Arizona Homes for Lease Option Home Purchase

Arizona Phoenix Homes For Lease Purchase / Lease Option / Rent To Own in Phoenix AZ. Surrounding cities include Gilbert, Queen Creek and Mesa.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lease/Option vs. Contract for Deed

Lease/Option vs. Contract for Deed
by Attorney William Bronchick

Many investors are generally familiar with the concepts lease option and contract for deed (aka "installment land contract"). Many real estate investors confuse the two, and this article will help you understand the tax, legal, and practical issues between the two.

Lease Options

First, let’s start with the lease option, which is really two things, a lease and a purchase option. A lease is a contract for the use and possession of land, creating a landlord/tenant (or "lessor/lessee") relationship.

A purchase option is a unilateral agreement wherein the optionor ("seller") agrees to give the optionee ("buyer") the exclusive right to the purchase the leased premises. The option price is generally set at a fixed price at the inception of the lease, although it does not have to be. At any time during the option period (which generally corresponds to the lease period), the tenant can exercise his option to purchase.

An option is not the same as a regular purchase contract, which is a bilateral agreement. A bilateral contract legally binds both parties to the agreement, whereas an option only binds the seller. An optionee is not bound to buy; it is his option do so (or not to do so).

A lease with option arrangement is not a sale, but rather a landlord-tenant relationship. In rare cases, a court may re-characterize the transaction as a sale if it looks like a sale. Furthermore, the IRS does not classify a real estate lease option as a sale until the option is exercised (see, Tax Court Memorandum 1999-11).

Contract for Deed

A contract for deed (aka "installment land contract") is an agreement wherein the buyer makes installment payments on an arrangement similar to an automobile financing. The seller holds legal title to the property as security for payment, while the buyer has "equitable" title. When the buyer pays the full amount due under the contract, the seller delivers legal title to the buyer.

Equitable title gives the buyer the right to live in the property, improve it, rent it and otherwise enjoy all of the benefits of arizona real estate ownership. However, since the buyer does not have legal title, he cannot use it as collateral for a home equity loan (although in some states, banks will lend against an equitable interest in a contract for deed).

The IRS generally treats a contract for deed as a sale, which means the buyer has the tax benefits of ownership. Thus, the payments of interest that are made by the buyer in possession are deductible as mortgage interest, even though the buyer does not have legal title to the property. A contract for deed seller must report the transaction as an installment sale on form IRS Form 6252. Once sold, the seller cannot claim depreciation or any other tax benefits of the property. If the buyer defaults on the contract and the seller exercises his legal option to reclaim the property, the tax code treats the transaction as a foreclosure.

The legal process for repossession of the property is not entirely clear in every state. Some state statutes (e.g., IL, TX & PA) clearly spell out the process, which is somewhat more involved than an eviction, but clearly less burdensome than a full-blown az foreclosure. In most states, the process is not clearly defined, so courts deal with a buyer’s default on a case-by-case basis.

Which is Better?

In summary, the lease option is a landlord-tenant relationship until the purchase is complete; the contract for deed is a sale at the inception of the agreement. In rare cases a court may re-characterize lease option transaction as a contract for deed, but this is limited to situations where the transaction looks like sale (as in the case of a long-term lease option with a declining balance purchase price).

Which formula is better? It depends on the situation and your goals.

A lease option transaction is not a sale, so you will benefit from market appreciation if the tenant declines to exercise his option to purchase. A contract for deed sale will allow you to get more a down payment from the buyer, since it feels more like a sale. In higher-priced neighborhoods the rents may not command enough rent to cover your underlying mortgage payments.

A contract for deed sale will allow you to collect interest payments, which are generally more than you could collect in rent. On the other hand, a property sold is already sold for tax purposes; thus, you cannot use a 1031 tax-deferred exchange on a property sold by contract for deed when the buyer pays off the debt balance. The entire balance paid on the contract will be due as a capital gain, which can be a huge tax liability if you have a low basis in the property. Furthermore, a defaulting buyer on a contract for deed is generally harder to get out of the property, particularly in a court proceeding

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How to Improve Your Credit Score

How to Improve Your Credit Score




By JAY ROMANO


DO you know your credit score? If you do — and if you don't, you should — you may be able to improve it in just a few months.


"The credit score is a significant factor used by lenders to determine both the interest rate and type of loan program a borrower is eligible for," said Oded Ben-Ami, a senior loan officer for Sterling National Mortgage in Great Neck, N.Y. "And there are circumstances in which even one point either way can make a difference."


The credit score, which ranges from 300 to 850, is basically a quantification of an individual's creditworthiness. Generally, people with scores below 620 are considered poor risks, and those with scores above 680 are considered acceptable risks. The median score in the United States is 723; typically, the higher the score, the lower the mortgage rate a consumer will pay.


The Fair Isaac Corporation, a Minneapolis data management company, developed the formula that is applied to raw data in consumer credit files of the three large credit-reporting bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. The result is known as the FICO score.


Craig Watts, the public affairs manager for Fair Isaac, said the factors considered include whether debts are paid on time, what type of credit has been granted in the past, how much of the available credit has been used, and whether there are any judgments, foreclosures, bankruptcies or liens.


While a FICO score is based upon several years of credit history, consumers may be able to raise their scores fairly quickly. Gerri Detweiler, a spokeswoman for an online consumer financial service called EverydayWealth.com, said the first step is to get a current credit report from each of the three bureaus. "If there are mistakes that are damaging your credit, you have a right to get them off" by writing to the company that issued the report, she said.


For example, Ms. Detweiler said, late-payment information more than seven years old should not be included. (Bankruptcies, tax liens and court judgments are not subject to the seven-year limit.)


Another way to improve a score is to reduce the balance on credit cards that are near their limit. And while the most improvement will result if the balance is actually paid down, it may be possible to improve your score by transferring some charges to a card with a low balance.


Those considering taking out a mortgage in the next few months should avoid making substantial charges to credit cards, even if they plan to pay the full balance.


"What the report shows is a snapshot of a specific moment in time," Ms. Detweiler said. If the report is issued before the balance is paid, it could make you appear less creditworthy than you actually are.


Another strategy that may increase a credit score is "piggybacking." Consumers who do not have much of a credit history will not have a good credit score, Ms. Detweiler explained, even if the history they do have is good. But if they are added as an authorized user on a card issued to someone else — a parent, perhaps — the credit history of that card may be reflected on the user's credit report as well.


Mr. Watts of Fair Isaac said that one thing consumers should avoid in trying to improve their scores is to close old accounts. Since the FICO formula takes into consideration how long a consumer has had a particular credit account, closing a longstanding account could damage the score. And since the formula factors in the ratio of used credit to available credit, closing an account will increase that ratio and could reduce the score.


Once a year, consumers can obtain a free copy of their credit report from each bureau by going to annualcreditreport.com. The FICO score based on a specific credit report, along with a copy of that report, is available for $14.95 from myfico.com, a Fair Isaac Web site.



Arizona real estate rent to own

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Benefits of the Lease Option Program

A Few Benefits of the Real Estate Lease Option Program in Arizona

Faster Equity Growth - Equity can accumulate much faster than with conventional financing.

Rent Credit - Money is working towards the purchase of the home each month that you pay rent on time and will be credited towards your down payment or taken off the sales price.

Option Consideration - This is credited towards the purchase of the home when you execute your option. This money is your vested interest in the home and will be fully credited (100%) to your down payment.

Minimum Cash Needed - When you purchase a home conventionally, you must pay closing costs, pre-paids and a down payment. With a lease option contract, you pay only the first month's rent and an option deposit. This will save you a lot of money.

Closing Costs Are Delayed - Your closing costs will be delayed (not avoided) until you actually close on the home.

Profits from Appreciation – When you exercise your option, not only will you have equity from your option and rent credits but most houses come with an equity split, meaning you will also receive a percentage of the equity from appreciation in the property.

Buying Power - Your buying power is drastically increased. You can get into a Lease-Option home for as little as the first month's rent and the Option fee. Compare that to a lender who requires 10-20% down plus closing costs and pre-pays.

Credit Problems ok - Qualification restrictions are not as strict as conventional financing. You will be approved at the sole discretion of Complete Real Estate Solutions, LLC.

No Taxes, Less Liability - Since you do not own the home yet, you will not have to pay property taxes and your liability exposure will be drastically reduced.

Time before you actually buy the home - You will have time to repair your credit, find the best financing available, investigate the home and research the neighborhood

Quick Move In Time - Move in time is typically less than one week compared to conventional move in times of one to three months from the time the offer was made.






Real Estate Arizona, Buy a home az, buying a house az, lease option, rent to own

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

How Does a Lease Option Work?

Lease Options, Purchase Real Estate, Arizona, Phoenix Rent To Own, AZ Lease Option



QUESTION:

How do lease options work and what are the benefits?

ANSWER:
A lease option is an arrangement with you and a seller to exercise the option to buy a house after you have rented it for a specific period. A portion of your rent would applied toward the purchase if the option is exercised. This is referred to as rent credit, which most institutional lenders will accept as part of the down payment if rental payments exceed the market rent and if a valid lease-purchase agreement is in effect, a copy of which must be attached to the loan application.
If you are a seller, lease options can give you several advantages, especially in a slow market. These include a monthly rent higher than market rent, top-market value for the property and tax-free use of the option consideration until the option expires or is exercised. Also, the renter is more likely to treat the property like an owner, tax-free use of option consideration until the option expires or is exercised.
Read any lease-option arrangement carefully for details on transferring the option and other important concerns.
QUESTION:
What is a lease option?
ANSWER:
When a renter signs a lease with an option to purchase a property for a specific price within a certain time frame, that is called a lease option. In most lease-option situations, a portion of the rent is applied to a future down payment.
Lease options are most popular among buyers who don't have enough funds for a down payment and closing costs.
Where do I get information on lease options?
ANSWER:
Contact your real estate agent (some even specialize in such transactions) or read up on lease options at the public library. If you have a real estate attorney, ask if he or she has any prepared information you can review. Most bookstores have a fairly hefty real estate book section these days. Many current real estate books have at least a section on lease options.
If you are considering a lease option, be sure you do your homework first. And have an attorney or financial advisor on hand to review any paperwork before you sign.
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Monday, April 03, 2006

How to Stop Paying Rent Forever...

Paying rent is like pouring money down the drain. But it’s true, buying a home can be a “hair-raising” experience. It can be a roller coaster of emotions... finding the right place... securing the loan... moving in. And if you’re like most of us, your home will be your largest investment. The emotions over such a large and personal purchase can often cloud good business judgment.

Many home buyers do very little research before “diving in” and investing their hard-earned money. Before doing that, it make sense to be as informed as possible. That’s what this report is all about. It’s designed to help you avoid 10 common, critical mistakes many home buyers make. If you follow these 10 suggestions, with the help of the right real estate professional, you’ll stop paying rent and make a good sound business decision that you’ll be happy and proud of for years to come.

1. Inspect, Inspect and Inspect- Go over the inspection report with a fine tooth comb. Make sure the report was done by a professional organization. For condo purchases, go over the by-laws, and association fees. Don’t take anything for granted... inspect everything!

2. Imagine the Property Vacant- Your furnishings and decorations will be the ones filling this new residence. Don’t be swayed by beautiful furniture ... it leaves with the owner.

3. Income Plus Lifestyle Equals Mortgage Payment- Sit down with a competent real estate professional and honestly discuss your income level and living expenses. Take into account future considerations like: children, add-ons, amenities or fix-ups. Your dream home is certainly worth a sacrifice but don’t mortgage your entire future.

4. View Several Homes- See at least 3-5 properties. Don’t move on the first property you see but... don’t move too slowly either. With your agent’s help, you’ll be able to view enough properties to get a good overall perspective of your market. And when you find the right property, all the legwork will be worth it.

5. Utilize Your Team- By aligning yourself with the right real estate professional, you’ll have an entire team working for you. Top real estate professionals have lenders, title reps, inspection teams - an entire group of trained professionals making the whole buying experience simple and easy for you.

6. Be Columbo- Check out all your costs and expenses before you sign: utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance and homeowner dues, if applicable. Make sure all utilities are on (gas, electricity, and water), so you can inspect everything in working order. Ask lots of questions and be very detail conscious.

7. Do a Final Walk-Through- Visit the property after all the furnishings have been moved out to be sure there are no surprises. Be absolutely positive the property was left exactly as you had agreed upon in the contract. Many times, things are unintentionally overlooked that could have been spotted in a final walk-through.

8. Plan For Flexibility- Closing dates are not written in stone. Allow for contingencies and have a back-up plan. If you or the sellers need a little more time to conclude the final arrangements, don’t let these delays upset or frustrate you. These types of circumstances are not uncommon in a real estate transaction.

9. If It’s Not In Writing, It Doesn’t Exist- All promises and discussions are to be in writing. Don’t make any assumptions or believe any assurances. Even the best intentions can be misinterpreted. Have your real estate professional keep an ongoing log (in writing) of all discussions, and get the seller’s written approval for all agreements.

10. Loyalty Breeds Loyalty- Be open, honest and up-front with your team. Hard feelings and disloyalty will cause headaches, delays or may even keep you from getting into the home you worked so hard to locate. Take the time to select the right team in the beginning and your first home purchase will be a simple, easy and profitable experience you’ll have fond memories of... for years to come.


For more articles, lease option information, rent to own and real estate information visit this very informative website CRESAZ.COM

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lease Option Arizona, AZ Rent To Own, Property Management, Real Estate Lease Option Arizona

Good Credit, Bad Credit, No Credit? We Can Help!

Best price in neighborhood! Six horses are allowed on this big 1.27 acre horse property! Go ride the trails on the adjacent open desert (state land). Home has a huge great room with vaulted ceilings and 3 big bedrooms. The kitchen includes tile floors and all white cabinets. In the backyard there is a covered patio, small sitting area, and even a koi pond. Enjoy the city lights and mountain views from this quiet country neighborhood. You can have this all for only $1,600 a month Call today!



Click The Picture for More Details

Contact us at Complete Real Estate Solutions for all your real estate needs!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What is a Lease Option?

A “Lease-Option” is when, in addition to signing a lease, a tenant also buys an option to purchase the house at some point in the future, usuallyduring the life of the lease.

Example: Harry Homeowner leases a house to Tammy Tenant for one year. Tammy also purchases an “option” to buy the house within the next year at a price to be determined by a neutral appraiser if and when Tammy exercises her option. This Option gives Tammy the right, but not the obligation, to purchase the house.

If Tammy does exercise her Option, the amount she originally paid for the Option will typically be applied to the purchase price of the house. Also, assuming it is paid on time, a portion of her monthly rent will usually be applied to the eventual purchase price as well. Finally, Harry may also agree to give Tammy a split of the equity that grows through normal appreciation between the time Tammy signs the lease and when she exercises her Option.

Lease-Options are most popular with people who don't have enough funds for a down payment and closing costs and/or people with low credit scores. Instead of simply paying rent that is never recovered, tenants are able to share in the equity that is generated exercising their Option and purchasing the house below market value (appraised value minus Option purchase price, monthly rental credits, and/or equity split).

Example 1: Equity Chart Comparison

A comparison of the rate of equity accumulation in a one-year period based on the following example; 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath home with a sale price of $100,000.

Note: Utilizing the CRESAZ Lease-Option Program with the same monthly payment as renting or owning, you have effectively doubled the amount of equity earnedas compared to owning, with roughly half as much money out of pocket up front.

Lease-Option: If you Lease-Option this home, assume you will put down a $3500 option deposit (credited 100% towards the purchase price of the home) plus first months rent of $1000. You will also receive a $125 (12.5%) rent credit eachmonth that will be credited towards the purchase price of the home.

Rent: If you were to rent this same home for $1000 per month, you would have to pay first and last month's rent plus, approximately, a $1000 security deposit(total up front out of pocket: $3000).

Purchase: Assume that you have very good credit so you are able to secure an 8% interest rate on a 30-year mortgage and a SMALL down payment of 5% of the sale price ($5000 down). Your mortgage payment would be approximately $735/month. Taxes, insurance and private mortgage insurance will run approximately $265 per month. This would put your monthly payment at about $1000/month. Closingcosts and pre-paid expenses typically cost about $3000 for a $100,000 home.

As you can see, using a Lease-Option instead of just renting creates a ‘win-win’ situation for everyone!

A Few Benefits of the Lease-Option Program in Arizona

· Faster Equity Growth - Equity can accumulate much faster than with conventional financing.

· Rent Credit - Money is working towards the purchase of the home each month that you pay rent on time and will be credited towards your down paymentor taken off the sales price.

· Option Consideration - This is credited towards the purchase of the home when you execute your option. This money is your vested interest in thehome and will be fully credited (100%) to your down payment.

· Minimum Cash Needed - When you purchase a home conventionally, you must pay closing costs, pre-paids and a down payment. With a lease option contract, you pay only the first month's rent and an option deposit. This will save youa lot of money.

· Closing Costs Are Delayed - Your closing costs will be delayed (not avoided) until you actually close on the home.

· Profits from Appreciation – When you exercise your option, not only will you have equity from your option and rent credits but most houses come with an equity split, meaning you will also receive a percentage of theequity from appreciation in the property.

· Buying Power - Your buying power is drastically increased. You can get into a Lease-Option home for as little as the first month's rent and the Option fee. Compare that to a lender who requires 10-20% down plus closing costsand pre-pays.

· Credit Problems ok - Qualification restrictions are not as strict as conventional financing. You will be approved at the sole discretion of CompleteReal Estate Solutions, LLC.

· No Taxes, Less Liability - Since you do not own the home yet, you will not have to pay property taxes and your liability exposure will be drastically reduced.

· Maximum Leverage - You are spending very little money to fulfill the American dream of home ownership and building equity in that American dream.

· Time before you actually buy the home - You will have time to repair your credit, find the best financing available, investigate the home and researchthe neighborhood.

· Quick Move In Time - Move in time is typically less than one week compared to conventional move in times of one to three months from the time the offer was made.