anyone familiar with using land contracts or lease option to buy as a way of getting into housing market?

Asked by Pearl1, California Sun Apr 12, 2009

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Curt Abramson, Agent, Santa Cruz, CA
Sun Apr 12, 2009
Pearl1, Curt Abramson from Bailey Properties here. I am familiar with both these methods of buying property. Each of them have many pitfalls, are often unsuccessful and often lead to disputes and even litigation. In both cases, they are used when a buyer does not have the ability to fund the purchase at the time of possession, either due to lack of cash or inability to obtain a loan.
Both land contracts and options to buy involve an agreement on a sales price now, with payment to be made later. That is almost always inequitable. If the value of the property increases, the seller has not received fair market value. If the value decreases, the buyer will probably not complete the purchase and will lose their option money if it's an option sale, or will overpay or default if it is a land contract. Sometimes, a lease with option to buy is structured as a lease with right of first refusal for the lessee. That offers both parties the option to get what they want, and gives some assurance of a price at fair market value at the time of sale.
If you'd like to get more detail about these methods and aren't currently working with another Realtor, feel free to contact me through my website, below.
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