Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Illinois

Buying a house without a mortgage

If I find a motivated seller, can I talk to a lawyer and have a contract drawn up that will promise a certain down payment from me and a certain amount of rent in exchange for ownership of the property? And in the contract basically if I default a certain number of months then the seller would get the house back?

Asked on 5/22/09, 7:25 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Kenneth J. Ashman Ashman Law Offices, LLC
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Re: Buying a house without a mortgage

Yes, the parties can do what they want, if you find a seller willing to agree. That said, if I were the seller dealing with your proposal, I would ensure that title to the house would not pass, i.e., there would be no closing, until the "rent" you paid towards the purchase price had been fully paid off. Until then, you would be a mere tenant and the owner would be the landlord.

But, that's just me, and if you found a seller willing to do what you wanted, I know of no legal prohibition against it.

-- Kenneth J. Ashman; www.AshmanLawOffices.com; KAshman@AshmanLawOffices.com

The information provided by Ashman Law Offices, LLC (“ALO”) is for general educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is established by this communication and no privilege attaches to such communication. ALO is not taking and will not take any action on your behalf and will not be considered your attorney until both you and ALO have signed a written retention agreement. There are strict deadlines, called statutes of limitation, within which claims or lawsuits must be filed. Therefore, if you desire the services of an attorney and decide not to retain ALO on terms acceptable to ALO, you should immediately seek the services of another attorney.

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5/22/09, 9:58 pm
Burton Padove Indiana and Illinois Lawyer, Burton A. Padove
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Re: Buying a house without a mortgage

Sure. Rent to own contracts are certainly legal. Feel free to contact me when the time comes, I will be happy to draft a contract.

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5/22/09, 10:57 pm
John Lee John D. Lee and Associates, LLC
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Re: Buying a house without a mortgage

Generally, yes, because what you describe is a seller-financed purchase money mortgage. Normally, the seller would give a buyer possession but not title [ownership] until after the purchase money mortgage is paid in full, and the seller would put a signed deed in escrow at closing. Do you need an attorney? This answer does not constitute legal advice because you are not as yet my client.

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5/23/09, 9:43 am

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