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 Leverage

It 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 money

The 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.

Flexible

Lease 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 Risk

It 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 fee

Future 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 = $3,700

Profit #2: monthly cash flow from rental payments

The 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 written

The 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 market

The 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.

The Myth of Real Estate Investing and 7 Ways to Make the Most Money From Your Property Investment

Investing in Real Estate has become urban legend the myths abound about how much you can increase your wealth by investing in real estate and in particular residential real estate, so much so that the average Joe believes that making money and creating wealth when it comes to real estate is a given and in alienable right so to speak.

Average mums and dads are jumping onto the real estate bandwagon with no knowledge or training in the fundamentals of investing. These folks are fed the myth that using their equity from their family home will miraculously make them into real estate tycoons, all to often these poor misguided souls end up losing the home and everything else in their pursuit of real estate’s Eldorado.

To perpetuate the myth these naive investors are advised to hold on to their real estate investments for ten years or longer, this is great in theory if you are in your twenties and do not need the profits in the immediate sh rt term to help fund a decent retirement, unfortunately when you look at the demographics of these investors they are in their fifties with plenty of equity in their family homes most usually own their family home and have neglected doing any thing for their retirement till now and in horror discover that they will not be able to have their current lifestyle on the pension.

Little wonder real estate investment seminars are packed with these late bloomers all hoping to make a fortune by investing in residential real estate, the seminar presenters ensure that is all these folks here, after all this is a valuable gravy train.

Try this little trick next time a telemarketer calls and asks you to attend a real estate investment seminar, and the telemarketer asks you if you own your own home and how much equity you have in it, reply by saying that you have none, I will guarantee that before the word none leaves your mouth they have hung up on you, interesting isn’t it?

Tragically no one is told when a real estate investment has gone bad or failed to perform as happens on a daily basis with the stock market, why is this so? One of the major reasons are the volumes of money that Governments, Banks and marketers make from selling the residential investment myth, that is also the reason why Governments have been loathe to legislate that investors under go an investment training program before they can invest, as once the myth is busted the gravy train will not be as plentiful and the flow on effect into allied industries would be catastrophic.

This myth is well and truly busted as you can loose everything from a failed real estate investment and there are no such things as guaranteed growth with out doing some work for it.

Here are 7 simple ways to maximize your money from real estate investment

1. Know your profit before you buy

Do your due diligence and find out if the price you are paying is below market value, a simple rule is can you resell this property today for a profit and if so how much.

2. Type of Neighborhood?

The community surrounding the property can change in a variety of ways that can adversely affect your real estate income property. Increasing vacancy, for instance, can lead to reduced rents, which in turn means reduced maintenance causing building deterioration, This can cause a roll on effect if more properties start to decline in the whole neighborhood,compounding the problem.

The nearby construction of facilities such as prisons, sewer treatment plants, and airports will also likely have an adverse effect on the area. Also, perhaps more subtle and slower in coming, is a decline due to increased crime, perhaps resulting from an adjoining neighborhood spill over. If you still want to invest here find out what it is that makes it special that everyone else has over seen, often gems are discovered with a little digging,

3. Impact of poor or neglected Infrastructure

The impact of being directly under the flight path of airplanes, construction of a major highway or intersection can limit access to the property, cause noise and dirt by the construction and all this can have a negative impact on the property’s ability to attract and keep tenants. The end result may be an increase in your investment real estate value, but construction and major works can take up to a year or more and during that time you could expect your real estate investment value to drop. Or worse still the infrastructure is neglected and the local authority does not have the Tax base to start remedial works to bring it up to standard,

4.Controls

Governmental controls and regulatory changes to zoning can adversely impact real estate investment properties. Real Estate investors that purchase raw land for development, for instance, can see their plans grind to a halt because of a building moratorium or anti-development sentiment. All of which results in downturn in value.

5. Finance

Difficulty obtaining finance or the lenders require more of your capital to top up your borrowings,yers for your rental property if you decide to sell, This type of condition is prevalent at the moment as lenders are devaluing the amount that they are willing to lend against real estate, in most instances I have seen lenders valuations or real estate down by up to 30% to 40% of the contract price depending on the region this could be higher again, this trend should alert the investor that the deal they think is great may not be so great after all, unfortunately marketers have this covered as they are dealing with naive and unsophisticated investors by saying that the lenders always value the property for less, if that is what some one lending you money says about your intended investment wouldn’t it be prudent to listen and renegotiate or if that is not possible walk away from the deal.

6. Lack of or no maintenance.

If your property is the run down, get it brought back up to a good condition. This will make it more appealing to prospective tenants

7. Pressure to sell

Highly motivated sellers may reduce a property to a bargain basement price and smart investors watch for property owners who must sell to take advantage of the owner’s strong motivation to quit the property. Always try to avoid ever reaching the moment when you are forced to sell.

These are just of many tips I use to maximize my profits from my real estate investments and so can you.

Real Estate Investment Clubs

The real estate investment clubs provide tremendous resources for both beginners and experienced real estate investors. The real estate investment club is a place to meet and network with other investors. Patient and skillful application of investment knowledge and information is required for a successful real estate investing. For success in real estate, there should be a combination of the power of investing knowledge and the power of market information. A real estate investment club through its thoroughly researched real estate investment ideas can arm you with all the necessary information to invest wisely in real estate.

As the competition in the field of real estate are high, Real estate investors need to keep themselves updated constantly on the new trends and developments in real estate investment. There can be new laws and taxes governing real estate. All this is hard to maintain if you are not a full time real estate investor. A real estate investment club is then the ideal place for you. All issues regarding real estate investment can be discussed and sorted out through the medium of real estate investment clubs. Being a part of an experienced and efficient real estate investment club in itself should form a part of the strategy to become a successful real estate investor.

Details regarding all other aspects of investments related to real estate like mortgage investments can be discussed in real estate investment clubs. The real estate club members bring out several publications to guide real estate and home buyers. Most real estate club members also provide information through Internet. Today, there are several different real estate software programs available in the market to help real estate investors. Before selecting software, you can discuss it with your real estate club members as some of them might have already used it and have opinions on it. A good real estate investment club can act as a good forum to clear all your doubts regarding real estate investment.