Buying a property "subject to" or a non-formal assumption of the loan is possible, though typically not allowable by the lender. Most loan documents have an acceleration clause in them, that makes the loan payable in full at the time a property sells. A slight variation on this is the "wrap" financing. This is done by the seller offering financing on the property via a deed of trust which "wraps" the existing mortgage. The buyer pays a mortgage payment to the seller (previous owner) and the seller makes his payment on the orignal note (which stays on the property). Again, this is almost always not allowed by the way the loan note is written. Is it done, yes. Especially in turburlant real estate times that many communities are experiencing recently. There are many strategies to do this in the most effective way possible and to avoid the pitfalls of a lender accelerating the loan. This is a tricky playing field and should not be navigated without good guidance. Best of luck.