Lease Option Real Estate Investing: Advantages and Disadvantages

One creative way to get started investing in real estate is to use a lease option. The biggest advantage of using lease options to invest in real estate is –control. This method of investing, basically gives the investor the right to possess — be in control of — and profit from a property without owning it.A real estate lease option contract is a combination of two documents.The lease part of the contract is where the owner agrees to let you lease their property, while you pay them rent for a stated period of time. During the lease period, the owner can not raise the rent, rent it to anyone else, or sell the property to anyone else.The option part of the contract represents the right you purchased to buy the property in the future, for a specific price. If you decide to exercise your option to buy, the owner has to sell it to you at the negotiated price. The option part of the contract obligates the seller to sell to you during the option period — but it does not obligate you to buy. You are only obligated to make rental payments as agreed during the lease period.When the lease option contract is written and structured properly, it can provide tremendous benefits and advantages to the investor. If the lease option includes the “right to sub-lease”, the investor can generate a positive cash flow by renting the property to a tenant for the duration of his lease, or lease option the property to a tenant-buyer for positive cash flow and future profits. If the lease option includes a “right of assignment” the investor could assign the contract to another buyer for a quick profit.Lease option real estate investing, is a flexible, low risk, highly leveraged method of investing that can be implemented with little to no money.High LeverageIt is highly leveraged because you are able to gain control of a property and profit from it now–even though you don’t own it yet. The fact that you don’t own it, also limits your personal liability and personal responsibility. Only if you decide to purchase the property by exercising your “option to buy”, would you take title to the property.Little to no moneyThe real estate investor’s cost to implement a lease option contract with the owner requires little to no money out of pocket, because it is entirely negotiable between investor and owner. Also, there are a variety of ways the option fee can be structured. It can be structured on an installment plan, balloon payment or other agreeable arrangement between both parties. The option fee can even be as little as $1.00.In order to secure the property for purchase at a later date, tenant-buyers typically pay a non-refundable option fee of approximately 2%-5% of the negotiated future purchase price to the seller. Depending on how the lease option agreement is written and structured, the investor could possibly use the tenant-buyer’s option fee money to pay any option fee owed to the owner.FlexibleLease option real estate investing is a flexible method of investing because the terms of the agreement, like payment amounts, payment dates, installments, interest rate, interest only payment, balloon payments, purchase price and other terms are all negotiated between seller and buyer. Responsibilities of both parties are also negotiable. For instance, if the investor doesn’t want to act in the capacity of a landlord, he could specify in the lease option agreement that tenant-buyer will be responsible for all minor maintenance and repairs and the original seller will remain responsible for any major repairs.Financially Low RiskIt is low risk financially, because if the property fails to go up enough in value to make a profit, you have the purchased the right to change your mind and let the “option to buy” expire. Even if your tenant-buyer decides not to buy the property, you have profited by a positive monthly cash flow from the tenant-buyer’s rent payments, and upfront non-refundable option fee.Let’s look at an example of a lease with option to buy structured in a way that the investor profits in 3 separate phases of the investment.Profit #1: non-refundable option feeFuture sales price negotiated with the current owner is $125,000 with an option fee of 2% of the sales price. Option Fee you owe the owner is $2,500. The future sales price you set for your tenant-buyer is $155,000 and the option fee is 4% of the sales price. Option fee the tenant-buyer owes you is $6,200. You collect $6,200 from tenant-buyer and pay $2,500 to the owner and your profit = $3,700Profit #2: monthly cash flow from rental paymentsThe Monthly rental payment you negotiated with the owner is $1,000. You set the monthly payment at $1,250 per month for your tenant-buyer. Each month you collect $1,250 from your tenant-buyer and pay the owner $1,000 each month. Your profit is $250 monthly positive cash flow during the lease period.Profit #3: is set up when the lease option contract is initially writtenThe third profit is the difference in the negotiated future purchase price with the owner, and the future purchase price set for your tenant-buyer. Let’s say the property goes up in value to appraise for at least $155,000. Your tenant-buyer decides to exercise their option to buy. You buy the property from the owner at $125,000 and then sell it to your tenant-buyer for $155,000. $155,000 – the $125,000 you pay to the owner = $30,000 profit.Of course the key to making lease option real estate investing work, is finding motivated sellers and buyers. Finding these motivated sellers and buyers shouldn’t be difficult. The continuing down turn in the real estate market, has created a large number of sellers who can’t sell their property and buyers who can’t get financing to buy. The seller could possibly get a fair offer to be paid in the future, by selling their property to a real estate investor on a lease option basis. A potential tenant-buyer could obtain home ownership, without having to qualify through traditional home loan guidelines.One disadvantage of lease option real estate investing, involves the tenant or tenant-buyer possibly defaulting on monthly rental payments. This would make it necessary for the investor to come up with money out of pocket to pay the owner, and possibly have to proceed with eviction process. However, there are certain provisions that can made, and also various “contract clauses”, that can be included in the lease option agreement, to deter buyers from defaulting on payments.If the investor fails to do “due diligence” before entering into a lease option agreement, he could end up with a property that is unmarketable. There could be a number of liens on it, issues involving ownership of the property or it might be in foreclosure. By diligently performing research before entering into a lease option agreement, the investor can avoid these mistakes. A few things the investor could do is– perform background and credit checks on both the seller and buyer, search public records in reference to ownership and property status, or do a title search.Despite the few disadvantages, lease option real estate investing continues to be an excellent way to invest in real estate with little to no money and low financial risks. It also remains to be an excellent way to gain control of a property you don’t own, to generate cash flow now, and possible future profits on flexible terms.Bottom line– you don’t have to miss out on the lucrative profits being made by investors in today’s real estate marketThe more you understand creative real estate investing strategies, and apply them now, the more profits you will make in today’s real estate market. Don’t put off getting the real estate investing education you need — to succeed in today’s real estate market.Learn these things and more:
Creative investing strategies and concepts for Lease option real estate investing, foreclosure investing, and wholesaling and flipping real estate.
How to structure every deal right so you make more on each deal and eliminate your risk.
What needs to be included in your real estate contracts now– to safely avoid issues that could cost you thousands!
The most powerful legal clauses you can use to completely eliminate your risk in all your offers.
The step by step approach to invest in real estate with minimal risk.
How and where to research properties effectively to save hundreds of hours in time.
The best ways to creatively finance your investment properties.
How to know the true market value of properties so you never overpay again.
How to control properties with no money, credit or income verifications so you can make a lot more.

Live The Dream With a Second Home Abroad

Buying a second property abroad can seem like a distant daydream, or if you’re the nervous type, fraught with difficulties and a potential disaster. Realistically, it can be a bit of both: there are pitfalls to watch out for, but if you’re wise it could be a fantastic investment and a lot of fun.There are several reasons to consider buying a second property and it’s important to consider what you need and want to use it for. Perhaps you’re looking for a tranquil, rustic paradise in which to spend holidays or to move to after your retirement; or do you want to make money by letting out your property when you’re not there? Sometimes it’s a good idea for a group of several friends to club together to buy a holiday home and then take it in turns to stay there, sharing the costs of upkeep and any improvements.First of all, be clear on what your priorities are. It’s not as simple as just choosing a country, although of course that’s a very important decision and probably the first one you’ll need to make. Next up, think about the specific location; do you want your property to be near the beach, the city and shops, the airport, the golf course? Or away from it all in some secluded beauty spot? After deciding these, you’ll need to consider what the actual property should be like – flat, house, or mansion? How much space and how many bedrooms do you need, and would you like a large garden, grounds, farmland or a vineyard, a swimming pool perhaps… or is that just going to be too much work?Giving serious thought to questions like these, and having clear priorities in mind before you start looking, will help you avoid the trap of snapping up the first place you fall in love with, which might not turn out to be right for you in the long term and mean overlooking better deals.Make sure you have a firm grasp of the language, culture and legal issues relating to the buying process in your country of choice. This will generally involve speaking to expert local solicitors as well as your financial advisor at home. It always makes sense to get as much expert help on board as possible, but be aware before you begin that you’ll need to budget for the costs of this advice in addition to taxes, travel and other expenses.Also, on top of the price of the property, there will be ongoing costs such as bills, property taxes and charges for maintenance and upkeep of the home. Have the property surveyed so you know if there are any outstanding repairs or renovations needed, then work out what the probable costs of these are and whether you really want to take them on. Most of us aren’t sitting on a big pile of cash to invest, but if you’re keen to get what you have into overseas property then consider the various secured loans available against your current home; by taking out a loan, you could own your dream home now and enjoy it while repaying the loan over many years.