I'm glad you are here! You will find plenty of good Realtors who are happy to provide guidance for you at no charge.
Most land contracts would be noted in the listing, if an owner offers a land contract that typically means they own that property free and clear. If the owner has a mortgage on that property, the mortgage would include a due on sale clause. Meaning he does not have the right to resell that property to anyone without paying off the existing mortgage.
Typically land contracts were more advantageous to the seller than the buyer, however with the current credit crunch, there are alot of people out there who do have money and do pay bills that connot get a convential loan. Making land contract a hot commodity, with this being your only option as you put it, you are using a land contract to the buyer advantage.
The nice thing about land contracts is the terms are written by the seller, and have to be agreed upon by you, the buyer. So like Norm said you can write the contract to work for both of you, to help both of you rather than be a burden or stress in your life.
I admire your enthusiasm in trying to tackle this endeavor yourself, however finding the right land contract for you might be less of a pain if you consult with a Realtor. You can choose to interview 2 or 3 and see if there is one that you like, that you will enjoy having them work in your best interest. I work with my buyers free of charge, and I would expect nothing less of the agent you choose to work with.
I hope this was of some assistance, if you do choose to look on your own dont be affraid to contact a real estate attorney to make sure your rights are protected.
If you do have anymore questions you know where to find me, on trulia, or drop me a line on www.myhomemichigan.com
Best of Luck