Re: I DONT GET IT! - Posted by eric-fl
Posted by eric-fl on January 30, 2002 at 15:54:16:
First off, as many here will tell you, if this strategy makes you uncomfortable, then don’t do it. Simple. Just find another strategy that works for you. There’s lot’s of ways to make $$ in real estate, you don’t have to use this one if you don’t want to.
Second, to speak broadly to your points: The first being refinancing. IF the loan does get called, and IF you then have to refinance (note: even if a bank discovers a DOS violation, that doesn’t mean they will call the loan, especially if rates are lower, as they now are), that doesn’t “erase your profit potential”.
For example: Suppose I buy a house worth 100k FMV, for 90k, subject to the first (mortgage). It gets called due by the lender. I refi. I now own the house directly. I can still resell it either outright, or via land contract or l/o, or whatever I was planning on doing in the first place. Certainly this hasn’t wiped out my profit. Yes, I will be out a few thousand on the back end, due to my closing costs on the refi. Otherwise, all conditions are the same. I should still be able to sell the house on a land contract for $105 - $110k, with about 3-5k down, and net a $100-$200/mo positive cash flow until my buyer refi’s or sells. My point is, there’s still profit there.
As to your comment about the buyers for this type of deal, I can only tell you what I know from my own market. In my market, 9 times out of 10, the reason that buyers are considering a deal like this (owner-financed, l/o, land contract, etc.) is because they don’t have any cash. We all know that 3-5k cash on hand is not enough to buy a $100k house through conventional means. That will barely cover a down payment, if you can qualify for a 5% down loan. Then add in closing costs, moving costs, etc. People have done the math on this before calling; they understand why it’s good to get in light. There are plenty of people (again, at least in my market) who have average credit (notice I said average, not poor, not great), can afford the monthly payments, but who, like most people, are living paycheck to paycheck, and thus cannot save the 10k or more in cash that it takes just to buy a house. Unless they want to wait another 2-3 years while they scrimp and save, and why should they, if we can offer them an alternative, with all the same benefits, for just a little more on the back end, today?
Also, understand, I don’t think anyone here is enamored with the idea of assuming loans without telling the bank about it. BUT, federally insured loans used to be freely assumable, but are now just as tough to assume as conventional loans. The process is such that there is really no material benefit in terms of time or cost to assume a loan with qualifying; especially at today’s rates, might as well just get a new loan. Okay, so even that might be ok, BUT, in addition to that, you’re expected to personally sign for every property you buy like this, even if it’s for investment. I’ve got no problem with that, I honestly don’t, but then the same standards of accountability need to be applied to businesses as well. I wonder if the Enron scandal would have occurred if all the board members were held personally liable for any defaults in the company name? Right now, the laws, policies, or whatever are skewed in favor of the larger institutions. So the smaller investor/business find workarounds. This certainly isn’t the only business or endeavor where that occurs. And even if we accept all that, there is still the issue that, for non-occ, no-doc lender financing, you’re still looking at about 10-20% down, (most subject-to deals require less), and, most importantly, they’ll only let you do a certain amount before cutting you off. In theory, there is no such corresponding limit to subject-to deals. You can do as many as you can find.
Taking a loan subject to is neither illegal nor unethical (as long as you tell the seller the risks), it is merely a business strategy which, like all business strategies, has an inherent risk, and it’s a relatively small one at that, in comparison to, say, having all of your retirement savings in one stock, and then having that stock go bankrupt (sorry to harp on that, just trying to make a point.) Ultimately, if this strategy proves to have to much risk for you, then you should not implement it. I don’t think anyone here would argue that point.