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10 Ways to Buy Real Estate with no Money Down

Most real estate investors ask whether it's possible to successfully buy with no money down or with little out-of-pocket cash. Although it is advisable to have some money when venturing into a desired real estate investment, it's possible to close down on a deal without needing to dent your savings. For halfway house investors, such a possibility presents an avenue for easy property acquisition that will help others and get you some passive income, although profit may not be the primary motivation. So, what does it mean to buy real estate without any down payment?

Investing in real estate with zero down payment

In a nutshell, traditional lenders such as banks and credit unions require a down payment if you make a rental property purchase. Typically, you'll have to pay about 20% of the purchase value. Depending on your type of property, a down payment can be equated to tens of thousands. In the case of “no money down real estate investment,” you put in no money or very little from your own pocket. This is achieved through various creative financing options and other stakeholders in the real estate industry relevant to your purchase scenario. Read on to understand the multiple ways in which you can invest in real estate with no money down.

Use an existing mortgage

Some real estate investors may utilize a “subject to” deal, in which the seller uses the buyer's existing financing to fund part of the purchase price. If the new loan has a low-interest rate, using the seller's existing financing is particularly beneficial. In this case, the investor avoids having to seek alternative funding from a different lender, and he or she reaps the benefits by paying off a debt further in the appreciation cycle.

In exchange for making mortgage payments, the buyer retains the deed to the home. However, this option is not always readily available. Some loans contain a due-on-sale provision that prevents the prospective buyer from assuming the mortgage.

Find an investment partner

This is a common method of investing in real estate using other people's money (OPM). You will be able to find a private investor or financing party willing to join you in the investment, providing you with the funds you need to purchase the property. The amount may be either the down payment or the entire purchase amount paid in cash in exchange for a part of the profit you get from the investment.

Partnerships may be arranged in various ways, and it is up to the buyer and investor to agree on a more viable arrangement. It could be a joint venture, a lending agreement, a private loan, or a combination of all these.

Secure a hard money loan

If you don't have enough funds to invest in real estate, hard money financing is a feasible solution. The funds used in real estate investing will come from associations or private entities rather than from a bank. Since these loans do not have to go through corporate processes, they have fewer qualification requirements.

This implies that hard money loans can be secured quickly. Furthermore, private lenders may be willing to support risky projects compared to banks. As a result, since lenders are taking more significant risks and the terms are often 12 to 18 months or fewer, the interest rate on hard money loans is slightly higher but isn't something to worry about as a halfway investor. This method is excellent if you have good credit, and you intend to cash-out refinance your property.

Consider government grant

A broad range of government grants is accessible for various reasons, one being to assist sober living centers or halfway houses. These grants are offered through organizations that focus on drug use and recoveries, such as the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

First, you must obtain IRS recognition as a 501-3 faith-based or community-based halfway house. You will find that government grants are generally barred if you wish to operate a for-profit halfway house. Check with resources like the Bureau of Prisons before committing to a for-profit halfway house. You must review the qualifying conditions of your state and apply for a contract.

In most cases, the halfway house is located in the same ZIP Code as the people being served. The first move is to go to the IRS website and submit a 501-3 registration form. Be aware that, although government grants are abundant for certain businesses, there are fewer resources available, plus a handful of rules and regulations to observe.

Negotiate the down payment

The value of the down payment and who finances is almost always negotiable. A buyer may choose to have the seller cover the down payment or get credit for the down payment at closing. You can even ask for the down payment to be paid in installments, either monthly, quarterly or as a one-time payment at the end of the year. This significantly reduces the amount of money you need to secure the property.

Lease with option to purchase

Many real estate investors are unaware that they can rent a property with the option to buy from the landlord. The buyer and seller discuss a payment to be made at regular intervals for the usage of the property under the lease conditions. Throughout the contract, the investor has the option to buy the property at a predetermined price. Apart, if not all, of the leasing costs would usually be applied to the purchase price.

Use owner financing

Seller financing, also referred to as owner financing, is a nontraditional mode of financing in which the buyer's financing is held by the seller or owner of the property. Instead of going to a bank to get conventional loans, the seller serves as the lender for the buyer. The buyer repays the debt over time following the provisions of a formal agreement.

Such sellers will decide what conditions for lending they will accept, such as a specific interest rate, down payment, or loan duration, while others will be subject to negotiation. If you can determine the seller's needs and have good negotiation skills, arranging mortgages with no money down or making the seller hold a second mortgage and having a first mortgage from a bank will not be a challenge. This usually only happens when the seller needs to make a sale more than he or she needs a down payment.

Home Equity Loans

Different options, such as a Home Equity Line-of-Credit (HELOC) and a Home Equity Installment Loan, are available from banks and other financial firms, allowing homeowners to use their existing equity. This type of loan or line of credit enables you to borrow up to 75 percent or 80 percent of your home's equity, as calculated by a formal valuation.

For instance, if you buy a $300,000 property and owe just $100,000, you might cash out $100,000 of your property's equity and use it to purchase another home. You can comfortably buy a property with zero to no money down if you have equity in your real estate business.

Exchange Property

This is an easy way of acquiring an investment property of your liking. If you already own a piece of property, you may want to consider exchanging it for another that suits your halfway home needs. You may either exchange it with the seller if the values are equal. If not, you can combine it with a small sum of cash to reach the target price. You can agree with the seller to pay in installments.

When exchanging an older home with a new one, you will buy a new property and escape the capital gains associated with property sales. There is no restriction on the number of times you can do an exchange. Tax gains will be carried forward from one piece of real estate investment to another. While you profit on each swap, you postpone paying taxes for several years later when you sell the property for cash.

Take on the seller's debt

If you come across a seller who is in desperate need of cash to pay off other debts, you may agree to assume certain obligations in lieu of a down payment. This can be a quick way of acquiring the desired property without having to dig into your pocket.

Bottom line

The majority of active real estate investors would structure an offer to a prospective agent using a combination of the approaches outlined above. A properly executed real estate deal can generate recurring passive profits and be an ideal long-term investment if the property value increases gradually, and you can integrate it into your overall asset accumulation strategy as you assist troubled people with your halfway house programs. Remember, some sellers may be more agreeable to taking no-money-down deals on a home than others. If a house has been on the market for an extended period of time or is advertised as a must sell, the agent might be more amenable to negotiation. As with any real estate purchase, either way, always conduct due diligence on the property prior to closing a transaction.

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Joseph Romero
Joseph Romero
Apr 18, 2022

Good Information Keith! Today we have so many options and all we need is your coaching and direction. I loved the book by the way! Read it in a few nights. 😀

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