I would like to buy a house/rental unit via this option!
If I don't have much of a down payment, but I have some
Would this be a good way to get started?
It could be if you can find an owner who is willing to do it and the terms are good. You probably want to target retiring landlords who are looking to retire and are looking for a steady income stream without the headache of having to deal with the property. Easier said than done, but people do it all the time. Good luck
I've been looking into this option as well; as I have NO down payment, but am working to build capital. What I do to find if the owner may be willing to sell via seller financing, is I check the sales history of the property and see if their selling price is close to what they originally purchased the property for (possibly ten to twenty thousand dollar difference at most). If such is the case, they may be motivated to get rid of the property and wait to receive the little bit of equity expected at a later time. I also like to alert for reduced selling prices. If the previously noted is the case and the seller is reducing the price on the home often, they may be willing to do exactly as you require, and in some cases will pay you to take their home off of their hands (according to an early podcast I listened to on biggerpockets). Also, check the land records to ensure there are no liens on the property as well, so you're not wasting much time with the seller if you'll end up having to pour money into the property.
I hope this helps! More experienced investors, please chime in!
Just remember that many owners who do offer financing may be doing so because they can't sell their property for one reason or another. Most likely, the house is overpriced and/or in need of significant repair, and the seller can't find anyone to take the dud off of their hands.