Does Owner Financing Qualify For the Home Buyer Tax Credit?

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Owner financing helps buyers purchase a home, even when banks say “No” to a mortgage loan. No more waiting for perfect credit and a large down payment to buy or sell that house.

But will seller financing qualify for the big tax credits being offered to home buyers?

Great news! The IRS has specifically answered “YES” to seller financing.

It seemed pretty straight forward that owner financed transactions involving a deed to the buyer and a note and mortgage (or deed of trust) back to the seller would let qualified buyers take the Home Buyer Tax Credit. However, some wondered if the credit was still available when the seller financing involved a contract for deed, installment land sale contract, or long-term land contract.One big difference with a contract is that the seller stays vested in fee simple or legal title while the buyer makes the payments. When the buyer has made payment in full on the contract then the Warranty Deed transferring title is recorded. This Warranty Deed is recorded upfront at closing when using a a seller financed mortgage or deed of trust.

Here’s the official stand and 7 test points straight from the IRS:

Question: Can a taxpayer claim the first-time home buyer credit if the purchase is pursuant to a seller financing arrangement (for example, a contract for deed, installment land sale contract, or long-term land contract), and the seller retains legal title to secure the taxpayer’s payment obligations?


If the taxpayer obtains the “benefits and burdens” of ownership of a residence in a seller financing arrangement, then the taxpayer can claim the credit even though the seller retains legal title. Factors that indicate that a taxpayer has the benefits and burdens of ownership include:1. The right of possession,

2. The right to obtain legal title upon full payment of the purchase price,

3. The right to construct improvements,

4. The obligation to pay property taxes,

5. The risk of loss,

6. The responsibility to insure the property, and

7. The duty to maintain the property.

Source: Internal Revenue Service

Of course the home buyer must still meet the other criteria for taking the $8,000 or $6,500 tax credit. But it’s good to know there are creative financing solutions for taking advantage of the credit by the April 30, 2010 contract deadline and the June 30, 2010 closing deadline.

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Commercial Loans – Going About Getting Financing – The RIGHT Way

A lesson learned.

Our company was recently asked to see what options were available to a commercial property development project that was now a multi-million dollar foreclosure. The client’s family were desperate. Many of them had invested in the doomed project.

There really is no need to explain the details of the situation that the client was in, other than highlight some of our KEY findings that in turn made it impossible for us to help these individuals get out of the foreclosure.

Project Management

Lenders like to see Project Managers (PM) involved in a commercial project that have experience as a PM. It adds credibility to the project and reduces lender risk. More importantly the PM must have experience in the field to which he / she has been asked to manage. In the example I am referring to, the self appointed PM had no business being in the PM position. This inexperience was a major contributor to the demise of the project on many levels.

The Project Plan

A project plan must be realistic. Remember, lenders see land development type projects ALL the time. If the project is too aggressive, budgets are not reasonable or the overall plan is not properly complied the lender will not give the project the consideration it may deserve. Working with a Mortgage Broker can give the PM some insight as to what project phases should come before others in order to encourage lenders to invest in the project. Not all lenders will want to finance every phase of a large project and for these types of project, different lenders may be used for each phase of the project.The PM in my example was also a “bully” and was arrogant enough to question other certified professionals involved in collecting the necessary information required by the lender. This attitude resulted in many industry professionals refusing to deal with this client. The saying “it’s a small world” can be applied to many things and this project was no exception. As the years rolled by the reputation of the PM had made its rounds within the broker and lender community, making it impossible for us to find a financing solution.

Financing Options

As a Mortgage Broker, I can testify to the value of a licensed professional helping you with your financing requirements. Knowing which lender to contact and what that particular lender will require in order for them to approve financing are key assets which the Mortgage Broker can bring to the table. I would not recommend looking for financing yourself unless you have some experience in this field.


Lenders want to see you succeed if they have invested in your project. Things do happen and things can go wrong but two of the very worst things you can do is 1. not talk to the lender about the problem you are faced with, and 2. destroy your relationship with the lender by not paying them and / or being belligerent with them. In these tough economic times, if you have a lender financing your project, treat them with respect and do everything you can to preserve that relationship.


There are some key pieces of information required in order for any lender to determine if a project is viable. To name a few, this information would include: A Business Plan, Complete Financial information (including quotes, forecasts and Invoices), An appraisal, A Exit strategy, Owner Bios etc. Lack of documentation can ring alarm bells for lenders and create headaches for mortgage brokers, accountants and lawyers alike.In summary

With reference to the project I am using as an example, this could have been a viable project if handled correctly from the beginning. Indeed, we had lenders who would finance such a project but it was made clear to us -NOT WITH THE CURRENT PM INVOLVED. In this case, the property was not the point of concern… the concern was the competency of the owners. So instead of them looking forward to owning a multi-million dollar asset, the client was faced with a multi-million dollar foreclosure.

Do it right, get the necessary, SKILLED, help from the start in order for your project to be successful. Competent PM’s and Mortgage Brokers are best places to start.

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Creative Business Financing Tactics – What’s Hot and What’s Not!

Can anyone clarify the mystery of creative business financing?  Surprisingly enough, there is a myriad of misinformation — and just plain bad advice swarming this topic. If you’re at the point of utter frustration in your search for straight talk about truly creative sources of business start up funding, then read on.

Join me in weeding out “the crap” (pardon the expression) versus the truly creative business financing solutions, by exploring what’s hot and what’s not in business start up funding. Let’s start out by looking at what’s not.

What’s Not!

Borrowing from Family & Friends
This is usually not a very good idea. It’s one thing to risk your own assets, but what happens if your business doesn’t do as well as expected?

Credit Card Financing
Using credit cards as a source of start up funding is a very bad move. Not only is the interest rate unfavorable, but so are the repayment terms. Read the fine print of your card holder agreement and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Merchant Account Financing
This is like a loan, in that you are given a sum of money up front. However, there are no loan repayments. The lender takes a chunk of each and every one of your credit card transactions as repayment. Please, please, please – this is a very bad idea!

Peer-to-Peer Lending Groups
This is a loan from a non-traditional source – but nonetheless a loan. The major players are Prosper, Loanio and Zopa.

Before We Continue, Let’s Make a Quick Stop in Oz…

Did you know that creative doesn’t have to mean difficult? Challenging circumstances are often conquered with very simple — dare I say, childlike solutions.

Remember Dorothy and Toto? Dorothy just wanted to get home to Aunty Em. What she didn’t realize (until it was pointed out) was that she had the means to get back to Kansas the whole entire time. She just needed to understand how to effectively manage what she already had. Along comes Glenda her personal coach (a/k/a The Good Witch).

Glenda provides Dorothy with the training she needed to utilize the resources already at her disposal (exhibit A: the ruby red slippers). The end result? Dorothy is empowered to use what she already had, to get to where she really wanted to be. So what is the moral of this story? Are you trusting in “so called” Wizards?

Learn proven, creative financing strategies to fund your start up by exploring the benefits of bootstrapping.

What’s Hot!

Trade the value of your products or services for the products and services of other business professionals. I am well acquainted with this form of creative business financing, as a few of my customers have offered me services in lieu of payment. Check out and if you’d like more information.

Equipment Leasing
Leasing business equipment is a creative means of unlocking needed cash flow. This form of business start up funding is especially helpful if your business requires expensive machinery or equipment.

Piggyback Marketing
Find complimentary businesses to partner with. This is an excellent form of promoting your business for free.

This involves a complete system for creatively financing your business, without loan financing or the misuse of credit. All of the strategies we’ve just explored are some of the many methods of bootstrapping. For the best possible results with this form of funding, you need to invest in a proven, start up business survival guide.

Start Your Business TODAY!

As a Start Up Business Consultant, I talk with people everyday who just didn’t think that they had enough money to start a business.

Even if you have little money, poor credit or don’t own a home, you can find creative business financing solutions. I encourage you to get the help you need to find business start up funding — and start your business TODAY!

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Guess What Your Business Needs? Working Capital and Small Business Finance Loan/Loans Options

Just picture your firm having access to all the working capital you need. Seem impossible? Not really… if you have a solid understanding of your options and your firms capability of qualifying or executing on those options.

Whether you’re the largest corporation in Canada or a small new start up (and everything in between) your business needs working capital. In Canada small business financing loans and financing arraignments for working capital are limited to a handful of possibilities – but being aware of what they are and qualifying for them could be the solution to your constant focus on cash flow via some sort of working capital loan.

It is probably easier than you think to ensure you are addressing the cash flow challenge correctly – where it gets somewhat ‘ thorny ‘ is matching a solution to the problem or locating an expert that can provide you with the business financing assistance you need.

Two key elements of your first step working capital assessment are your gross margins and your turnover. That’s the big problem we have with text book / academic solutions to working capital – they point you to the text book calculation – give you a formula which essentially has you subtracting current liabilities form current assets, and voila! the inference is you have working capital. However, our clients have never paid a supplier or completed a company payroll with a ratio!To properly assess your working capital needs focus on understanding your turnover – how much inventory do you carry, what are the days outstanding in inventory, and as importantly, or more importantly, are your receivables turning over. Have you realized that for many firms 80% or so of the total of all the business assets you have are tied up in A/R, inventory, and, on the other size of the balance sheet let’s not forget payables.

So can you have financial success based on your new found knowledge and analysis of your cash flow and asset turnover. We think you can.

Canadian business financing solutions to small business finance loans really revolve around a couple viable solutions. Typically, in our experience Canadian chartered banks cant satisfy your business working capital needs – if only for the reason that they rarely finance inventory and require significant merit in your overall financials, profitability, external collateral, personal credit worthiness, etc.

So, where do you go from there? The other solutions are very viable and can take you to a potential 100% turn around in cash flow – they include working capital financing as a bundled line of credit on a/r and inventory via an independent finance company. For firms that are larger we believe the ultimate tool is an asset based line o f credit that provides high leverage margining on all you business assets. Other more esoteric solutions, but still very viable although somewhat misunderstood are securitization, and purchase order financing of new contracts and orders. (Your suppliers are paid directly for the orders you have in hand – what could be better than that?)Finally, coming up the road at lightening speed is factoring and invoice discounting. We mention them lastly but they are probably the most popular method, gaining traction everyday. Our favorite is confidential invoice financing, allowing you to control your financing.

So there you have it. You have identified new ways to determine the need; we have outlined 4 or 5 solutions that will take the guess work out of working capital. These loan and financing options are available with a bit of research, and, if you choose, speak to a Canadian business financing advisor who can provide you with timely and valuable assistance in your cash flow needs.

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