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Unlocking the Power of Subject-To Real Estate Deals

Are you looking for a way to acquire real estate without the need for traditional bank financing? Then you might want to consider Subject-To transactions. These deals allow you to take over existing mortgages, avoiding the hassle of obtaining a new loan. Let’s dive into the ins and outs of Subject-To deals and discover how you can build your real estate portfolio without using your own cash or credit.

What is a Subject-To Transaction?

Buying Properties with Subject-To Deals

Subject-To transactions involve buying a property while taking over the existing mortgage. Instead of obtaining a new loan, you continue making payments on the seller’s loan, which remains in their name. This method is an excellent strategy for real estate investors who want to acquire properties without the need for new financing.

Benefits of Subject-To Deals

  • No New Financing Needed: Avoid the lengthy approval process and stringent requirements of new loans.
  • Take Over Low-Interest Loans: Benefit from existing loans with lower interest rates, often better than what you might get as an investor.
  • Expand Portfolio Easily: Grow your real estate holdings without using your own cash or affecting your credit score.

Understanding Traditional Financing

Key Players in Traditional Financing

  • Homeowner/Borrower: The person buying the property and taking out a loan.
  • Lender/Bank: The institution providing the loan.

Documentation Involved

  • Promissory Note: This outlines the terms of the loan, including the repayment schedule and interest rate.
  • Mortgage/Deed of Trust: This secures the loan with the property as collateral.
  • Ownership vs. Debt Obligation: Understand that ownership of the property and the obligation to repay the loan are separate.

Subject-To Structure

Acquiring the Property

  • Warranty Deed: Transferred from the seller to the investor, giving you ownership of the property.
  • Deed of Trust to Secure Performance (DTSP): This is recorded to protect the seller if the investor fails to make payments.

Lien Positions

  • First Position: Held by the existing lender.
  • Second Position: Held by the seller, protecting their interests through the DTSP.

Making Payments to the Lender

  • Direct Payments: You make the mortgage payments directly to the lender.
  • Authorization to Release Information: Obtain this from the seller to communicate with the lender.
  • Power of Attorney: Secure this to manage issues related to the loan and property.

State Laws on Subject-To Transactions

Each state has specific laws governing Subject-To transactions. Ensure compliance by understanding these regulations.

Working with Real Estate Attorneys

Collaborate with attorneys experienced in real estate and Subject-To deals. They will guide you through the legal complexities.

Expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,750 for attorney fees to draft and manage the necessary contracts and disclosures.

The Foreclosure Escape

Appealing to Distressed Sellers

Target sellers facing foreclosure. Present Subject-To deals as a way to avoid foreclosure and save their credit.

Bringing the Loan Current

Part of your deal might involve catching up on overdue payments to bring the loan current.

Allowing Sellers to Rebuild Credit

Your payments will reflect positively on the seller’s credit report, helping them rebuild their credit over time.

Addressing the Due-on-Sale Clause

Understanding the Clause

The Due-on-Sale clause gives lenders the right, but not the obligation, to call the loan due if the property is sold.

Lenders Want Their Payments

Lenders are primarily interested in receiving payments. As long as payments are made, they are unlikely to call the loan.

Situations Where Lenders Call the Note

  • Major Insurance Changes: Removing the seller’s name from the insurance policy can trigger the clause.
  • Bank Acquisitions: New bank policies might enforce the clause.
  • Payment Delinquency: Missing payments may prompt the lender to call the loan due.

Proper Insurance Setup

Structuring the Insurance Policy

  • Primary Mortgagee: The existing lender.
  • Primary Insured: The seller.
  • Secondary Insured: You, the investor.

Importance of Correct Policy Structure

Ensure the insurance policy lists all parties correctly to avoid triggering the Due-on-Sale clause.

Finding Subject-To Leads

Sources of Leads

  • Foreclosure Lists: Sellers facing foreclosure are prime candidates.
  • Probate/Inherited Properties: Heirs may want to sell quickly.
  • Other Sources: Networking, public records, and real estate agents.

Pitching Subject-To to Sellers

Explaining the Process

Clearly explain how Subject-To works and how it benefits the seller.

Addressing Seller Concerns

Reassure sellers about their credit, the security of the transaction, and their continued financial liability.

Highlighting Seller Benefits

Focus on the benefits: avoiding foreclosure, saving credit, and potentially receiving some cash.

Selling with Owner Financing

Difference Between Subject-To and Owner Financing

Subject-To is an acquisition method, while Owner Financing is a disposition strategy.

Wrap-Around Mortgages

This involves selling the property with a new loan while keeping the existing loan in place.

Finding Buyers for Owner-Financed Properties

There is a strong market for owner-financed homes, especially among buyers who cannot qualify for traditional loans.

Key Takeaways

Subject-To transactions offer a unique and powerful way to acquire real estate without the need for traditional financing. By understanding the process, legal requirements, and how to pitch these deals to sellers, you can significantly expand your portfolio with minimal out-of-pocket costs. Whether you’re dealing with foreclosures, inherited properties, or other lead sources, Subject-To deals provide a flexible and profitable strategy for savvy investors.

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