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Land Contract Sale Story

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, a land contract sale is simply a sale of property on payments. In some places it is also called a contract for deed or contract for sale. The owner typically takes a down payment from the buyer and then accepts monthly payments with interest. With a mortgage loan the buyer has the deed to the property with a lien on it. With a land contract the actual deed to the property is conveyed after all payments are made.

With that explanation I introduce the following entry in the Most Interesting Money Maker Contest. (Other entries are listed on the page Interesting Ways to Make Money.) It is not the most unusual way to make money, but the story is interesting for another reason; it shows what is possible if you do what you can to get ahead.


There is nothing very unusual about someone making money from selling a piece of real estate. It was a trifle unusual in the circumstances that occurred. A lifelong dream of mine was to have my own land and to design and build a unique home. I was also motivated by a friend who was doing exactly that,and thirteen years later, still is.

I found the land quite by accident, while driving around on a Saturday afternoon. It felt right and I am a person who tries to listen to my intuition. I found the owners eight miles away and at home. They were willing to agree to a land contract, so we agreed in principle to a deal on the spot. So began a six year stretch where I lived in resort housing in the winter and camped on my land during the other seasons; thus saving rent to apply to my project.

The economy was in the tank and my small remodeling company was dying a slow death, health problems were mounting and I saw the project of a home out of pocket as increasingly impossible. Therefore, I decided to sell my land with a small cabin that I built.

I paid $7200.00 and put approximately $2000.00 into it as well as unknown thousands of hours into it. I sold it for $15000.00 and interest on a land contract - in essence doubling my money.

If you were reading between the lines you may have realized that the capital gain and interest on the land contract sale were only part of the money equation here. The author mentions that he camped on the land for much of each year instead of paying rent. Some wouldn't be willing to do this, but it clearly meant saving many thousands of dollars in rent each year - something to consider when looking at the financial advantage of this investment.

Note: Sign up for the newsletter (the form should be to the right), where I'll announce new competitions when I have them - or just send me any true story you have of an interesting way you've made money. If I use it here I'll send you an e-book of you choice (with at least two or three to choose from).

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