Buying Home With Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts

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Buying Home With Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts

This BLOG On Buying Home With Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts Was UPDATED On April 4th, 2018

By Gustan Cho

Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts is where the home buyer agrees to purchase the home from the seller. Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts is buying a home without financing from a mortgage lender. The agreement is made between the home buyer and seller with Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts.

  • Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts is often referred to as contracts for deed
  • Terms of the land contract such as interest rates, terms, deposit, escrows, are made between the home buyer and seller
  • The seller acts as the bank 
  • Land contracts are normally short term contracts
  • Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts can offer many benefits for both the home buyer and sellers
  • The home buyer may not quite qualify for a traditional home loan from a mortgage lender
  • This may be due to not being able to prove income or due to the fact that he or she might have had a recent bankruptcy and/or foreclosure

Waiting Period After Bankruptcy And Housing Event

Until recently, there were no loan programs without waiting period requirements after foreclosure and bankruptcy. The Gustan Cho Team offers NON-QM Loans. NON-QM Loans have no waiting period after housing event and bankruptcy. Prior to the launch on non-qm mortgages, home buyers had to meet minimum waiting period requirements after foreclosure and/or bankruptcy on government and conventional loans.

  • There are mandatory waiting periods after a bankruptcy and/or foreclosure to qualify for government and conventional loans
  • There is a mandatory two year waiting after the date of Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge to qualify for FHA, VA, USDA Loans
  • There is a mandatory three year waiting period after a foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or short sale for a home buyer to qualify for a FHA and USDA Loans
  • Waiting periods for conventional loans after a bankruptcy and/or foreclosure is much longer
  • There is a four year waiting period after Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharged date for a home buyer to qualify for conventional loans
  • There is a seven year waiting period for a home buyer to qualify for a conventional loan after a regular foreclosure
  • A home buyer can qualify to purchase a home via a conventional loan after four years of a deed in lieu of foreclosure and/or short sale with 5% down payment
  • There is a two year waiting period to qualify for VA Loans after foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, short sale.

Again, there are no waiting period to qualify for NON-QM Loans after a housing event or bankruptcy.

Advantages Of Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts

The advantages for sellers in offering Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts is that they can normally get a higher sales price for their home.

  • Sellers can just charge interest only until the home buyer can qualify for traditional financing
  • Since home buyers on Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts have limited financing sources, home sellers can normally get the full amount of the asking price of their home
  • Sellers who have homes in dire need of repair can have Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts home buyer do the repairs
  • Homes in dire need of repairs are difficult to get financing
  • So no home buyer with a traditional mortgage loan approval will not qualify for the subject property financing

What Are Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts?

Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts are often referred as contracts for deed.

  • Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts are security agreements between a home seller and a home buyer
  • The seller agrees to sell their home via owner financing to the home buyer
  • The seller holds legal title
  • The home buyer receives equitable title
  • The seller can have an existing lien on his or her home
  • Or have the property free and clear of any mortgages
  • Once the home buyer can secure traditional financing or have the cash to pay the sales agreement of the land contract, the seller then pays off any liens that the seller may have on the property and the balance in equity goes to the home seller

If Seller Has An Existing Lien Of The Property: All Inclusive Land Contracts Also Known As Wrap Around Land Contracts

If the seller has an existing mortgage from a lender and offers the home buyer a Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts, it is also known as wrap around sale land contract.

  • The home buyer of the land contract makes one payment to the home seller
  • The seller accepts full payment
  • Upon receipt of payment, the seller makes the payment to the seller’s mortgage company for the lien of the property and may keep the overage
  • If the payment agreement is less the existing mortgage payment to the seller’s lender, then the seller needs to cough up the difference and pay the mortgage company

Pros And Cons On Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts

Real estate land contracts can be a win win situation for both home buyers and home sellers if structured the right way and if both parties honor their ends of the bargain.

  • For home buyers who had just had a bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or short sale,  Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts gives the home buyer the opportunity to become homeowners again
  • Home Buyers can become homeowners again without going through the mandatory two or three year waiting periods mandated to qualify for government and conventional loans
  • Home Buyers can qualify for NON-QM Loans with no waiting period after housing event and/or bankruptcy
  • However, 10% to 20% down payment is required

Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts Are Used As Temporary Bridge Loans

For those home buyers who have really bad credit and who cannot qualify due to recent late payments, charge offs, tax liens, judgments, or other recent derogatory credit, it gives the opportunity for the home buyer to have some time to re-establish their credit so they can qualify for a residential mortgage loan:

  • For those who just opened up a business or those self employed individuals who took major writeoffs and cannot qualify for income, it gives them the opportunity to declare income and establish their income and financial profile
  • For sellers, offering a real estate purchase land contract will normally give them the opportunity to sell their home for a higher sales price
  • If the home has major repairs to be done and does not qualify for residential financing, the new land contract home buyer can do the major repairs until it is financeable
  • However, with any other private party sales contracts, there are risks associated for both parties when entering into a real estate purchase land contract

Structuring Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts

Most land contract home sellers will require a down payment from the real estate land contract buyer.

  • The larger the down payment, the less risk the sellers have
  • Typically, a 5% to 10% down payment is required by most Real Estate Purchase Land Contracts sellers
  • It is strongly recommended that both parties are represented by real estate attorneys
  • This is so both parties interests are protected
  • The  home buyer needs to make sure that there is clean title and no liens attached to the property
  • An appraisal is strongly recommended even though the seller will not require it since the seller is not a mortgage lender
  • A home inspection should be done as well to make sure that there are no major defects with the subject property
  • The attorney should make sure that there are no potential risks involved such as the seller not making their mortgage payments on an existing first lien on the property
  • Part or all of the down payment should be escrowed until the home buyer refinances out of the land contract with a traditional mortgage loan
  • Every state has different laws and regulations governing real estate land contract
  • Make sure when entering into a real estate purchase land contract to make all payments with checks
  • When it comes to refinancing to an end mortgage, lenders wants to see canceled checks and/or bank statements
  • Verification of mortgage or rent can be sourced and documented by providing 12 months of cancelled checks and/or bank statements
  • Paying by checks also includes homeowners insurance payments, utilities, and any other payments associated with housing expenses

Retaining Attorneys On Land Contracts

For home sellers, make sure to retain a real estate attorney as well.  Every home buyer has good intent on making their monthly payments but make sure real estate attorney has an exit strategy in the event if the land contract home buyer defaults in their payments or are no longer interested in purchasing or paying off the land contract.  Depending on the state, foreclosure and eviction laws can be extremely costly and time consuming.  The home seller who is also the lender of the land contract, should do their own underwriting by asking them for their credit report, income documentations, and most importantly, make sure they are able to afford the payment agreement. Make sure to fully understand and know their exit strategy.  If structured the right way with the right home buyer, selling home via land contract can be a win win situation for both parties.

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