If you`re planning to purchase a property in Ohio, you may have come across the term “land contract.” Simply put, a land contract is a type of financing where the owner of a property acts as the lender and the buyer makes payments directly to them.

So, how do land contracts work in Ohio? Here`s a breakdown of the basics:

1. Negotiating the Contract

The first step in a land contract is negotiating the terms. This includes the purchase price, down payment, interest rate, payment structure, and any contingencies. Both parties must agree to the terms before the contract is legally binding.

2. Making Payments

Once the contract is signed, the buyer makes payments directly to the seller. These payments typically include principal and interest, but may also include taxes and insurance. The terms of the contract dictate the frequency and amount of payments.

3. Title and Ownership

Unlike a traditional mortgage, the buyer does not receive the title to the property until the contract is paid in full. Until then, the seller retains ownership. However, the buyer can take possession and use the property as if they own it while making payments.

4. Defaulting on the Contract

If the buyer fails to make payments or violates any other terms of the contract, the seller can take legal action to evict the buyer and reclaim the property.

5. Balloon Payments

Some land contracts may include a balloon payment, where the final payment is significantly larger than the others. This can be a way to reduce the monthly payments, but buyers should be prepared to make a large payment at the end of the contract term.

Land contracts can be a good option for buyers who may not qualify for traditional financing or who want more control over the terms of their loan. However, buyers should also be aware of the potential risks and consult with a real estate attorney before entering into any contract.