One drawback of the rent-to-own selling option is that you might want to sell your house or condo sooner, and if your contract or lease doesn’t allow for you to do so, you could be locked into the terms you agree to with your tenant/buyer. Consult your attorney on how to make this sale provision of your contract negotiable if you need this flexibility.
The contract will also indicate how long you’ll rent the home before you have to decide whether to buy it and how much you’ll pay in rent each month. The contract should state, too, how much of your monthly rental payment will go toward reducing the final sales price of the home. It should also list what happens to any extra rent money you pay each month. In most rent-to-own agreements, that extra money is also nonrefundable.
In a lease-option agreement, you will have to give a usually nonrefundable payment at the beginning of your lease term. This payment, known as option money, is a small percentage of the purchase price of the rent-to-own house. If the aforementioned $300,000 rent-to-own house had a contract stipulating 3% in option money, you would be required to pay $9,000 at the beginning of the contract.
You could decide you don’t want to purchase the house. Let’s say you get a new job that requires you relocate to a new city. Or maybe you still can’t qualify for a mortgage at the end of the contract term. Perhaps you just decide this house isn’t for you. If you’re in a lease option agreement, you can walk away from the contract. But what happens to all of the cash you forked over in higher rent and option money? That’s thousands of dollars you won’t get back.
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Rent. While the potential buyer is living in the home during the set term, they are paying rent. A percentage of the rent will typically go toward the purchase price, and this is called a rent credit. It is vital rent is paid on time or else the buyer may not get rental credit & may be assigned a fine. To understand how rental credit works, let us consider a $225,000 RTO property with a 3% option consideration. This will give you a $6,750 option consideration that can be credited toward the purchase price. The rent payments are $1,550 each month with $300 earmarked as a rent credit. The RTO term is 24 months until you have to purchase the home. If you take all of these things into consideration, you get:

At HousingList we believe home-ownership should be accessible to everyone. We work to spread awareness around alternative, non-traditional routes to home-ownership such as rent-to-own and HUD properties. These alternative paths to owning a home can help people who don't have enough funds saved for today's rising down-payments, people who need to improve their credit scores, or any number of factors that prevent today's buyers from the dream of homeownership.

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HousingList provides buyers with a full database of rent-to-own, HUD Homes, and Foreclosure real estate in their area. Visit our library to learn more about what a rent-to-own home is, how to rent-to-own, and other common questions buyers have asked over the years. We work hard to keep this area updated with all the information you will need throughout the entire rent-to-own process. You can also get up-to-date news, tips and more on our blog.
Housing StatisticsProperty prices in Las Vegas aren't as high as people might think, largely because the city extends far beyond the glossy and abundantly wealthy areas of the Vegas Strip. Las Vegas proper has houses for sale at an average of just over $360,000, with median prices much lower than that at only $161,500. The population in the city stands at about 600,000, with an almost exact split between men and women, with average income per household of $47,000. A recent study from the University of Nevada has also shown that roughly 40,000 homes, or eight percent of the total homes in the city, are vacant. As such, people looking for homes for sale or rent to own properties should have a fairly easy ride finding a few potential options in the city.

These programs are a great way to buy a condo or townhouse if you have bad credit. In fact, lease purchase and rent to buy programs usually offer cheap homes with no credit check. Just make sure you look at your lease to purchase agreement to understand whether you have the option or obligation to buy the home you’re looking at. Lease-purchase agreements require the buyer to purchase by the end of the lease term, while lease-option agreements give the buyer the option to buy.
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