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Purchase-Money Mortgage


A Purchase-Money Mortgage, also known as seller or owner financing, is a home loan provided to a buyer by the seller of the property. It is typically used in situations where the buyer may not qualify for a traditional mortgage through a bank. The terms, including interest rate and repayment schedule, are negotiated directly between buyer and seller.


The phonetic spelling for the term “Purchase-Money Mortgage” is “ˈpər-chəs ˈmə-nē ˈmɔr-gij.”

Key Takeaways


  1. Purchase-money mortgage is a home loan: Purchase-Money Mortgage, often known as seller or owner financing, is any mortgage that the seller gives to the buyer as part of the property purchase transaction. It’s considered an alternative to traditional mortgages and typically occurs when the purchaser is unable to secure a traditional home loan.
  2. Potential benefits and advantages: This type of mortgage has various advantages. The buyer may find the loan approval process quicker and more straightforward than with traditional lenders – there’s more flexibility for negotiation, sometimes it might carry a lower interest rate, and the down payment can be less strict than in a traditional home loan.
  3. Potential risks and disadvantages: Despite a range of benefits, there are also risks involved with a purchase-money mortgage. For buyers, there can be high-interest rates and potential balloon payments. For sellers, there is the risk of the buyer defaulting on the loan, and it can make it more challenging to sell the property due to the loan attachment.



A Purchase-Money Mortgage is a critical term in business and finance as it refers to a type of mortgage issued to a buyer by the seller of a property as part of the sale transaction. This form of financing is particularly significant for buyers who may not qualify for traditional financing methods due to reasons like poor credit history or insufficient funds for a sizeable down payment. It accelerates the buying process, eliminates the requirement for a bank intermediary, and allows more flexibility in setting payment terms. Thus, it can increase accessibility to property and make it easier for individuals to enter the real estate market. For sellers, it can potentially enable a faster sale and provide a steady income stream, although, with the inherent risk that the buyer may default on their payments. Therefore, understanding Purchase-Money Mortgage is essential for both parties in a real estate transaction.


The purpose of a purchase-money mortgage is to facilitate the buying of a home or real estate property when the buyer may not have enough resources for the full payment upfront or fail to qualify for a traditional mortgage. This type of financing is often used in real estate deals where traditional financing means aren’t available or cannot cover the whole cost of the property. It is often an attractive option for buyers who may have a hard time getting a typical mortgage loan due to a variety of factors, such as poor credit history or an unsteady work history.The use of purchase-money mortgage enables the seller to function akin to a lender, financing either a portion or the entirety of the purchase price. It allows the sale of real estate to occur without the buyer requiring to get financing from traditional lending institutions. The buyer makes a series of payments to the seller over time, similar to how they would repay a traditional mortgage. Consequently, sellers can benefit from offering this type of mortgage by potentially making a profit through interest or commanding a higher selling price for the property. For buyers, it can provide an accessible route to homeownership when other avenues are closed.


1. Home Buying: Probably the most common example of a purchase-money mortgage is when an individual buys a home. In this case, rather than paying the entire purchase price upfront, the buyer will provide a down payment and then take out a purchase-money mortgage for the remaining cost. The buyer will then pay off this mortgage over a specified period of time, typically 15 to 30 years. This allows the buyer to purchase a home without having to have all the money on-hand immediately.2. Owner Financing: In some cases, especially in slower housing markets or when the buyer is unable to secure a conventional mortgage, the seller might offer financing themselves, effectively lending the buyer the money to purchase the property. This is known as owner or seller financing. The seller would then hold a purchase-money mortgage on the property and the buyer would make payments to the seller, instead of a bank.3. Business Acquisition: The term can also apply to business acquisitions. When acquiring a company, if the buyer doesn’t have enough funds to pay the total price upfront, the seller might agree to accept a portion of the sale price in cash, with the promise of future payments. The buyer then issues the seller a promissory note (essentially a purchase-money mortgage) that details the terms of repayment for the remaining amount.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Purchase-Money Mortgage?

A Purchase-Money Mortgage is a type of mortgage loan issued by the seller of a property to the buyer as a means of financing the purchase. It’s often used when the buyer doesn’t have sufficient funds or can’t secure a mortgage from a traditional lender.

How does a Purchase-Money Mortgage work?

In a Purchase-Money Mortgage, the buyer makes payments to the seller instead of a traditional bank or lender. The terms of payment, including the interest rate and payment schedule, are negotiated between the buyer and the seller.

What are the benefits of a Purchase-Money Mortgage?

For buyers, a Purchase-Money Mortgage often provides flexibility, potentially lower closing costs, and the ability to purchase a home when traditional financing isn’t accessible. For sellers, it can mean faster sale of the property and an investment return through the interest charged on the loan.

Are there any potential risks with a Purchase-Money Mortgage?

Yes, potential risks can include unfavorable terms for the buyer due to the seller’s leverage in negotiation, or the risk for the seller that the buyer may default on the mortgage. It’s always recommended to get legal and financial advice before entering a Purchase-Money Mortgage agreement.

Can the Purchase-Money Mortgage be paid off early?

The ability to pay off a Purchase-Money Mortgage early generally depends on the terms set in the contract. Some may have prepayment penalties, while others may not. Buyers should carefully review the specifics before signing.

Is a Purchase-Money Mortgage the same as seller financing?

Yes, a Purchase-Money Mortgage is a type of seller financing. The terms are often used interchangeably, though seller financing can also include other types of contracts, like land contracts or lease-to-own agreements.

Does a Purchase-Money Mortgage show on a credit report?

Generally, a Purchase-Money Mortgage isn’t reported to credit bureaus unless the seller reports it, which is rare. Therefore, timely payments may not improve a buyer’s credit score. However, failure to pay can still result in foreclosure.

What happens if a buyer defaults on a Purchase-Money Mortgage?

If a buyer defaults on a Purchase-Money Mortgage, the property is usually returned to the seller to recoup the investment. The specifics may depend on the contract’s terms and local laws.

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