Example: Jane falls in love with a lovely cottage in her desired neighborhood and is eager to buy it. However, she hasn’t saved any money for a down payment and is worried that her bad credit won’t allow her to get a home loan. The owner of the cottage offers to let Jane rent to own the property. Jane agrees to pay a monthly base rental of $1,500 plus an added $500 to go towards a down payment. The rent to own contract specifies that Jane can purchase the cottage in 36 months for $90,000.
Many people want the benefits of living in a single family home. However, whether they're a first-time homebuyer who's cautious about making such a large financial investment, someone who has recently relocated and is unsure of which neighborhood to live in, or someone who is creditworthy but cannot currently obtain a mortgage, they hope to one day buy a home but aren't ready now.
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A rent-to-own agreement allows would-be home buyers to move into a house right away, with several years to work on improving their credit scores and/or saving for a down payment before trying to get a mortgage. Of course, certain terms and conditions must be met, in accordance with the rent-to-own agreement. Even if a real estate agent assists with the process, it’s essential to consult a qualified real estate attorney who can clarify the contract and your rights before you sign anything.
Consumer advocates and plaintiffs testifying in legal proceedings have at times alleged that rent-to-own stores routinely repossess merchandise when a consumer is close to acquiring ownership. At the time of a 2000 FTC survey, individuals who engaged in rent-to-own transactions reported a “low incidence of late-term repossessions,” which the FTC suggested might be due to the reinstatement rights mandated in most states, as these rights allow consumers to reinstate this type of contract after repossession.
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If you want to see different types of homes for sale in your area including RTO listings, housinglist.com is a great resource. When you pull up the site, it'll ask you for your desired zip code. When you enter this information, a list of different houses will come up along with how they're being sold. There are foreclosures, for sale by owner, real estate listings, and RTOs. You click on 'get more details' to see more about the houses. You register for the site to get access to contact information and additional house information.
A lease-option contract is less rigid. In this arrangement, you can choose whether or not to purchase the home by the contract's end, and the landlord must honor it. This agreement gives you a choice to opt out of the purchase within the agreed-upon time frame, offering a bit more wiggle room if you're uncertain you want to own the place. But even in this case, you might forfeit your deposit and equity, so it's important to be sure that rent-to-own is the direction you really want to take.
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Rent-to-own agreements should specify when and how the home’s purchase price is determined. In some cases, you and the seller will agree on a purchase price when the contract is signed – often at a higher price than the current market value. In other situations, the price is determined when the lease expires, based on the property's then-current market value. Many buyers prefer to “lock in” the purchase price, especially in markets where home prices are trending up.
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Option Consideration. With these types of contracts, the potential buyer may have to pay the seller a one-time deposit. This deposit is called an option consideration or option money, and it usually isn't refundable. This deposit gives the potential buyer a right to purchase the property, and not an obligation. The size of the option consideration isn't set, and it can be negotiated by the buyer and seller. Traditionally, it is between 2% and 7.5% with 3% being a popular option of the purchase price. You may also negotiate to have the consideration price onto the purchase price when you close the deal and buy the property.
To find a lease-to-own or other type of property, simply click on one of the popular states/cities, or enter your city name, state name or even a zip-code into the search bar. We will then search through our records of active rent-to-own homes near you and display a list of all properties within that location. To view a specific property, simply click on the property itself to view detailed information such as images, community information, local amenities and more. The rent-to-own property market is heating up and we recommend contacting owners of these homes quickly to make a deal.
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While a lease option gives you first dibs to purchase the home you’re renting, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be approved for a mortgage at that time. If you are unable to boost your credit or save enough for a down payment during your lease, you could still be shut out — and you’ll lose all the money you paid toward the purchase, too. To help protect against this scenario, experts recommend meeting with a mortgage lender before signing the deal to know exactly what you’ll need to qualify at the end of the lease.
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If you have a lease-purchase contract, you may be legally obligated to buy the property when the lease expires. This can be problematic for many reasons, especially if you aren’t able to secure a mortgage. Lease-option contracts are almost always preferable to lease-purchase contracts because they offer more flexibility and you don’t risk getting sued if you are unwilling or unable to buy the home when the lease expires.
Buyers see benefits—but not without some big potential roadblocks. In many cases, they are counting on being able to rebuild their damaged credit rating while living in the rent-to-own home and paying above-market rent. To benefit, they must be able to get their financial house in order and qualify for a home loan before their lease option expires. Should the market drop significantly, the renter might end up owing a lot more on a house than it's worth. And it's harder to move out should your lifestyle change.
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In a rent-to-own transaction, the tenant lives on the real property and pay towards purchasing the property at a fixed price within a specific period of time, usually one to three years. As part of the contract, the renter may be required to make a nonrefundable deposit  often included as part of a down payment at the end of the lease term. In addition to monthly rent, often an additional amount called a rent credit is paid into an escrow account during the lease period. This amount is added to the deposit and used as part of the down payment at the end of the lease term. This pushes the rent above the market rate but helps build savings for purchase if the buy option is taken. At the end of the lease term, the tenant is offered right of first refusal to purchase the property at the agreed upon sale price, or walk away and forfeit the deposit. If the tenant is unable or unwilling to exercise the option to buy, the owner is then free to rent or sell the property to another buyer, or to restructure the contract.
Transportation and CommutesLas Vegas has a lot of options for transportation, both public and private. RTC is one such public system that offers a bus service throughout the main city and other suburban areas in the valley. For a quick commute to the Strip from Downtown, or to reach the Convention Center or Town Square, a transit link exists called the Strip & Downtown Express. As you may expect, this service includes few stops, and is intended to ease congestion on the major traffic routes between the city's major hubs of activity. For drivers commuting into the city from outlying areas, two major interstates -- 15 and 515 -- cross over into downtown Las Vegas, making the city easily commutable. In addition, taxis are readily available for easy trips, and the city has a walkability rating that puts it at number 25 on the USA's most walkable cities.
Rent to own homes offer a popular alternative for bargain home buyers and sellers. For buyers who do not have an adequate downpayment available, or are having difficulty qualifying for a traditional home loan, a rent to own (also referred to as 'lease option', 'lease to own', or 'owner financed') agreement can provide a smoother path to homeownership. In a rent to own arrangement, the buyer and seller typically agree to designate a portion of the monthly rent paid is applied to the purchase of the property. The home's purchase price is usually agreed to in advance so there is reduced risk of an increased price at the future purchase date.
“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.
Traditionally, the lower your credit score is, the more likely you are to either get denied for a mortgage or get charged higher interest rates. You want to get the best rates possible because this will reduce the amount you pay back in interest over the life of your mortgage. An RTO contract can help you strengthen your credit by giving you a history of on-time payments. It can also add diversity to your credit history, which can improve your score over time.
Do you feel emotionally ready to buy a home, but your lack of capital or credit history has resigned you to renting? There is a middle ground: a rent-to-own home. This arrangement is a godsend to renters who want to build equity in a home without surmounting the hurdles that come with buying a home outright. So how do you find such a dreamy scenario? Read on for the steps to take and pitfalls to avoid.
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It's Flexible. While you will have more flexibility initially with this type of contract than with a traditional mortgage, once the contract is signed, it's pretty set. It is very rare that both the buyer and the seller agree on alterations to the original contract. The price of the property is usually set, and this is the price that the buyer will have to pay once the contract is up, regardless of the home's current market value.
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.
If your property has a gate, your gate remote will be located in the kitchen drawer unless your property was purchased from a foreclosure or short sale. If a gate remote is missing, you will need to contact the HOA for one. Your HOA packet should be sent to you via email. If you didn’t get one from your agent, please contact the office. If the HOA charges you for a gate remote, you may deduct that from your first month’s rent.
As the end of the rent-to-own contract nears, it’s a smart idea to address any minor problems that the home inspection turned up. It’s also a good idea to make small cosmetic improvements and upgrades as needed, if possible, to help increase the value of the home prior to applying for a mortgage loan. It’s called sweat equity … and it can make a big difference when it’s time to negotiate favorable mortgage loan terms.