I’m going to have to go back and really read up on all this. My understanding (granted, it’s several decades old now) was that lease to own was legally different from contract for deed, which was also different from, but not as much different, from a standard mortgage. I’m going to have to get current on my information. If nothing else, this whole conversation has impressed upon me that there are a lot of details to be considered, and very skilled legal counsel to consult, if this ever gets far enough to be entering the “let’s write it down and sign on the dotted line” stage. Thank you all for helping me sort through all these risks.
Jhon, did you see anything about whether a lot of these laws are federal or state-by-state in nature? I believe most insurance laws are at the state level? I hadn’t considered looking into elder abuse laws as part of this, but yea that’s in there too.
Two things to keep in mind if/when we move forward on this:
1) We already lease land from these folks, so we’re already in a position where most of these issues are a possibility. Any or all of these scenarios could happen, as soon as this afternoon. So what we’re trying to do is improve/solidify what we already have.
2) We already have a commercial farm insurance policy which covers us both here and at the property. They were actually worried that our activities would hold them liable as the land owners, if anything happened. And I’m sure some enterprising lawyer would try to capitalize on that if anything we did, went sideways and caused damage. But if something they did caused damage, we already do have coverage for that. We actually talked in pretty good detail with our insurance agent about that very situation. So coverage is available for stuff like this, in advance.
I guess I’d return to the fundamental question then: how is a VLC’s student supposed to buy a property like this, if we haven’t had the time in advance to save up 100% cash for it? I’m starting to think getting the credit card to pay the utility bills so that our credit score is stronger, might be the better idea. Because the only way I can think to do this is either get a loan through a bank, or buy it from them over time. The third alternative would seem to be socking away $8000 a month until we’ve saved up enough to buy it in cash. And as I’ve already said, even if we could put aside money in such big chunks, I don’t think we have that kind of time to work with. Five years, maybe. Ten? Nope. So any other options, I’d definitely like to hear them.