Top 10 Creative Financing Techniques

Sometimes a loan from your bank isn’t going to meet your needs. Below are ten techniques to get your creative financing wheels turning!

  1. Interest-only loans — If you are an investor looking to purchase, rehab, and sell a property quickly, an interest-only loan may make sense. This financing allows you to make small payments at the beginning of the loan, leaving more money for renovations. When you sell the property for a profit, you can pay off the loan in full, having paid only a small amount of interest.
  2. Seller carry-back — Also known as owner-financing, the seller of the property agrees to finance the property outright. They transfer the title to you in exchange for a promissory note and deed of trust for the full purchase price of the property.
  3. Seller second mortgages — If the buyer can obtain a loan, but not for the full price of the property, sometimes a seller second mortgage is what is needed to make the transaction possible. In this case, the bank mortgage pays the seller for the bulk of the amount owed (for example 80 percent), and the seller deeds the property to the purchaser in exchange for a promissory note for the amount of the balance remaining (in this example 20 percent).
  4. Contract for deed — Similar to seller carry-back, a contract for deed is another method of owner- financing. The difference under a contract for deed is that the seller retains title to the property until the mortgage has been paid in full.
  5. Private mortgages — Private mortgages work like mortgages from a bank, but since the lender is an independent entity, they can follow different guidelines for lending. Interest rates are often higher, but this creative mortgage technique allows more borrowers to qualify for a loan.
  6. Assume payments — If you can find a seller who needs to sell a property quickly and has financing in place, you can assume the seller’s payments, often with little or no down payment.
  7. Short sales — A short sale is when a seller markets the property for less than the amount owed against it and the lien-holder agrees to accept that amount as payment in full. This is often done to avoid the credit implications and costs of foreclosure. Purchasing short sales allows you to purchase property at a discounted price. The resulting immediate equity in the property makes this a wonderful creative financing strategy!
  8. Lease options — A lease option allows the buyer to rent the property for a given amount of time, with a portion of their rent credited toward the purchase price of the home. At the end of the lease, the buyer has the option to purchase the property at the amount agreed upon when the lease was created.
  9. Retirement accounts — Most retirement accounts will allow you to borrow from yourself and repay the funds over time at a low interest rate. What a great creative financing resource!
  10. Loans from family and friends — Friends and family may be willing to invest in your business in the form of personal loans. Talk to the people around you, share your enthusiasm and your needs, and perhaps “Aunt Jan’s” loan will be the next option in your creative financing approach.

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