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Why does buying a home have to be so difficult?


(Johnson County, KS) The nationwide credit crisis may have turned “the American dream” into an extended nightmare for many Kansas home buyers.

Banks and mortgage lenders (who didn’t go out of business) have tightened up their lending requirements to the point where many home buyers today can no longer qualify for a mortgage.

Record foreclosures, unemployment, upheaval  in the financial markets and the current credit crunch has not only reduced the number of buyers who can buy but has also increased the number of houses that sellers need to sell.

It is turning into vicious cycle as many buyers need to sell their current home first… and many sellers (unless they plan to rent) need new financing to get into their next home. As a result, a sea of real estate agents, mortgage brokers and home builders have gone out of business. These professionals were in the business of serving buyers and sellers. But that’s hard to do with the credit crisis when the entire real estate industry traditionally relies on mortgage lending to finance buyers and get houses sold.

How can buyers get financing if they can’t meet the tougher lending criteria on credit scores, income verification, down payment amounts and debt ratios?

Well there’s one local real estate professional who is sitting pretty. Jon Bichelmeyer is the president of Archway Homes, Inc. Since 1996, his private investment company has been buying and selling houses throughout the Greater KC area and not always relying on banks to do so.

Jon’s company takes over existing mortgages or brings in private lenders allowing him to pay homeowners all cash for the properties. He then offers his properties for rent to own or “for sale by owner” using a variety of unique seller financing programs.

By taking a long term approach and not relying on banks, business has never been better for Jon and his company.

What does a real estate investor like Jon Bichelmeyer do with the houses he buys each month? What about the hundreds of houses his company has bought throughout Johnson and Wyandotte counties over the last 15+ years? Simple. He resells them. “We’re usually managing 40 to 50 properties at any given time making us one of the largest owners of single family homes in the area. Each month we may have 3 to 6 ore more houses for sale. Some we’ve owned for years and others we recently bought.”

With a reasonable down payment, Jon says he can sell you one of his properties using his popular owner financing programs — even if you have damaged credit or short job history. “If you have a downpayment and a steady income, I can probably sell you one of my houses” he claims.

His most popular owner financing program includes the opportunity to build “sweat equity”. Before repairing or remodeling a newly acquired house, Jon offers it in “as is” condition to his buyer’s list. This allows his client to do the work (in the way they want it) in exchange for all or part of a down payment. “I have a lot of buyer’s who check my website each week looking for these ‘fixer upper’ deals. But if the home is not under contract within 10 days or so then I’ll hire my contractors to fix it up completely.”

His next most popular program is a Rent to Own plan. Many buyers turn to Jon because they don’t have the credit required by today’s cautious lenders. He can help buyers build up equity or a down payment over time with his rent-to-own (or lease with the option to buy) program. You can rent the property you’ve decided to buy, but close anytime over the next 1or 2 or more years. Part of the rent each month is credited toward buying, additional amounts can be made each month for more rapid equity build up, plus other promised amounts can be made later… like proceeds from the sale of another property or a pending tax refund.

Once the buyer has enough “skin” in the deal, Jon can close with owner financing at the predetermined, mutually agreed upon price and terms. Or the buyer can close with a new bank loan. According to Jon, “There are so many reasons my buyers like some time before qualifying for a mortgage. They may need to sell their house, work on their credit, establish more time on a job or establish two years of provable income on tax returns when self-employed. All our buyers are put in touch with a sharp mortgage broker who creates a plan for them. We can recommend an affordable credit repair company that can do unbelievable things given 6 to 12 months to work on a file. This helps out some sellers too who got in over their head.”

“We do everything we can to get our buyers permanent bank financing. Unfortunately many of the mortgage programs once available are now gone. It’s reported that 75% of the available lending disappeared as the FHA has changed their rules over the last few years. But if you have money to put down and can prove your income there are still loans available now. In fact some rural development loans and VA loans still allow qualified buyers to borrow with no money down.

“We help all of our buyers get a bank loan as quickly as possible… or we finance them ourselves. But we’ve never relied on banks. That keeps us in control and maintains our sanity. But we get those loans done every chance we get. In fact, sometimes a buyer can qualify and doesn’t even know it. Other times they can qualify but need a flexible seller. We’re one of the most creative and flexible sellers you’ll ever find” says Jon.

Does buying or selling a home have to be difficult? Maybe not!

“Obama has said that today’s economy is the worst since the Great Depression and it may take many years to recover. Unfortunately I think he’s right and so do many sharp economists.”

Looking to buy a new home without bank qualifying? It may be worth checking in with Jon Bichelmeyer and his staff at Archway Homes, Inc. Call them at (913) 599-5000 or visit them online at

They’re in a unique position to help buyers overcome the new challenges created by the recent mortgage market meltdown and credit crisis.

Archway Homes KC, INC. is located at 15301 W 87th St Pkwy, Ste B 35 in Lenexa, KS, is a BBB Accredited business with the Kansas City Area Better Business Bureau with an A rating, and proud member of the Midwest Area Real Estate Investors group.

Jon Bichelmeyer is the President of Archway Homes, Inc. and is 15 year veteran of real estate investing focusing on systems for real estate entrepreneurs involving creative financing, private lending, marketing, business development and ethical business practices.

 For more information or to view a list of properties for sale, just visit

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