With mortgage restrictions and economic uncertainties making home purchasing difficult for many in the current real estate market, an old real estate marketing strategy is finding its way back to popularity amongst potential sellers and buyers who wish to enter the real estate market but aren’t in a position to close quickly.
According to Charles Blumenkehl, managing partner of Blue Asset Management, the lease to buy scenario has become an acceptable alternative for some of today’s market participants. Blumenkehl said “With prices as attractive as they are, potential buyers are seeking to lock into a purchase without having to fully commit to closing. At the same time, sellers who find they are carrying the costs of properties they no longer wish to own are finding this alternative attractive by allowing the mortgage and most expenses to be covered by their prospective buyer as they await the point in the market that the buyer can potentially close on the property.” Blumenkehl explained “By leasing to buy, typically a buyer will put up a small non-refundable deposit which will be applied against their ultimate purchase price, and then are given the opportunity to accumulate enough of a down payment over the course of their occupancy by paying slightly above current market rents and having the overage added to their down payment.” In so doing, Blumenkehl says that buyers can meet the larger down payment requirements imposed by lenders, and if they don’t want to buy at the end of an agreed upon period of time, they can simply walk away without being saddled with a mortgage on property they decide not to own.
Simultaneously, sellers will either have their houses sold at the end of the occupancy period, or at least will not have to carry the expenses of a vacant mortgaged home while they wait for the housing market to recover. “The result,” Blumenkehl said, “is a win-win for both parties, one by locking into an attractive price and reasonable terms which could enable them to become homeowners when they would otherwise end up leasing without the ability to accumulate equity or take advantage of low housing process in today's market, while sellers are relieved of the pressure of carrying vacant property in these difficult economic times.”
Blumenkehl points out that even if the market recovers and the sellers can get more money for their homes in a year or two, the amount they would have to spend on payments for a vacant home would be more than the potential increase in sales price in many cases. Blumenkehl said that his fund has considered lease to buy on certain properties they currently own, and are seeing more of these type transactions now than they have in prior years.
Charles Blumenkehl is president of Blumenkehl Properties, owner/operator of rental properties throughout northern New Jersey, and managing partner of Blue Asset Management, buyer and seller of non performing mortgages, distressed and investment real estate. For more information about Mr. Blumenkehl and his companies, or to learn more about lease to buy opportunities currently available through Blumenkehl, log onto the company website at www.blueassetmanagementllc.com or call the company at 973 835-1400.