyone will agree with me on that. I learned the hard way a few years back. I thought I was a big time high roller, went down to Fowler Dodge in Oklahoma City and bought a brand new 3/4 Dodge. It was loaded, 4x4, Cummins diesel, metallic black, etc. I managed to get financed for it. It was a $42,000 truck and my payments were $713 a month. I was so caught up in the prestige of having a brand new truck like that at the time, that I didn't think responsibly. Once I finally drove the new off of it and I started getting my statements in the mail from Chase Bank, I was hating life. There I would be, wanting to go to Bricktown or somewhere for the weekend and I couldn't because I had to take my money and make my truck payment. Sure, I had a nice truck out in the driveway, but it wasn't that big of a deal once the new had worn off it. Luckily, I had it for a year and a half and some drunk kid pulled out in front of me on the highway and it was totalled out (no one hurt too bad). His insurance paid it off and got me out from under it. This time, after learning from experience, I chose to go out and buy a nice, used truck with 82,000 miles on it that was an 06. This truck cost me 18 grand instead of 42, and my payments are $362 a month now instead of $713. After 6 months or a year, they are all used trucks, and they are all used mowers. Remember that. Once you wear or drive the new off of it, that payment and bank note is still there. If you NEED it and have the income secured, and have to have it in order to obtain that income, it's a smart move. If not, you're only screwing yourself. Trust me, i've been there. You're trying to justify buying a new one by saying that you want "warranty", but with no more accounts than you have, you won't need warranty. I mow high, high, high acreage everyweek in 2 different towns, and I don't hardly ever turn a wrench on my machine unless it's from something I did out of negligence (hitting something from not paying attention, etc.) So you sure as hell aren't going to need warranty no more than you'll be using it. If you want a ZTR that's fine. I'm totally with ya. But buy a used one, then when you get 4 or 5 years older and see that you really do want to stay in this business, go buy a new one. Think with your intelligence, not your emotions. Like I said, in 6 months they're all used and they all have scratches on the sides of the deck, and the paint fades and isn't as shiny as it used to be. In 6 months, no one is going to be able to see that it's brand new other than another landscaper who knows how to spot a new machine. Everyone else is going to see a faded, skinned up mower. The prestige of it will only last a few months.

Duffster
07-14-2009, 03:30 PM
Some lessons are best learned the hard way. Go out and buy the biggest diesel ZTR you can find. Finance 100% and then proceed to learn.

This is also good advice.

Get it figured out now before your $100k+ in the hole.

nriddle77
07-14-2009, 08:19 PM
Learn the difference between needs and wants. If you said that you wanted a $7500 ZTR, then others may agree and be willing to discuss it with you. But if you are saying you NEED a ZTR for 6 yards or even a few more, that doesn't make any sense.
Going from a lawn tractor to a ZTR is a big step. Think about what others keep posting: buy a used WB first.

Scotland Yard and Garden
07-14-2009, 08:45 PM
Or don't buy anything at all. Make it a goal to get more accounts then spend money as you see fit. Learn from others mistake. Please listen to those who are in a postion to give a knowledgable response.
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BadRancher
07-14-2009, 09:05 PM
The Stihl stuff isn't commercial?! I don't want used. You don't know how well its been taken care of. It would be paid off next year.

If your not going to help. Don't reply.

You may think we are trying to discourage you or pick on you, but we are actually trying to give you good advice. Most of the guys on LawnSite know what they are talking about when it comes to payments and mowers. If they have made mistakes, they are giving you advice on how not to screw up. Look up Dave Ramsey online if his show is not in your area.

If you buy you a used ZTR you may think its a gamble, but it really isn't to big of a risk. Lets say you shell out 1500-2000 on a mower and it breaks down. You may spend up to 1000-1500 to get it repaired. When repaired then it is good as new. so max spent would be 3500. You just saved 3000 on a mower. If push comes to shove, you can take a small engine mechanic to look at a used mower before you buy it. He can tell whether or not it is a good mower by checking it out and listening to the mower.

The other possibilty is you could get a walk behind with a sit down sulky/velky.

Don't get pissy with these guys, they are giving you advice on how to get to the road of prosperity.

bdaisey
07-14-2009, 09:42 PM
Just an opinion, keep your current setup until you get more accounts...

doing only 6 lawns may not be enough to judge whether you want to be in this business long enough to pay off that $7500 mower

LouisianaLawnboy
07-15-2009, 09:30 AM
Get a used mower from the dealer. They will proly give u a warrenty.
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Hell on Blades
07-15-2009, 10:42 AM
For 6 yards, I'd stay with what I have until it absolutely dies, then fix it and run it some more. At 15 years old, you should be operating with an 85-90% profit margin. that means that you should have no more than $120/month in expenses, including fuel and maintenace (savings for maint). That's assuming the $800 that I read about earlier is an accurate gross number each month.

If you have $1500 to put down, seriously look at getting a walkbehind w/velke or a USED machine. There is nothing wrong with either. Look at the properties you mow and then your perspective clients. If you have NO GATES within 20 miles of home base, then buy a 50". If you have gates, buy a 48 or a 44. If you have to have a zero turn, look for a 44 or a 40, hell even a residential model 34 (Ariens) will hold up for several years of six yards.

My background, before you tell me I'm wrong, is in banking. I'm 33. For 5years I sold repoed autos for a Sub-prime group. I understand business finances better than most.

I started my business when I swithced to a 3-on, 3-off schedule three years ago. I have 15 properties that I maintain, 8 of them on a set price full service contract. I'm still mowing with a 24 (or more) year old commercial 48 John Deere WB and using Ryobi POS's for cleanup. I still use my personal vehicle to tow my trailer. BUT I PULL A 90% PROFIT MARGIN. Each month I clear $1500 and put only $150 back into the business ($25 for maint saved). This includes fuel and consumables (gloves, trimmer line etc). This is the only way to make money as a solo operator. I put an additional 5% back to advertising, so you could call mine 85%.

Do yourself a favor. Invest is a good business plan for expansion. Perhaps dad can help or invest in a good financial advisor. This is money well spent out of the business budget. You can make it as big or small as you want, but look at it this way. If you suffer through 3 more years (until you're 18) with what you have now, or pay cash for a functional piece thay may not be your favorite, save $400 of your gross each month for those three years, you'll have about $8400 in the bank to buy a new mower. Or you can borrow that $8400 tomorrow and repay $10029 in the same period. If you invest the money you make, you'll have more too.

Finally, if you ask advise be prepared for what may come. If you can't take the advice, don't ask the question.

2Ts UT
07-15-2009, 12:15 PM
I bought my first ZTR this year. I ended up getting a sub-compact rider because of all the gates I have to go through. I spent a few months checking out the local classifides and going to several homes to check out equipment. Buying used can be scary.. some of the stuff I checked out looked like it may have been used for rally mower racing. But after a while I found a guy that had maintained the mower well threw in some extra belts and stuff. He had all the parts and opperator manuals. Anyway, it was in really good condition. I saved several thousand dollars. It was probably on of the best purchases/decisions I've made. Searching classifides in more frustraing and time consuming than cruising to your dealer and throwing down some big money. But I recommend looking around, it has worked out amazingly well for me.

freemason
07-15-2009, 01:01 PM
well, i gotta say i'm very disgusted by the blatant rudeness is coming from some of the people posting in here. a few of you have just straight out shot him down, critiquing his business and how making it sound like he's some dumb ass kid. he came here for advice, the least you can do is say "i wouldnt finance it you're young". did you wake up one day with 50 accounts at your door? no you didn't. but none of that matters. heres the bottom line; this is a kid starting a business and obviously has lots of ambition and drive to do well. the way i see this is it makes no difference if he finances a mower, buy's a used mower cash, or keeps using what he has. he's only 15 and he's doing something positive with his life and quite frankly that should be the only thing that means something when you're 15.

my opinion, if you can finance it, do it. keep up on the maintenance, put as much money towards the mower as you possible can and by the time you're 20 it'll be paid off, and you'll have a nice mower still going strong, or you can trade it in for something new. either way keep doing what your doing.




thats my 2 cents

Hell on Blades
07-15-2009, 01:04 PM
Good thoughts. I guess I was trying to back up my "Don't finance" with a perspective and some facts...

mitw44
07-15-2009, 02:48 PM
Enroll in Financial Peace University, based on teachings by Dave Ramsey. Most towns have someone sponsering this class such as a local church. Look on the web to find one near you.

It doesn't matter how much money you can make, it is how much money can you hold onto. It also matters whether you have financial peace, or financial chaos in your life. The class has a wealth of information that will help you in the mowing business, as well as all the other financial decisions you will make in your life.

Don't do anything else with money until you complete this 13 week class.

My 0.02.

:weightlifter:

P&C Lawn Care
07-15-2009, 06:43 PM
Cuttinitclose, I think it is great that you are willing to work at age 15, most 15 year olds don't want to work (That was a compliment so take it at that). It is also good that you have some ambition of having a lawn company, however I am curious, I saw your mower and trailer pics. Are you planning on pulling this NEW ZTR (that you want to finance) with the John Deere? And is the John Deere actually yours or is it your Mom and Dad's (or Grandpa's)? Its ok to say that is really their mower and you use it for your jobs. We all started with borrowed or used equipment. Businesses are not built overnight.

I'm not even going to get into financing equipment argument or give you any advice since you have your eyes and ears closed to anything other than what you want to hear. I am sure there are people on here that have been in business more than 22 years that will tell you what you want to hear. Finance, finance, finance and get into debt, debt, debt. I'm not even going to say that if you have a bad knee now that you should consider not doing lawn work as a career because eventually you will have two bad knees and various other health issues due to the nature of this work. If I knew an ambitious 15 year old who wanted to mow I'd say "go for it man, save your money to buy a truck and then save for college. Stay away from credit cards they can really screw you up". But I would never give YOU any advice, your much too smart to listen.

LouisianaLawnboy
07-15-2009, 07:16 PM
Cuttinitclose, I think it is great that you are willing to work at age 15, most 15 year olds don't want to work (That was a compliment so take it at that). It is also good that you have some ambition of having a lawn company, however I am curious, I saw your mower and trailer pics. Are you planning on pulling this NEW ZTR (that you want to finance) with the John Deere? And is the John Deere actually yours or is it your Mom and Dad's (or Grandpa's)? Its ok to say that is really their mower and you use it for your jobs. We all started with borrowed or used equipment. Businesses are not built overnight.

I'm not even going to get into financing equipment argument or give you any advice since you have your eyes and ears closed to anything other than what you want to hear. I am sure there are people on here that have been in business more than 22 years that will tell you what you want to hear. Finance, finance, finance and get into debt, debt, debt. I'm not even going to say that if you have a bad knee now that you should consider not doing lawn work as a career because eventually you will have two bad knees and various other health issues due to the nature of this work. If I knew an ambitious 15 year old who wanted to mow I'd say "go for it man, save your money to buy a truck and then save for college. Stay away from credit cards they can really screw you up". But I would never give YOU any advice, your much too smart to listen.

Ouchee.
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Cuttinitclose
07-15-2009, 09:07 PM
Yes the 115 is mine. No the ZTR will not be pulled. It will be pulling the trailer w/ the bumper and hitch att.

YardBoss Lawncare
07-15-2009, 11:30 PM
If you're going to go ahead and finance one, you might as well get a Scag Wildcat or something big, that way you'll have it when the time comes that you do need it. When I say "have it" i'm referring to the bigger deck and bigger engine. I mean, if you're going to finance $7500, what's another couple grand? A Wilcat will run you around $9,000. That'll be a 61" deck with a 26hp liquid cooled Kaw. You're going to have to get a walk behind anyways, so why not have a 61" ZTR and a walk behind instead of a 48" and a walkbehind? This way, when you're driving age and get a little more serious about the business, you'll be set up to do everything. Big and small. It's up to you. I'm just saying if you are going to finance a new one and go all out, finance $9,000 instead of $7,500. You're going to be in debt regaurdless. Just my 2 cents. I'm not trying to encourage you to do it, but if you are bound and determined to, i'm at least giving you the best advice for that route.

Duffster
07-16-2009, 03:18 PM
Well the OP hasn't followed any advice given here.:rolleyes:

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=267489

mbsudd
07-16-2009, 04:03 PM
just use what you have and save the money so you dont have to finance. im a little different i lost my job so i took some money i had in retirement and bought my 6.5x12 trailer and a better outdoors quick 36 WB with the riding attachment and a handheld blower. i use my craftsman 42" lawn tractor that i already had and a ryobi trimmer that i had. also i had no accounts just starting and now i have 2 but all my stuff is paid for. as i grow and save 2 or 3 years down the road i will upgrade some of my stuff. Best of luck:usflag:

mitw44
07-20-2009, 02:51 PM
Part of the problem with society in general and the OP of this thread, is that it is now considered "normal" to be in debt. Our country went from paying cash for everything including land and homes to small mortgages (5 years or less), to mortgages and car loans, to mortgages, car loans, and now toy loans. It also used to be that loans required large sums of money as down payment, to now not putting anything down. An incredible number of homes are now "upside down", meaning the occupants owe more on the house than the house is worth. Many cars are also upside down.

The original Sears catalog in 1910 said that "borrowing money is folly".

JC Penny, of the store by his name, did not allow credit card purchases in his stores while he was alive, as he was dead set against the use of credit for such things.

Most millionaires are self-made in their own lifetimes, and one of the things they have in common is the avoidance of consumer credit. In fact, most rich people became rich by living "below" their means. There is a fascinating book called "The millionaire next door" which is an exhaustive study of self made millionaires and how they got and stay that way. A great read.

It used to be a badge of shame to owe anyone money. The bible says that the "borrower is the slave of the lender". Who wants to volunteer to be a slave?

I am sure the OP's parents are considered to be "normal". In that sense, I am sure all or most of the following are true of his parents:

1. More than one car loan.
2. All cars bought during this boys life have been financed.
3. The house has a mortgage.
4. There is a HELOC on the house (home equity loan)
5. There are multiple credit cards in the household, and balances are carried each month. Probably to the tune of 1000's each month.
6. There is at least one luxury item in the house currently being financed, such as a boat, motorcycle, ATV, spa, camper.
7. The family does not operate off of a written budget, where every expense is budgeted for, and the expenses are always smaller than the projected income for that month.

To the OP, please ask your parents to tell us how many of the above statements are true. More than likely all of them.

If this is what the OPs parents teach and live in front of him by example, how can he know any better?

Like I said, it is up to the OP to get money management knowledge somewhere outside the house. That is why I recommend Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Spend 13 weeks undoing all the damage of what you have learned wrong from your parents before you commit to spending such a large sum of money.

If you don't you will lose millions of dollars over your lifetime. Much, much more than you will ever make mowing.

YardBoss Lawncare
07-20-2009, 11:08 PM
I read that book last Winter. It is a great read.