"Subject-to" Real Estate Pros & Cons

by Tracey Lizza 02/16/2020

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

When you're considering buying real estate as an investment, it's a good idea to weigh the pros and cons. That's especially important with "subject-to" real estate, because there can be risks and rewards with this type of property that are different from traditional purchases. Here's what you should be considering, before you decide on this investment strategy.

The Pros of "Subject-To" Real Estate  

On the "pro" side of buying "subject-to" real estate is the way you can acquire multiple properties for your portfolio. Additional benefits include:

  • There's no need to get a mortgage in your name, so you won't be overextending your credit or finances.
  • You avoid a lot of the transaction fees that come with getting a mortgage and buying a property.
  • You can close on the property quickly, and you'll pay fewer title company fees in the process.
  • You can buy as many properties as you want, as fast as you want, and all you have to do is make the mortgage payments.
  • You'll be helping sellers who are facing foreclosure or otherwise need to get out from under their house payments.
  • The Cons of "Subject-To" Real Estate  

    With any real estate transaction or investment of any kind, there are cons that come along with the pros. When you weigh them carefully, here's what you should be thinking about:

  • If the seller files bankruptcy, the original lender could foreclose on the property and you may lose your investment.
  • The lender could exercise their "due on sale clause," and require that the current mortgage balance be paid in full.
  • The deed could be tainted in some way, and without title insurance in your name you might not be protected.
  • You may end up spending money on an attorney if something goes wrong during the process.
  • Technically, the bank still owns the home because there's a mortgage on it.
  • Why Choose This Type of Real Estate Investment?

    If you don't have the money or credit to buy investment properties, buying "subject-to" can be a good choice if you understand and mitigate the risks. You may also want to choose this option if you're trying to acquire a lot of properties quickly, and you want to save money over traditional purchasing options. For people who buy "subject-to", there can be big opportunities to buy quality properties they might not be able to afford under typical circumstances.

    But it's very important that you're aware of the risks and legalities. Getting an attorney to help you with the first few properties, and to collect and make the mortgage payments on all the properties you buy, can be one of the ways you can make this type of transaction safer and better for you and the seller.

    About the Author
    Author

    Tracey Lizza

    Buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction: it’s a life-changing experience. Tracey is dedicated to providing exceptional, personalized service with total discretion for all of her clients. She takes great pride in the relationships she builds and always works relentlessly on the client’s behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals. Tracey places a high value on responsiveness and availability. She works with her clients every step of the way whether they are buying, renting or selling. A career as a real estate professional has been a perfect fit for Tracey. She has had a varied background in the marketing communications field including having worked in the international fashion industry as a buyer for over a decade. Combined with a personal selection of residential and commercial properties, Tracey brings her expertise along with firsthand experience. Tracey and her family have enjoyed the Shoreline lifestyle of Southeastern Connecticut for the past ten years and have garnered great pleasure volunteering and being active in her community and children’s schools. Tracey interests include gardening, boating, and horseback riding, Contact Tracey and let her help you move in the right direction!