Frequently Asked Questions

Maybe you have a few questions

That’s okay; most people do. So here’s a quick collection of some of the questions people ask us… along with our answers. We are an open book, so if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us (or give us a call) and we’ll be happy to answer them for you.

Will you be listing my house on the MLS or actually buying it?

Great question. We are professional home buyers: Although we have headquarters in Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis, Tennessee, we buy houses Nationwide that meet our purchasing criteria. From there, we may repair the house and resell it on the MLS or keep it as a rental ourselves. We also focus on giving back to the communities we serve by converting some of our properties into Adult Family Homes or Shared Housing solutions for homeless and disabled veterans.

How do you determine your offers?

Great question, and we’re an open book: Our process is very straightforward. We look at the location of the property, what repairs are needed, the current condition of the property, and values of comparable houses sold in the area recently. We take many pieces of information into consideration, and come up with multiple offers for you to choose from. Usually, the offer selections will include 1) an all-cash offer, 2) an Owner Financing offer, and 3) an offer combining both cash and Owner Financing.

Are there any fees or commissions to work with you?

This is what makes us stand out from the traditional method of selling your house: There are NO fees or commissions when you sell your house to us. We’ll make you an offer, and if it’s a fit then we’ll buy your house (and we’ll often pay for the closing costs too). No hassle. No fees. We make our money after we pay for repairs on the house (if any) and sell it for a profit. We’re taking the risks on whether we can make a profit or not. The responsibility is ours and you walk away without the burden of the property and its payments, and often with cash in your hand to use however you see fit.

How are you different from real estate agents?

Real estate agents list properties and hope that someone will buy them. The agent shows the properties to prospective buyers and then takes a percentage of the sale price if they find a buyer. Oftentimes, the agent’s commission is 3-6% of the sale price of your house (so if it’s a $100,000 house, you’ll pay between $3,000 – $6,000 in commissions to an agent). Agents provide a great service for those that can wait to sell and don’t mind the hassles that come along with the traditional process of selling your home. But that’s where we’re different: We’re home buyers. Our company actually buys houses. Since we’re actually the one buying the house from you, and we can pay all-cash and close on your timeframe. Again, we make our living by taking the risk to buy the house with our own cash, repair the house, and then keep it or sell it on the open market ourselves.

Is there any obligation when I submit my info?

There is absolutely zero obligation for you. Once you tell us a bit about your property, we’ll take a look at things, maybe set up a call with you to find out a bit more, and make you multiple offers for you to choose from. At that point, you decide whether or not you’d like to sell your house to us. It’s 100% your decision, and we’ll let you decide what’s right for you.

What is Owner Financing?

Owner Financing is the process of selling your house at or sometimes above its current market value in exchange for taking monthly payments instead of a lump sum payment. For many people, selling a house via owner financing can be an extremely attractive option because you can increase your monthly income by 200% or more on average while deferring your capital gains tax. 

With Owner Financing, the seller of the property provides the loan to the buyer instead of the buyer obtaining a loan from the bank. The loan is fully secured by the property being sold as collateral. The term of the loan is generally shorter than with a mortgage, typically 10-15 years. When the loan comes due in 10-15 years, the buyer pays the seller the remaining loan balance in full (a “balloon payment”), typically via a refinance or sale.

What are the benefits of Owner Financing?

Defer your capital gains tax until the loan is paid off. Loan payoff can be scheduled to occur at a time when the seller’s earnings are lower, such as after retirement. This would lower the tax burden on the capital gains generated through the balloon payment, provided the seller enters a lower tax bracket at the time of loan payoff. If the mortgage on the property is fully or largely paid off, the equity in the property may be very substantial, in turn leading to a large tax bill on the gain that results from selling it the traditional way in one upfront lump sum.

Cut out the middleman and become the bank/lender for steady, predictable income every month without dealing with tenants and toilets. For example, a seller gets a price of $500,000 on his or her property and agrees to finance that amount for 10 years. The seller would receive $1,388.89 per month throughout that 10-year period, but without the hassles of managing the property or dealing with tenants and toilets. This income becomes normal investment income to the note holder.

Most owners experience a 150 to 200% increase in their income by selling via owner financing. If you are a landlord, many have not raised rents on their tenants for years, pay all utilities, and their return compared to their equity is very low. By selling via owner financing, we have seen some owners receive well over 200% of the income they had before selling.

Owner-financing transactions can be quicker than conventional ones. There is no need to wait for the bank loan officer, underwriter, and legal department to analyze the deal. With owner financing, you can cut out the middlemen, become the bank, and close on your timeframe. With owner financing, you truly get to sell your way. You are in control.

Can you give me an example of an example sale involving an Owner Financing transaction?

John Smith is a successful businessman who invested heavily in real estate in the early 1970s and early 1980s. He purchased 8 smaller properties, including single-family homes, a four-plex, a 10 unit, and a 12 unit. He has self-managed the properties and is approaching retirement. His wife would like to move to Florida to be near the grandchildren. John has several options:

  1. Sell for all cash and pay capital gains: He has met with his CPA and heard his taxes may approach 30% currently, or higher if the federal government makes its proposed changes.
  2. Sell for all cash and do a 1031 exchange: John has researched it, but being at the tail end of his active management and investing career, he would prefer annuities over active management and the ongoing hassles and headaches associated with tenants and toilets.
  3. Sell via Owner Financing: As John owns all the assets free and clear, an owner financing option is very attractive. By selling via owner finance, John will increase his monthly income from $4,000 per month on one apartment sale to $8,200 more than doubling his income with no ties to tenants and toilets or maintenance issues. At the same time, John avoids paying capital gains until the principal is paid. In theory, an owner could sell a million-dollar asset with zero down and have minimal capital gains at the sale (depreciation recapture must be paid in the year of sale tax filing). John is fully collateralized like a bank would be via a mortgage and promissory note with the property as collateral. As the buyer is a seasoned property buyer, the seller’s secured position will increase in security daily as the property is improved.

We at Storydoor have completed hundreds of Owner Financing sales. We welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss the advantages of this type of sale and see if you qualify.

 

Is Owner Financing legal?

Absolutely. It’s been done thousands of times a month all over the nation. In fact, our title company can issue title insurance on the transaction.

What happens if the economy crashes and you can no longer make the Owner Financing payments?

We don’t care if the economy goes up, down, or sideways. We base our Owner Financing offers on the spread between the income the property generates from operating an Adult Family Home or Shared Housing solution and the monthly payments we make to you. We also enter into what’s known as a performance deed with you. The performance deed states that if we don’t perform, you get the house back after 30 days after the monthly pay date. You don’t have to call us or speak to us. If we fail to make the owner financing payments, ownership is revoked from us and the home is given back to you in 30 days. No need to go through a formal foreclosure process.

What is your Mortgage Assumption Program?

Our mortgage assumption program involves keeping your existing mortgage in place while we take over making the monthly payments on your behalf. Typically, our sellers determine that our Mortgage Assumption program is right for them if they have an existing mortgage in place and are looking to substantially improve their credit score. The bank will see that your monthly mortgage payments are being made on time and will raise your credit score as a result.

Is the mortgage still in my name?

If you decide to take advantage of our mortgage assumption program, then yes. In fact, our mortgage assumption program will also result in a substantial boost to your credit score, since the bank will see that we took over making the monthly mortgage payment on time and will raise your credit score as a result.

Can I buy another house with my existing mortgage in place?

Absolutely. We call up your lender and notify them to update your Debt-to-Income (or DTI) on your DTI Declaration page. 

What about the Due-On-Sale Clause?

The Due on Sale Clause is something that very rarely happens and we have ways to protect against it, including purchasing equity insurance if you decide our mortgage assumption program is right for you. Hypothetically speaking, if we didn’t protect against it with equity insurance, our company has the resources to fulfill the obligation and pay off your mortgage in full.

When are you going to payoff my mortgage?

Usually within 12-36 months, although we could choose to leave it in place until we’ve paid it off in full. We are buying your house based on the value in the existing mortgage. This is because we can fix up and manage the property ourselves as either an Adult Family Home or Shared Housing Solution for homeless and disabled veterans. We then collect a spread between the income that the property generates and the mortgage that’s in place. 

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