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The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Getting A Contract For Deed For Your Home Loan

Nov 23, 2007
Using a contract for deed for a home loan may be very advantageous for both the buyer and the seller, provided that it is prepared properly and smoothly.

Contracts that are not really drafted well might cause great difficulties that could affect either parties for many years ahead. Thus it is very important for both the seller and the buyer to carefully scrutinize all the limitations and possibilities afforded by the contract for deed prior to finally subjecting themselves to the arrangement, which is most effectively done with the assistance of different attorneys.

What is a contract for deed?

A contract for deed is basically the agreement to sell and buy a real estate property wherein the seller will hold the title until the time when the contract's provisions have been filled, usually upon full payment of the property. In this case, the buyer may already occupy the property and make the payments as stipulated. Upon completion of payment the seller will pass the title by recording the deed.

How does the contract for deed affect the buyer?

Contract for deed helps buyers save a lot of resources that they can allocate for other things. This happens primarily because the down payment involved with contracts for deed is usually very low, making it quite easier for buyers to be acquire ownership of real estate without having to expend much of their capital. This leaves them with more capital left that they can use to earn more resources or in other necessary activities.

However, since the down payment for contracts for deed is very small, this translates to higher rates for the remaining balance, which then means that a larger part of the principal price would be covered by the interest. This also gives the tendency for the amounts payable to be high as well, especially if the contract is written for a short duration.

Buyers would have no guarantee that they would be able to handle the amounts needed for payments in the future. For this, buyers should be certain about the cash flow they would get throughout the duration of their contract for deed. Otherwise, the property might get forfeited by the seller easily when the buyer is unable to do its part since the title is already with the seller.

Nevertheless, this agreement is still more secure for the buyer especially when compared to renting the property. The buyer may have the contract written to an heir or spouse that greatly eliminates the chance that the property would be divided should an estate settlement proceeding should be called for.

How does it affect the seller?

A great benefit of the contract for deed for the seller is that it allows the distribution of the tax reports for capital gains during sales over the contract period instead of just in the year the property was sold. While this does not at all entail the altering of the entire amount of the capital gains report, it typically allows the seller to make substantial tax savings.

As mentioned earlier, this agreement provides the seller the legal title for the property, as well as the deed. The property automatically belongs to the seller should the buyer fail to fulfill the provisions in the contract. All the payments made for the property would also be retained by the seller.

Some sellers see contract of deeds as the only way they can sell some of their properties that are difficult to vend. Most of such properties are those that could not conform with the traditional guidelines for lending.

However, the seller might not benefit from the low down payment allowed by the contract. If immediate money is a priority for the seller then this is something that a contract for deed would not be able to give. This arrangement may not be beneficial for sellers who need money more than they need tax breaks.

Depending on the situation, contract for deed may be a great arrangement for your home loan. However, before making any agreement of this kind, you must get sound advice from people who are knowledgeable about the topic. To know more about contracts for deed, you may get some consultation from your real estate lawyer and other real estate experts.
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