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I’m unable get a mortgage. What are my options?

Over and over we hear that it is tough to get a mortgage. If you can’t get a mortgage, what are some other options. What if you want a home, but don’t want a mortgage?

“It’s getting more and more difficult to qualify for a traditional mortgage”, writes CA Hagy in an article titled, “Three Alternatives to a Traditional Mortgage”. What are some reasons why you might be declined? Hagy names a few possible reasons, i.e. a foreclosure in your past, inability to prove a “decent cash flow”, and self employment resulting in “irregular income?”.

If you fall into one of the categories mentioned above, you’re not alone. Hady points out a few mortgage alternatives that might help you meet your goal(s).

One option is to go the route of “Seller Financing”, in which the “current homeowner offers to sell you the house”, and you make payments to them but “they continue to hold the note until you have paid off the home”. Hagy says that for a homeowner that cannot find buyers due to the tight lending situation. Seller Financing may be a “feasible option”. The seller basically becomes the lender, and an agreement is drawn up with the full details of the transaction.

“Borrowing from a Self-Directed IRA”, writes Nagy, is “typically designed for investors who want to buy a home but don’t have the upfront cash to make it happen”. As defined in the article by Nagy, “A self-directed IRA is somewhat like a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA”, however, it’s more flexible, For example, the IRA can invest in real estate, etc, but the “main catch”, as Nagy calls it, that the IRS “does not allow you to use your own account or the account of a relative or business partner”, thus, you “cannot use your own self-directed IRA to purchase a home. But you can use the money from another person’s self-directed IRA if they are not related to you”. Confused? Nagy says that there are many investors “who will allow buyers to use money from their self-directed IRAs as an investment deal”, and the investor would “own an interest in the property”, or, the investor can simply “loan the money like a regular mortgage”.

The other option, “Leasing or Rent to Own”, is something you might be quite familiar with, especially if you are a frequent visitor on our website. In a nutshell, the buyer can rent a home before actually purchasing it. The rent to own arrangement, which is also referred to as lease to buy, lease to own or a lease option, is one in which the buyer has an option to buy the home at a specified price within a specified period of time. This option would also benefit a seller unable to find qualified buyers, and would certainly benefit buyers who need time to save for a down payment and to “improve their credit score”, says Hagy.

Let’s stay on the topic of Renting and Owning for a moment.

“Sometimes it is better to rent than to own”, writes Leah Ingram, in her article, “Rent or Own a Home?”, who admits that “in today’s real estate market it’s not surprising if people are a bit gun shy about buying or owning a home.” and she provides 3 tips to help you decide on renting vs buying.

Ask your self; Do you have documented income, a good credit history, and a steady income? These are some important items to have in order to buy a home, in the first of three tips, courtesy of Jessica Edwards of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, within the article from Ingram. Edwards adds that if your income is unreliable, “getting tied down to a mortgage may not make the most sense financially”.

The next tip is to make a “timeline” of how long you will stay in the home; if it’s just for a couple of years, you are “less likely to see a significant financial return on your investment”, says Edwards, and says that if you stay under 2 years and sell it, “you may find yourself having to pay capital gains taxes”.

“Crunch the numbers”, says Edwards, in her third tip. Add up the mortgage payments real estate taxes, insurance payments, maintenance costs, etc. and compare these costs of ownership vs. the cost of renting (monthly rent and average utilities).

Ingram says that “buying doesn’t always make sense and neither does renting”, and suggests speaking with a “real estate expert, your tax person, and a financial professional” before deciding to rent versus buy a home.

What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear

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