Creating affordable homes and
strengthening communities through the
wise stewardship of land and resources.

How to Buy a Home with the Land Trust

Frequently Asked Questions

Who lives in Land Trust homes?

Land Trust homeowners include families, children, grandparents, couples, and singles.  They are social workers, bus drivers, teachers, students, office workers, business owners, stay-at-home moms, artists, musicians, and much more. 

Some of our lowest income homebuyers would not have beeen able to buy a home except through the Land Trust.  Other Land Trust homeowners could have afforded to buy a home on the open market, but most likely they would have qualified for a home in need of significant repairs which would have been too expensive for them to complete.  The Land Trust helps these families purchase a much higher quality home than they would have otherwise been able to afford. 

What about realtors?

You may choose to work with a realtor to purchase a Land Trust home or you may choose to purchase a home without a realtor.   

What about taxes?

Land Trust homeowners pay all the taxes and assessments associated with their property.  As with all homeowners, the interest portion of their mortgage payment is tax deductible.  If you itemize your federal income taxes, the property taxes that are paid also are tax deductible.

How does NCLT get property?

Northern Communities Land Trust purchases property and also receives donations of land.  The Land Trust obtains loans to finance its purchases and construction.

What is the process for selling a Land Trust home?

When a homeowner wants to sell his or her home, there are several options.  The home can be sold back to the Land Trust (which has the first option to buy), it can be sold directly to an income-qualified buyer, or it can be given to the homeowner’s children or heirs.

Since Land Trust homes are not bought and sold on the open market, a formula is used to determine the sale price. This resale formula guarantees the homeowner all of their equity plus 30 percent of the appreciated value of the home. 

Essentially, in exchange for buying a home at an affordable price, the homeowner must also sell the home at an affordable price.  This preserves the affordability for the next lower-income family who buys the home.

Independent appraisals of the home are be obtained at the time of purchase and in preparation for the sale.  The resale formula will be used to determine the sale price as in the following example: 

Initial appraised value of home:
Initial purchase price of home:
Appraised value of home at resale:
Increase in value of home (“appreciation”):
Resale price of home:

The resale price is the initial price ($70,000) plus 30 percent of the increase in value (.30 x $40,000=$12,000), which equals $82,000.  The seller receives all of the equity plus $12,000 from appreciation.

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Northern Communities Land Trust   l   206 W. 4th St., Suite 201  l   Duluth, MN 55806

Phone: (218) 727-5372  l   Fax: (218) 727-3646  l   E-Mail: