Owner Financing

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DEFINITION of 'Owner Financing'

When a property buyer finances the purchase directly through the person or entity selling it. This often occurs when the prospective buyer cannot obtain funding through a conventional mortgage lender, or is unwilling to pay the prevailing market interest rates. The seller may agree to owner financing if he or she is having difficulty selling the property.

Owner financing may only cover part of the purchase price, with a smaller bank loan making up the difference.

Also known as "creative financing" or "seller financing".

BREAKING DOWN 'Owner Financing'

Owner financing is common in a buyer's market. In order to protect his or her own interests, the seller may require a higher down payment than a mortgage lender would. Down payments of 20% or more are not uncommon in owner financing. The deed to the property is usually not transferred to the buyer until all of the payments have been made, but because no institutional lenders are involved, the overall terms of financing are much more negotiable, and can be set up to provide benefits to both the seller and the buyer. The buyer saves on points and closing costs, while the seller can obtain monthly cash flows that provide a better return than fixed-income investments.

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