Subject To: Buying a Home With No Cash
You want to buy a home, but you have very little money saved. What are your options?
Traditional mortgages don’t always require large down payments. If you have a good income, stable job and good credit, you should easily be able to get a traditional mortgage, even without a down payment.
However, if your credit is bad, there are still plenty of options for getting into the real estate market. Despite the mortgage-due-on-sale clause, sometimes a buyer can take over payments on an existing mortgage. It is very unlikely a bank will demand the full mortgage, and risk ending up having to deal with a foreclosure, if monthly payments are being made on time. These sales, called “subject to” sales. In these cases, the seller will require a second mortgage to get their equity out of the home. If there is little or no equity in the home, a contract can be arranged wherein the buyer agrees to pay off the sellers mortgage in a set number of years when they in turn sell the home. Often, this deal is made with the promise of a percentage of the buyers profit going to the seller when the home is sold again.
These contracts allow a highly motivated seller to walk away from their mortgage and either easily get a second mortgage, or start fresh, but receive a check in an agreed upon number of years for a percentage of the homes re-sale. As a buyer, you can assume the mortgage, either live in the home or rent it out, then when it has gained equity, sell it and only then give the person you bought it from a small sum.
While subject-to sales sound complicated, they can really be a great deal for both buyers and sellers with little money.