Right now RVs are selling quickly and there's a chance you might get an antsy seller.
Here's some tips on getting your prebuy started ASAP:
1. Know who your local A&P will be for condition inspections in the future.
2. Get your local A&P involved in the buying process by having them look at pictures of the logbook pages, detailed pictures of the aircraft exterior and interior, even under access panels if the seller is willing to send all of those to you. Van's Service Bulletins need to be complied with. ADs on the engine and propeller are highly recommended...magneto 500 hour inspections are highly recommended (if mags are installed).
3. Confirm the 24 month transponder check is complete. It should be in the airframe log book along with when the batteries were last replaced or serviced on the ELT. Low hanging fruit...
4. If the seller is friendly ask lots of questions of the seller now that you've probably put down a sizeable deposit and the sale is contingent on the condition of the aircraft.
a. When were the tires replaced last? Have they been rotated if tread is worn?
b. Wheel bearings, were they cleaned and repacked at the last condition inspection?
c. Data bases. Are the avionics data bases up to date?
b. Oil change. What kind of oil is being used? Which filter? Any additives like CamGuard? When was the last oil change completed? Was the sump oil screen cleaned recently and replaced with a new crush washer?
Sure, you could get all this from the log books, if it is documented. Not all log books are very detailed...
With all this information at hand and organized, you can give a person willing to do your prebuy evaluation a head start and get to know the airplane you are buying at the same time. An A&P knowledgable about EAB and RVs specifically will appreciate you doing your homework and be able to communicate with you clearly regarding the true condition of the plane you want to purchase.
Negotiate all squawks, even if it means buying the parts and having the builder or A&P get the aircraft up to snuff before completing the sale. Now is the time to get it ready for a cross country ferry home.
Surprises are not good, but buying a plane with the understanding of what needs work is a normal thing. Many planes, especially as the current owner starts flying it less and loses interest prior to the sale, need some work to make sure they are the safest and most airworthy they can be.
Launching from SC45