When considering purchasing a new home, most individuals follow the standard procedure of saving up a down payment, finding a mortgage lender and shopping for a home. If you want to save money while still obtaining the home of your dreams, however, there is an alternative--assuming someone else’s mortgage. When you assume a mortgage, you take over the current owner’s monthly mortgage payment and have the deed to the home transferred into your name Not only can assuming a mortgage allow you to purchase a home with instant equity, you will be helping someone else escape a mortgage loan that no longer suits his needs.
Look in the newspaper. Some individuals will advertise that they are actively searching for someone to take over their mortgage loan in the classified section of the newspaper.
Search online for a mortgage loan to assume. Websites such as HaveMyHouse.com give homeowners an outlet to advertise their mortgages to other individuals interested in assuming the loan. You can search by city, state and price range. An added benefit is that many listing also contain photographs--a feature you are unlikely to find in your local newspaper.
Talk to your real estate agent. She may be able to point you in the direction of a homeowner who has been unsuccessful selling his home and may be delighted by the prospect of turning his mortgage over to someone else to avoid foreclosure.
Consider short sales. In a short sale, the mortgage lender agrees to permit the homeowner to sell the house for less than the balance of the mortgage loan to avoid a foreclosure. If you come along offering to assume the original mortgage loan, however, the bank gets the assurance that the full balance of the original loan will be paid while the current homeowners get to avoid the negative impact a short sale would have on their credit reports.
Call or visit banks in your area and request a list of pre-foreclosure listings. Pre-foreclosures are homes that are scheduled to be sold at a foreclosure auction. With foreclosure imminent, these homeowners may be more than willing to allow you to assume their mortgage to avoid foreclosure.
Depending on the lender, you may have to meet certain credit qualifications and pay a transfer fee before being allowed to assume another individual’s mortgage loan (See References 3).
Not all mortgages are assumable. If the original mortgage contract possesses a “due on sale” clause, the mortgage loan cannot be assumed.
- new home image by steven Husk from Fotolia.com