To answer your questions; First of all a Land Contract is an agreement between a buyer and a seller. The Seller of the property provides the financing on the property, not a bank or a credit union. Both parties agree on a sales price, an interest rate and a payment.
With a Land Contract the Seller retains the Title to the property, while the buyer usually takes possession of the property. All aspects of the Land Contract are negotiable, interest rate, down payment, installment payments, length of the loan, and ballon payment, to name a few.
Generally in a Land Contract, expect to pay a higher interest rate and a decent sized down payment, depending on the cost of the property. Does your credit score have to be decent? Generally the answer is no. Sellers offer Land Contracts because a lot of buyers do not qualify for conventional financing. So Land Contracts offer buyers an alternative to buying a house, especially when a Bank or Credit Union can't qualify you for a mortgage.
What does a seller get? He gets to sell his property, usually at a higher price (because of the risk), collect a higher interest rate than a bank would, collect monthly payments, sells property at a guaranteed price in the future and can take the property back in case of default, just like a bank.
A steady income of course is necessary, but not a great credit score. All aspects of a Land Contract are negotiable. I would advise you to use a Realtor to help you negotiate the contract, the Owner (Landlord) may not have your best interest at heart if you negotiate directly with them.
Contact me if you need more information, but that is the basic summary of a Land Contract.
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