Minneapolis deals and steals

The broker said contracts for deed are a good way for people like Williams, who have bad credit or low incomes, to buy homes. Gangestad charges higher interest rates than a bank. In most cases, he said that's because buyers put little to no money down. He said nobody who could get a lower interest loan would ever buy from him. The problem is that many buyers don't understand what they're getting into, according to Legal Aid attorney Luke Grundman. As credit continues to be tight, he said unregulated contracts for deed are fueling housing fraud in areas like north Minneapolis, where foreclosed homes come cheap.

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But real estate broker Gangestad said he is providing a needed public service to people who want to own homes but lack access to credit. And he's unapologetic about his reasons for selling homes through a contract for deed. I got less hassles, less aggravation," Gangestad said. As the number of contracts for deed rise, Acting Director of Regulatory Services Henry Reimer is concerned that landlords are using these deals to avoid regulations and rent without a license.

Tetter and her fiance recently turned down their landlord's offer of a contract for deed.

Tetter, 38, said her landlord lost his rental license and the house was in terrible condition. The city posted a red sticker warning of unpaid assessments on the property.

Deals and Steals

Tetter worries that her neighbor, who accepted a contract for deed with the landlord, got a bad deal. To prevent more people from entering into contracts they don't understand, Minneapolis officials are surveying neighborhoods to find out how many contracts for deed are out there. Meanwhile, housing advocates are crafting legislation for next session they say would give more protection to contract for deed buyers.

So most buyers have to refinance in order to make a balloon payment, complete the deal and get the deed to the house. But refinancing is often difficult because properties sold this way are often not appraised, so buyers may be agreeing to pay more than a home is worth. Williams bought his home through north Minneapolis real estate broker Howie Gangestad.

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The broker said contracts for deed are a good way for people like Williams, who have bad credit or low incomes, to buy homes. Gangestad charges higher interest rates than a bank. In most cases, he said that's because buyers put little to no money down. He said nobody who could get a lower interest loan would ever buy from him.

The problem is that many buyers don't understand what they're getting into, according to Legal Aid attorney Luke Grundman.

As credit continues to be tight, he said unregulated contracts for deed are fueling housing fraud in areas like north Minneapolis, where foreclosed homes come cheap. But real estate broker Gangestad said he is providing a needed public service to people who want to own homes but lack access to credit.

And he's unapologetic about his reasons for selling homes through a contract for deed. I got less hassles, less aggravation," Gangestad said. As the number of contracts for deed rise, Acting Director of Regulatory Services Henry Reimer is concerned that landlords are using these deals to avoid regulations and rent without a license.


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Tetter and her fiance recently turned down their landlord's offer of a contract for deed. Tetter, 38, said her landlord lost his rental license and the house was in terrible condition. The city posted a red sticker warning of unpaid assessments on the property.

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