What is a Land Trust?
The basic idea of a Land Trust is pretty simple really. It is a legal tool or vehicle used to protect the interests of its owners, or Beneficiaries.
How does a Land Trust work? Think of it like a box, into which the property is placed. The Beneficiaries of the Trust own the box, or trust, which is looked after by an independent third party, called a Trustee.
It sounds complicated. Do I have to become an expert to use a Land Trust? Fortunately, no. The best thing is to focus on what a Land Trust can do for you.Beneficiaries.
Is it safe to use Land Trusts? Absolutely. Land Trusts have been around for a hundred years.
Do I need good credit to buy a house? Not with us. You do need to be able to show you can afford the monthly payments, however, and have some money available up front.
How much money do I need up front? Far less than you might think. If you can come up with the equivalent of three monthly payments, plus the closing costs (trust set up, accounting fees, etc.,) we can move you in.
Do you charge in advance for your services? No. We are looking for people to partner with, not to become our clients.
What about marketing costs? You said you would have us pay to advertise our house for sale? In most cases, we ask sellers to continue to pay to advertise for a partner in their properties. We take the calls so you don't have to.
Do you offer Lease Options, or Rent-to-Own? No, not the way they are usually done. As of January 1, 2006, most lease options cannot be done in Texas anyway. Previously, they were very often not in the best interests of the tenant/hopeful buyer. Instead, our resident partners acquire a beneficial interest in a Land Trust right along with us, and begin enjoying the benefits of real estate ownership immediately.
As a seller, do I still get to keep the mortgage interest and property tax deductions? Yes, unless, of course, you buy another property and want to take the deductions that go with owning it.
But how do both the buyer and seller get to do this? It's one of those neat things about owning real estate (or, in this case, about owning a beneficial interest in a Land Trust that owns real estate!) But don't ask us... ask the IRS, which says that Mortgage Interest and Property Tax deductions are available to the co-beneficiary who pays them (see IRC 161; 167[h]), as well as to the person on the loan.