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land contract

A man and woman on a porch at a house in Detroit
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A group of housing activists hopes to organize land contract buyers in Detroit and other cities.

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: How to cash in on a crappy home. Step one: Find a sucker to sign a land contract.

May 18, 2017
Bridge photo by Joel Kurth

Denise Pope put a down payment on hope as much as a house.

Sure, the home wasn’t much: An 800-square-foot wood bungalow, barely big enough to contain her four children and husband. There were holes in the walls, probably from thieves getting to copper pipes. Like most empty Detroit homes, it lacked a furnace and water heater.

But it was in a good neighborhood, Rosedale Park, near a big playground. And the house came with a promise: Put $3,500 down, pay $500 per month plus $82 in taxes, and it would be hers in a little over two years.