It doesn't have to be a scam. This kind of market should have more such opportunities. However, there are a few issues with this arrangement, one of which is fair pricing. Does an investor who paid a remarkably low price to purchase want to sell at today's prices, or would they rather hold out another couple years in hopes that we'll see another jump like we've seen these last twelve months? Furthermore, do you as a buyer really want to set in stone that you're willing to pay a drastically higher price than houses are currently worth, when instead you could just take your chances and wait? Most of the lease-to-own opportunities and seller carried financing deals I've seen have been too expensive, in my opinion. Sometimes, you'll find a decent seller carried financing deal, but otherwise my advice to clients is usually to play it safe and just keep it simple. If you can't easily buy right now without agreeing to exotic terms, then perhaps it's better to sit this round out -- after all, the market appears to be stabilizing again, which should help ease fears that we're in for 25% jumps in pricing over the next year.