"Subject-to" Real Estate Pros & Cons

by Bonnee Proo 01/19/2020

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

    Bonnee Proo

    A Penn State undergrad with an MBA from University of Redlands, I specialize in the sale of new and existing homes in San Diego County. Licensed for 12 years in the Real Estate and Mortgage Banking industries, I have a strong background in Mortgage Banking and Investment property. Prior to real estate. I spent 18 years as a Corporate Accountant specializing in Healthcare and Biotechnology. I’ve always been a "numbers person.” However, my joy comes from working with and helping people make well-versed decisions with sometimes the largest investment they will ever make in their life…their home.


    Leveraging my experience over the years, I am known for outstanding client service, available 7 days per week or whenever called upon to assist, execute, negotiate, guide or encourage. I strongly believe it is my duty to not only represent my clients to the best of my ability, but also to educate them throughout every step of the home buying (or selling) process, arming them with topnotch information and market insight so that they are able to make the best decisions possible. I am honest and trustworthy. I wholeheartedly believe that commitments are made to be kept. Also, I am extremely hardworking and knowledgeable about the real estate/mortgage industries and I have an EXCELLENT team of affiliates (lender, escrow, title, inspectors, etc.) with whom I work that are just as hardworking and knowledgeable in their respective lines of work, and always ready to assist.


    During my spare time, you will either find me swing dancing or swinging a golf club. I also enjoy walking/hiking or spending time at the gym always working on trying to stay healthy; socializing with friends; and spending quality family time with husband, Phillip and my sassy, little fur-baby, Sadi.


     


    AFFILIATIONS


    National Association of Realtors (NAR)


    California Association of Realtors (CAR)


    Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR)


    Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)


    San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce (Ambassador)


    East County Chamber of Commerce (Ambassador)


    University of Redlands (Alumni Board)


    Meals on Wheels (Volunteer)