land contract

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Land contract

A method of real estate financing; a mortgage-holding seller finances a buyer by taking a down payment and subsequent payments in installments, but holds the title until the mortgage is fully repaid.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

Land Contract

A contract in which a buyer agrees to purchase real property from the seller for a certain price and on a certain payment schedule, but in which the seller retains title to the land until all payments have been made. A land contract may or may not amortize payment evenly, so that it may require a large balloon payment at some point in order to transfer title. Land contracts are most common either for buyers who would not qualify for a normal mortgage or for purchases made for investment purposes. In the United States, different states have different regulations and restrictions on land contracts. See also: Lease with an option to buy, Rent-to-own.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

land contract

Also called a bond for title, land sale contract or contract for deed. It is a financing arrangement for real property,in which the seller holds the financing and the legal title and does not give the buyer a deed until all payments have been made in full.For many people with the inability to secure financing, it is the only practical way for them to own a home. The practice is perilous, though, and could result in the loss of the property, and substantial money spent over the years, simply because of one late payment.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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A contract is shorthand for "contract for deed," also advertised as "rent to buy," "seller financing," or "installment land contracts." These are not inherently predatory, as any northern Midwesterner will tell you.
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