4 Creative Real Estate Ideas

1. Use a Graduated Payment as an Alternative to a Balloon

Imagine the following mortgage note:

  • 30-year amortization
  • 5-year balloon
  • $100,000 principal balance
  • 8% interest per annum.

The monthly payment would be $733.76 followed by an balloon of $ 95069.86. Verify with our Balloon Calculator.

Will the borrower be able to re-finance this balloon and pay you off? Maybe. But it could be just a foreclosure waiting to happen.

How about though if instead the monthly payments started at $733.76 and increased by $50 a month in the following year and each consecutive year? Then let the mortgage run for 10 years with a balloon after 10 years.

With this scenario, after 10 years the monthly payment is $1,183.76 and the balance just $52.516.41. A much easier sum to re-finance as even if the property has not increased in value, the borrower would have a Loan to Value of just 52%.

2. Seller Hung Up on Price but Carry Mortgage

Pay more for a property but with the seller holding a note at a lower interest rate.

Here is an example:

Compare these 4 offers for the same house and let us assume it would cost you 8% interest on a mortgage to pay the seller all cash:

Total offer 120,000 130,000 140,000 120,000
Down payment 120,000 30,000 20,000 10,000
Seller financing 0 100,00 120,000 110,000
Interest rate n/a 4% 7% 5%
Months n/a 120 240 180
Monthly payment 1012.45 775.30 1028.03
Cash value of income stream at your cost above 120,000 113,448 112,690 117,574

As you can see, you’re better of to pay the seller $140,000 if they will give you a 7% mortgage over 20 years.

We wanted to buy a house from a seller a few years ago for $35,000 cash. They would not accept that. They DID accept $40,000 with $15,000 down and a zero interest loan for $25,000 for 100 monthly payments of $250 each. At a cost of funds to us of 8% this was the equivalent of paying $33,204 for the house.

3. Real Estate Agent take Note for Commission

I already hear you saying, I won’t do that, I want cash to pay my bills. And anyway, what if the buyer doesn’t pay me?

But what if the listing is about to expire and it’s a choice between carry a note or get zip?

Most agents make the mistake of allowing the commission note to be in 3rd position, behind the bank and the seller carry back note. Instead, it is reasonable to require your note is AHEAD of the sellers. See this difference:

Scenario One Scenario Two
$100,000 Sale Price $100,000 Sale Price
$70,000 New First Mortgage $70,000 New First Mortgage
$10,000 Down Payment from Buyer $10,000 Down Payment from Buyer
$13,000 Second Mortgage to Seller (Private Seller Financing $7,000 Second Mortgage to Broker for Commission
$7,000 Third Mortgage to Broker for Commission $13,000 Third Mortgage to Seller (Private Seller Financing)

The broker’s mortgage in scenario two is MUCH more saleable and has a lower risk.

4. Seller takes Second and a Third, Sells Second, keeps Third

Here the seller wants more cash than the buyer has.

The house is worth $150,000.

Seller Wants Buyer Wants
Value $150,000 $150,000
Price Rec'vd/Paid $147,000 $150,000
Down $20,000 $20,000
New 1st Loan $100,000 $100,000
Seller Holds $30,000 $30,000

All the seller has to do to receive an extra $7,000 in cash is to split the note he is going to carry into a 2nd of $10,000 and a third of $20,000.

He can now sell his $10,000 note for $7,000 cash at closing and end up with his $147,000. it makes no difference to the buyer, who will still be paying a total of $150,000, except he will have to write an extra check every month to the holder of the second mortgage (that was sold for cash).