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How to Create Your Own Mortgage

by J.P. Vaughan   

If you own a computer and have a sheet of paper, you can create your own mortgage to finance the purchase of real estate. No one checks your credit, and you don't need a cash down payment.

We finance most of the auction houses we purchase by selling a private mortgage on the property. Frequently, the mortgage amount even includes most of the money needed for the fix-up and repair. Although private mortgage money costs more than bank financing, it's much cheaper than sharing your profit with a partner.

There is a huge market of investors who buy privately created mortgages and trust deeds (often referred to as "paper"). Many investors like to buy real estate notes because they can obtain a very good return on their investment. Since the investment is secured by real estate, it is much safer than the stock market.

Look in any major newspaper under the financial section of the classified ads, and you'll see a column titled "Mortgages" or "Trust Deeds." Many investors place an ad there when they want to buy private mortgages. People who want to sell mortgages place ads there too.

Make your mortgage marketable to sell it quickly

Our mortgages are created in escrow, and we use the proceeds of the loan to purchase the property. Therefore, our primary concern in structuring our mortgages is to make them "marketable" to the investment community so we can sell them quickly. Four factors affect marketability: (1) the interest rate; (2) the term; (3) the loan-to-value ratio (LTV); and (4) the yield.

When you structure your mortgage, be generous with the interest rate and yield you offer, and keep the term short. In today's marketplace, if you can offer a 16% to 18% yield (with an adequate LTV), your mortgages will virtually fly out the door. Remember, this is a first position mortgage, so that is a very strong yield, given the current low interest rates.

Give your mortgage some "instant" seasoning

Some investors are also concerned about a fifth factor called "seasoning," which is the term used to describe how long the borrower has been making payments on the mortgage.

In order to reduce investor concern over the lack of "seasoning" on our mortgages, we prepay the first six months' payments at the time the mortgage is funded. We pay for these payments with the money we get from the proceeds of the loan and create "instant seasoning."

As far as we're concerned, receiving six future payments at the start is much stronger assurance (than the borrower's past payment history) that the investor will actually receive those payments. By prepaying, we also don't have to worry about making mortgage payments while we fix up the property and resell it to the new buyer.

Keep the term short

The "term" of the mortgages we create is very short, usually 12 to 18 months. We create short-term mortgages for two reasons. First, a short-term mortgage is more attractive to investors.

Second, because of the time value of money, a short mortgage is worth more than a long mortgage. Therefore, the faster the mortgage pays off, the less you will have to discount it to produce an attractive yield.

A real life example

Perhaps the best way to explain how to create your own mortgage is by giving a real-life example of a mortgage we created recently. We purchased a house at a HUD auction for $35,000 and our estimated fix-up costs were $7,000. Therefore, the total amount of money we needed to both purchase and fix-up this property was $42,000. Once fixed up, the house would be worth $90,000.

Our first task in selling all mortgages is to demonstrate an adequate loan-to-value ratio to the investor. The investor wants to make sure there is enough "cushion" in the deal to protect his or her money.

As we always do, we provided our investor with all the current comparable sales in the neighborhood, and he agreed the house would be worth $90,000 after it was repaired. However, he felt the current market value of the house was $69,000. That was fine with us.

By using the investor's own figure of $69,000, we had a very acceptable loan-to-value ratio (LTV). The formula for calculating LTV is: Loan Amount divided by Market Value. The $45,000 loan amount divided by the $69,000 market value equals 65%. Therefore, the LTV on this mortgage was 65%. A great LTV for a first position mortgage!

We wrote the $45,000 mortgage with an interest rate of 13%. The mortgage called for interest only payments of $487.50 per month. We gave the investor a "discount" of $1,860.00 off the face value of the note. At the close of escrow, we prepaid the first six payments, which equals $2,925.00.

The investor funded only $40,215.00 because the $2,925.00 in prepaid interest and the $1,860.00 discount are subtracted from the mortgage amount. Because of the "time value of money," this gave the investor a 20.77% yield on his money.

At the end of the term (12 months) we would still owe our investor the principal balance of the mortgage, which is $45,000.

This is the classic Win/Win/Win transaction. HUD finally got rid of an unwanted property. The investor earned a great yield on his investment. And we received $42,075 in cash to buy and fix-up our house--all of it without having to qualify for a loan or use any of our own money toward the purchase.

Now you can understand why this iis my favorite way to buy property?

About the Author:

j.p. vaughanJ. P. Vaughan was the co-founder and Publisher of Creative Real Estate Online. 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.


 
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