Real Estate Investment News & Blog

5 Real Estate Investment Strategies with No Money Down

Successful real estate investors can make money in any economy, in any market, but today’s super-soft real estate market can make it even easier because of the abundance of motivated sellers out there.

Here are 5 real estate investment strategies you can implement right now without using any of your own money or credit.

1.  Quick Flipping – Wholesaling

This is the classic buy low/sell low strategy and it’s the best way to make fast cash.

No Money Down Real Estate Investor

Good thing I know you don’t need money or credit to be a real estate investor!

Basically, here’s how it works. You find a seller who is motivated, negotiate a low purchase price, and you both sign a purchase contract. Now you can “assign” your contract to another buyer.

For example, you contract to buy a house worth $140,000 for $100,000. You “assign” your contract to your new buyer for $15,000. You never actually “owned” the house, you never used your own money, and your credit was never an issue.

These How-To Articles explain quick flipping houses in much greater detail:

And if you’re still doubtful it can be done, here are a couple of real-life Success Stories from our visitors. If they can do it, you can too.

2.  “Subject To” the Existing Mortgage

With this strategy, you use the seller’s existing financing, taking title “subject to the existing financing.” You agree to make the seller’s mortgage payments, and the seller gives you the deed.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But it’s not. Motivated people who need to get rid of their house do it every day.

Charlie Frances has done well over a hundred “subject to” deals, and she explains it much better than I ever could here:

And Marko Rubel explains how to get sellers to pay you money to take their deed:

If you’re still doubtful it can be done, here are a couple of real-life Success Stories from our visitors. If they can do it, you can too.

3.  Lease Options

A “lease option” couples a real estate “option” with a “lease” on the property.

A real estate “option” is the right to buy a property at a specific price within a specified period of time. But even though you have the right to buy, you do not have an obligation to buy the property if you chose not to exercise your option.

With a lease option, a tenant is placed in a position to ultimately own the property they are renting. The tenant makes a non-refundable deposit (called “option consideration”) for the right to ultimately buy the home. The lease option tenant also makes monthly rental payments and handles minor maintenance.

You can use this strategy to both “buy” real estate and to “sell” real estate. Here’s a lot more info:

And here’s a real-life visitor Success Story:

4.  “Soft” Private Money

5.  “Hard” Private Money

I’ll discuss these together because they are both “private” money sources that allow you to put together a real estate deal without using your own money. Here’s the difference.

Hard Money is usually much more expensive than other private money. The lender looks solely to the property for repayment, so your credit is not an issue.

The maximum loan amount is 65% of market value, the interest rate is very high (maybe the current rate plus another 8%), and you have to pay 5 to 10 “points” for the loan. Each “point” equals 1% of the loan amount.

Like I said, it’s expensive money. But it can really serve a purpose and has launched many successful real estate investing careers.

“Soft”  Private Money is usually a lot less expensive than hard money, though it may be tougher to find. Do you know people (like my dear mother) who keep their savings in CDs getting less than 2% interest? Perfect for private money. At 6%, they’re tripling their yield.

My friend, Dave Lindahl, explains the difference here:

Here’s more excellent info:

And here are a couple of real-life Success Stories:

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I hope these “no money down” real estate investment strategies inspire you to get out there and do more deals! Let me know what you think in the comments box below…

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About the Author...

J. P. Vaughan founded Creative Real Estate Online in 1995. She wrote the book "How to Buy Your Dream House for 1/2 Price" (Quantum Publications 1994, out of print). J.P. was also an attorney who practiced law in Michigan until she started investing in real estate full time in 1988.

J.P. passed away in October 2015 after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

You can "Like" CRE Online on: Facebook & "Follow" Us on: Twitter


  1. This is a really great information.
    Do you know any title company who do double closing
    That you can refer to me? I need title company from Sacramento .
    I have talked to a few loan broker and they said it is illegal
    To do double closing. I am really appreciate and thank
    You if you can help me with this information.


    • J.P. Vaughan says:

      Hi Abdul, Glad to hear you enjoyed the article. For a specific title company in Sacramento, try posting on our Real Estate Investing Forum.

      • Kewl you should come up with that. Excellent!

        • tootsieburpee says:

          There are two categories of “no money down” investors: 
          1. Those who have gone to a seminar pitching this as a system, and have to use “no money down” because… They don’t have any money. 99% of these people fail and end up giving real estate investors a bad name because they can’t back up their commitments to home sellers, contractors, lenders, and others. 

          If you can’t AFFORD to purchase a home, you SHOULD NOT BUY IT. I know you don’t want to hear it, but start saving and you’ll have enough for the downpayment in no time. Some quick “low hanging fruit” tips to save some quick cash include – switch to Metro pcs or Boost for cellphone (I only pay $20/month), switch auto insurance to Insurance Panda ($25/month), and start using GasBuddy (saves me like $100/month at least. I drive a lot).

          You do not want to go into this broke.
          2. Experienced investors who simply use the good financing and leverage options to create the best outcome for their transactions. One of those options might include not putting money down up front. 
          We run into this every day – novice real estate investors think that “no money down” means “no commitment or obligation”. This is absolutely not the case of course, and is the reason so many of these transactions fall apart and tarnish the ethical investors out there. 

    • God, I feel like I souhld be takin notes! Great work

    • I found just what I was needed, and it was entertaining!

  2. Thanks for using the time and effort to write something so interesting.

  3. Greetings! Extremely beneficial suggestions on this informative article! It truly is the tiny adjustments that make the greatest adjustments. Many thanks a good deal for sharing!

  4. Lisa Reapermint says:

    Thanks for the great article.

  5. Going to put this arictle to good use now.

  6. Kick the tires and light the fires, problem ofifcilaly solved!

  7. lorna says:

    Hello jp vaughan,
    I would to say thank you for what you are doing online helping people see the light
    l receive an email how to buy houses for 5000 and make 18000i hope i am correct, i miss the webnair
    i would like to know if its posible to play it again i’m in a situation where i need to help
    myself real estate is my passion i am studying different type of strategy but getting over whelm
    can you help. God Bless You

    • J.P. Vaughan says:

      Hi Lorna,

      Yes, we will replay that webinar Saturday through Tuesday.

      Best Wishes,


  8. Fred Bradley says:

    Is the book, “How to buy your dream house for half price” still available? If so, how can I get it?

    • Jeanne Ekhaml says:

      Hi Fred,

      The book became obsolete as the times changed, so it’s no longer in print.


  9. Teresa M. says:

    Hi J.P. I just read your article and its great, you know a friend and i went to one of this meeting that thay would tech you how to flip houses, and thay wanted ,3,000 dollars for there package we walk out,if i had 3,000 dollars i wouldn’t be here.So i told m th friend that it has to be somthing better out there and i can across you article its great keep up the good work.

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