You’ll pay rent throughout the lease term. The question is whether a portion of each payment is applied to the eventual purchase price. As an example, if you pay $1,200 in rent each month for three years, and 25% of that is credited toward the purchase, you’ll earn a $10,800 rent credit ($1,200 x 0.25 = $300; $300 x 36 months = $10,800). Typically, the rent is slightly higher than the going rate for the area to make up for the rent credit you receive. But be sure you know what you're getting for paying that premium.

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Think about it, what if you were able to pick an area that you would like to live in but may not be able to afford right now or just no ready to make that big purchase. With the Rent to Own process, you can get into that house without the 30 year commitment. You can even have a portion of the rent credited to the sales price or closing costs, that’s instance equity at closing for you.

The lease option gives you dibs to purchase the home you’re renting, typically valid for a term equal to the lease term set forth in your rental agreement. So if the rental agreement specified a three-year lease term, the lease option will usually give you three years to buy the house without worrying about anyone else swooping in and snatching it out from under you.
You may lack the credit score and traditional 20% down payment for a traditional mortgage, but remember to investigate an FHA loan. If you’re a first-time buyer, you can put as little down as 3.5% if you have a credit score of at least 580 and meet other criteria, such as steady employment and a certain debt-to-income ratio. You will, however, have to pay mortgage insurance to help lessen your lender’s risk.
Once you fully understand all the terms of the rent-to-own agreement -- and have had an attorney look it over and provide feedback -- it’s time to finalize the deal. Of course, signatures from both parties will be required at this time, as well as upfront payments such as the agreed-upon “option fee,” the monetary consideration that is necessary to make the rent-to-own contract binding.
A: An experienced Realtor will be able to put together for you a rent-to-own contract (also called a Lease Purchase). Don't hesitate to call your Realtor to ask. If they are uncomfortable doing this type of contract, then ask to speak to their Branch Manager who will have the knowledge to be able to craft a Lease Purchase contract. A Lease Purchase is a GREAT way to lock in on today's home prices, and live in a home to get to know the neighborhood, but be able to obtain the financing later. I would also suggest speaking to a lender now to outline your situation so that you can really be ready in a year to complete the purchase. Good luck!
Think of it just like renting, except there is an additional non-refundable deposit and the rent is higher than normal. As long as you go through with the purchase, the non-refundable deposit and a portion of your rent is applied toward the purchase. If you don’t go through with the purchase for any reason, the non-refundable deposit and the extra high rent is gone. You will probably also be responsible for all maintenance. Make sure that when the option comes due, you will be able to qualify for the loan. If market value dips while you’re renting, it might mean that the appraisal comes in low, requiring that you pay the difference in cash or walk away from the additional monies you’ve paid. In fact, since you’re in Las Vegas, you might want to think of it more like gambling!
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The justrenttoown.com site also lets you search by zip code for eligible homes. As soon as you've input your zip code and searched, you'll get a list of homes. You can click for details, but you have to register to see an in-depth offering of each listing. When you register, you will get access to seller contact information as well. There is a rent-to-own guide for potential applicants as well.

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Events out of your control could cause you to lose your equity. If the landlord’s financial situation changes and the house goes into foreclosure, that house goes to the bank—not to you. Or, if the seller just up and changes their mind after they’ve signed a rent-to-own contract, it would take expensive legal action to enforce the contract in that scenario. That’s a cost you may not be able (or willing) to pay.
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Reasons to enter into a lease option include the better use of a buyer's time and money by allowing a renter the time to secure financing, save money, reduce debt and acquire financing. Additionally, since the purchase option price of the home is usually fixed when the lease is signed, another plus in an up market can be when home values increase over the term of the lease while the fixed option price remains constant, a buyer/renter can actually be earning equity while renting. Done properly, a lease option can be quite a good deal for a buyer. On the down side, if the value of the property decreases over the term of the lease the buyer has lost nothing since he can simply walk away at the end of the lease term.


At the end of your two-year lease term, assuming you exercise your option to purchase, the fixed $200,000 purchase price will be discounted by a) the amount of the option fee and b) the total rent credits. So subtracting the $6,000 option fee brings the price down to $194,000. Then, subtracting $7,680 in rent credits ($320 x 24 months) further reduces it to $186,320.
Q: It has been almost a year since the short sale of our previous home. We don't believe we will be able to qualify for a mortgage for a while yet. Do Realtors assist buyers in finding a situation where we could rent a home for a period of time (say, a year), with the intention of purchasing it at the end of that time period? Or is that not really something Realtors do?

While rent-to-own agreements have traditionally been geared toward people who can’t qualify for conforming loans, there’s a second group of candidates who have been largely overlooked by the rent-to-own industry: people who can’t get mortgages in pricey, non-conforming loan markets. “In high-cost urban real estate markets, where jumbo [nonconforming] loans are the standard, there is a large demand for a better solution for financially viable, credit-worthy people who can’t get or don’t want a mortgage yet,” says Marjorie Scholtz, founder and CEO of Verbhouse, a San Francisco–based start-up that’s redefining the rent-to-own market.
When it comes time to consider purchasing your home, a viable option for many people is the rent-to-own (RTO) option. This practice is gaining favor with young people and families who may not have the means or the credit to secure a mortgage loan. This article will go in-depth on the topic of the rent-to-own real estate option. We'll talk about how it works when it's a good idea, why sellers opt for this type of sale, how it compares to buying a home, pros, cons, and much more. The goal of this article is to give anyone who wants more information about RTO a complete overview, plus links to find out more information. By the end, you should have a good idea if this option could work for you or not.
A rent-to-own agreement can be an excellent option if you’re an aspiring homeowner but aren’t quite ready, financially speaking. These agreements give you the chance to get your finances in order, improve your credit score and save money for a down payment while “locking in” the house you’d like to own. If the option money and/or a percentage of the rent goes toward the purchase price – which they often do – you also get to build some equity.
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Trust us; it’s worth it to buy a house the smart way. If you need time to clean up your finances, that’s okay. There’s no shame in renting while you pay down debt and save an emergency fund. In fact, that’s the best thing you can do! After your finances are in order, you can start putting money aside for a hefty down payment. Don’t buy a house—or sign an agreement to buy a house—when you’re broke!
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While rent-to-own transactions are most commonly conducted for purchasing consumer goods at a retail store, this term also describes a specialized real estate agreement. The rent-to-own housing option is typically exercised more often during housing market downturns, such as the late 2000s (decade) financial crisis.[33] Because the most recent housing market downturn was accompanied by protective regulatory scrutiny of lending practices and consumer credit agencies, acquiring a loan has become more difficult for Subprime borrowers.[34] Some have opined that residential home rental may become the new normal, whereas proponents of rent-to-own real estate agreements argue otherwise.[35]

Tenants who rent-to-own are often individuals who would have trouble buying a house through the traditional route because of poor credit, low income, or lack of a down payment. Rent-to-own gives them an opportunity for home ownership while living in the house they will eventually purchase and it also gives them a chance to discover flaws in the house before committing to purchasing it.


“Anything unusual – in income, for example – tosses good income earners into an ‘outlier’ status because underwriters can’t fit them neatly into a box,” says Scholtz. This includes people who have nontraditional incomes, are self-employed or contract workers, or have unestablished U.S. credit (e.g., foreign nationals) – and those who simply lack the huge 20% to 40% down payment banks require for nonconforming loans.
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Price. Your price is what the seller and the tenant have agreed on to buy and sell the property for. This purchase price is usually above the home's current market value. You can choose to have a set rate, or you can choose to decide a purchase price based on market values once your payment term is up. As the real estate market isn't guaranteed, many sellers opt for a fixed rate price.
Depending on the terms of the contract, you may be responsible for maintaining the property and paying for repairs. Usually, this is the landlord's responsibility, so read the fine print of your contract carefully. Because sellers are ultimately responsible for any homeowner association fees, taxes and insurance (it’s still their house, after all), they typically choose to cover these costs. Either way, you’ll need a renter’s insurance policy to cover losses to personal property and provide liability coverage if someone is injured while in the home or if you accidentally injure someone.
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