Home Buying in 49203>Question Details

Linda Philli…, Home Buyer in Spring Arbor, MI

Can a seller insist on a 'no pets' clause in a land contract?

Asked by Linda Phillips, Spring Arbor, MI Thu Aug 6, 2009

Hi. I'm trying to negotiate a land contract and I'm running into some obstacles. Firstly, the realtor said that the seller wouldn't do a lease option because we have pets. But she would do a land contract with $9000 down. Fine. We found a way to come up with the $9k. The realtor also wants us to go to a bank, have them look at our credit reports and give us a plan as to how to pay off all our bad debt so that we will be able to get a conventional mortgage in 3 years. I haven't been able to find a bank yet that will do this, but I have made up a budget and a very specific debt paydown schedule (all bad debt paid off by late 2011) and I have an appointment to see a credit counselor for a budget analysis. I've done everything she has asked, even making an appointment with a doctor to get help quitting smoking. I'm very committed to getting this house and then keeping it. Now the realtor says the seller may still not want to do a land contract with pets. What is going on?

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If a seller can mandate in the deed that you MUST belong to a HOA they can do this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
While a land contract is a purchase, the deed remains in the seller's name until you are able to pay off the house, typically by getting your own mortgage.

How did this work out for you?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Maureen Fran…, Real Estate Pro in Birmingham, MI
First of all, you should have your own representation. The seller's realtor is working in the seller's best interest -- not yours. Getting your own realtor -- a Buyer Agent -- would solve most of your problems and answer most of your questions. The reason that the realtor told you that you need to put $9000 down is probably so he/she gets paid via their commission. Secondly, if you are looking for a good lender who will work with you through the debt, I can suggest a few. The reason the banks you are going to won't do it is that they are very busy right now with refinancing and financing "easier" clients and they don't want to be bothered. I work with lenders who have YOUR best interest in mind. Call me 734-754-3221.
Web Reference: http://ReneeBadall.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
To repsonsd to your second post... A land contract is not exactly a purchase. Seller retains title and remains the legal owner. Buyer only gets posession and is more like a tenant. Land contract is an installment payment plan and you don't get title until it's paid off.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
It could be anything, but to answer your question - yes, seller can say "no pets". Pets can make a home harder to sell. Some people are allergic to pet dander and have a reaction even after the pets are gone and the house has been thoroughly cleaned - some pets cause damage (like dogs that chew on every piece of wood). As for the financing "hassle" - basically, sellers want to sell their homes, that's why they put them on the market - they don't really want to lease or rent them out. So if someone makes a lease-purchase offer, that's better to the seller than getting no offer, but it's not really the offer they were looking for. The seller, and seller's realtor, are trying to protect the interest of the seller - the only way they want a lease-purchase is if they know the person will follow through with the purchase - that's why they want a larger amount of money that would be forfeited in the event of not following through with the purchase. I've seen a lot of lease-purchase deals fall through -- the potential buyer never manages to get their financing in order and eventually can't afford the lease/rent payments either, and the seller ends up with no sale and repair expenses due to (excessive) wear and tear on the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
Sorry, I just want to add that I'm just confused by all of this. I think I need some perspective into this process. At this point I'm not sure where to go from here since getting rid of the pets is not an option. I always thought that the down payment was at least partly to cover any damages if the house should go back to the seller. I also thought that a land contract IS a purchase, and therefore, once I take possession I can do whatever I want.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
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