What Is Owner Financing?


Susan Kelly

Feb 27, 2024

It is common for buyers to employ owner financing when they are unable to get mortgage financing for a variety of reasons, including their financial or credit history and the condition of their home. It is possible to employ owner financing to acquire commercial real estate, from an apartment building to a piece of undeveloped land.

Like a regular mortgage, owner financing requires the completion of legal documents, such as promissory notes, mortgages, and trust deeds. The documentation is typical and serves to safeguard the interests of all parties engaged in the deal. Various phrases, including seller financing, may refer to owner financing, owner carried finance, owner carryback, and the owner will carry, among others. When contemplating the owner's best financing, make sure that your legal counsel is engaged in every stage of the process to safeguard your rights.

Problems with Seller Financing

When purchasing a home through seller financing, one of the most common concerns for buyers is whether or not the seller has an existing loan on the property. The majority of mortgages are no longer assumable, which means that the buyer cannot simply assume the liability of making the mortgage payments to the lender.

With the advent of the due-on-sale clause, most mortgages now require the buyer to pay off the outstanding loan sum when the house is sold. If there is an existing mortgage on the property, you will not be able to get the entire title until the debt is fulfilled.

Types of Owner Financing

The four most popular kinds of owner financing include purchasing "subject to" an existing loan, a wraparound mortgage, lease-purchase arrangements, and land contracts, with the first two being the most prevalent.

Wraparound Mortgage

Produces a large enough loan to pay off the present debt, and any remaining equity in the property. The buyer makes a bigger payment to the seller, who then pays the underlying mortgage on the property in question. The danger is that you might be held liable if the seller fails to make good on the loan you made to him. The term "all-inclusive trust deed" describes this kind of trust deed in several states.

Lease-Purchase Agreements

A lease-purchase agreement enables the buyer to make payments to the seller until the buyer can acquire a mortgage to cover the remaining purchase price balance, known as the balloon payment. A rent-to-own situation is when the owner will provide the buyer an equitable title until the buyer can get a mortgage to pay off the remaining debt outstanding. The owner will then transfer ownership of the property to the buyer.

Contracts for the Purchase and Sale of Land

In exchange for land use, a land contract compels the buyer to make periodic installment payments to the seller, which is known as a land lease. Just as in a lease-purchase transaction, the buyer receives an equitable title that will be converted to a complete title after the land contract has been met. This occurs when the owner pays the last payment or when the buyer can get a mortgage to pay off the remainder of the amount owing to the owner in full.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Owner Financing


  • Helps purchasers who cannot get a mortgage: It is possible to acquire a home without qualifying for a standard mortgage because the seller is willing to provide seller financing, whether due to the buyer's credit and financial history or the condition of the property.
  • Parameters may be more flexible: Because this is a contract with the seller rather than with a lender, the conditions of the agreement may be more flexible than the terms of a standard mortgage deal.


  • Risk of foreclosure: If there is an existing mortgage on the property, the owner is liable for paying the mortgage payments. If the owner fails to make payments, the lender has the right to foreclose on the property, even if the buyer is current on their payments.
  • As a result of knowing that you would not be able to get financing from a lender, the seller may charge higher interest rates or require shorter payback periods. Before you begin negotiating, make sure you are informed of the current commercial real estate prices.

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