First off Garry, let’s take a deep breath. The good news here is that the fate of the universe doesn’t hinge on whether you and I agree on how to approach a lease-option. What I can’t figure out from your comments is whether you are pro-landlord or pro-tenant. That being said, in my experience, there is a range of rents that are reasonable. It’s not as if there is one reasonable rent, and a penny more or less makes it unreasonable. Given the types of homes we rent, the reasonable range is usually within $100, say $1,100 to $1,200. What we typically do is charge the high end of this range for a one-year term, and the low end range for a 2 or 3-year term. Why? We’ve learned that the biggest expense is vacancy and turnover. And the rent we charge doesn’t change for a lease-option. Now, you may agree or disagree with that approach, but I think it is fair for both parties, and our tenants agree.

Participation in Home Partners' program is available solely for consumer purposes and subject to approval. To exercise a Right to Purchase after entering into a lease, a resident must obtain their own financing such as a mortgage loan from a third party lender or pay cash. Home Partners is not a mortgage company, does not have any obligation to provide or arrange a mortgage loan, and cannot guarantee that a resident will be able to obtain a mortgage loan. Corporate Site Managed by Ayoub Rabah: (877)-234-5155.


Price. Asset prices have become inflated by nearly a decade of intervention by central banks since the housing crisis. In many big cities you'll pay a price premium to own your home. The cost of ownership is not just the monthly loan payment, but also includes things like: maintenance, property taxes, homeowner's insurance & the opportunity cost of not investing the equivalent sum of money into higher yielding & more liquid investments. When all these other costs are considered, NerdWallet found that in 2015 the ownership premiums can range from 33% to 93% more per month than it would cost to rent. That said, the NerdWallet data has a skew to it, as some people may buy large opulent homes whereas the common rental dwelling is far more subdued. What matters more than any overall trend is running the numbers on your options. In many neighborhoods rent costs about double what the associated mortgage payment would be for the same exact property, though it is worth noting the property owner also has to pay for maintenance and other costs of ownership.
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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?

Doug, Thanks for posting a lot of helpful information! While searching the real estate market for a buy that fits our budget (we short sold, are a family, pay high rents for 7 years and still collecting funds for a d.p. after paying down debt upon short sale). For the modest priced fixer uppers that we’re looking at, I’m competing with banks and flip agents for properties. Its so competitive. The fact that we’re a family in need of a home counts as nothing.

We are in a two year Lease to Purchase contract. We gave the owner a $5,000 down payment and pay $2,000 each month with $500 of that going towards the purchase down payment. At the end of the two year contract we should have a total of $11,000 going towards the down payment. We just found out by notices posted on door and looking at court dockets that the owner has not made the mortgage payments to lender and the house is in now in foreclosure. We are wondering what options we have. Do we wait for foreclosure to finalize with bank becoming owner and directly work with them to purchase home? Should we stop paying her directly and put money in escrow account? Will we sue her for our down payment? We’re really at a loss here.
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Broker Remarks:  Rent to Own Option Available. charming ranch with two bedrooms, one bathroom, hardwood floors throughout. all appliances and washer/dryer included. home is on corner lot with a huge fenced backyard. easy access to several parks, stanley marketplace, johnson & wales university, cu anschutz medical campus, & conveniently lo... more...
A lease option is an arrangement between the buyer and the seller to purchase a house after renting it for a specific period of time. A portion of the rent would be applied toward the purchase if the option is exercised. This is referred to as rent credit. Most institutional lenders will accept rent credit as part of the down payment, if rental payments exceed the market rent and if a valid lease-purchase agreement is in effect. A copy of the valid lease-purchase agreement must be attached to the loan application. Read any lease option arrangement carefully for details about transferring the option and other important concerns.
Because rent-to-own homes is still not very common and not tightly regulated (as stated earlier), both buyers and sellers must obtain assistance of a real estate attorney (on either side) while making a deal. Both parties should be fully aware of their inherent responsibilities and rights concerning the property in question. Overall, while there are many pitfalls to this process, there are plenty of benefits to avail for everyone concerned as well. Sellers get to earn money off the otherwise unsaleable or vacant properties, and buyers are provided with an affordable housing option to become homeowners in near future.
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.
Las Vegas, the most populous city in Nevada, is known all over the world for a number of things: gambling, shopping, nightlife, and fine dining. Despite what some people may think of the city, however, it isn't purely a mecca for entertainment, and it is actually a growing choice among retirees and young families. The boundaries of Las Vegas also stretch beyond the visible city limits, taking in the mega resort area around the Las Vegas strip, as well as the Las Vegas Valley, although exactly what is encompassed by the city is a matter of interpretation.
I am in a situation where I was in a lease with option to buy home and the SELLER needed back into the home due to financial/legal difficulties. We were given a date they needed to be in by and told if we wanted to buy the house now we could if not then they needed back into the home. We were not in a position to buy the home at that time and had 2 more years left on the contract but agreed to move out (due to the selling price of the house compared to homes being sold around it was significantly higher) . In this situation what happens to the option money that we put down? Should it be refunded since they broke the contract?

Thank you very much for the informative opinion,do you know of any honest as you would call them ” pro-tenant” landlord in South Florida area? I am looking into entering a rent to own lease and would really appreciate someone who has both parties favorable outcome. Thanks again I really enjoyed reading your opinion, people should really consider that this article is optionable never once did you mention that this is the only way to go, I definitely found it insightful.
Broker Remarks:  Rent to Own Option Available. charming ranch with two bedrooms, one bathroom, hardwood floors throughout. all appliances and washer/dryer included. home is on corner lot with a huge fenced backyard. easy access to several parks, stanley marketplace, johnson & wales university, cu anschutz medical campus, & conveniently lo... more...
A 15% rent rebate off of market rents, a price negotiated at todays prices and locked for 3 years, all the equity gained during that time in my pocket, none of the risk or burden of a home owner, the right to sell my option and make a huge profit off your house, and all for 1% of the price we agreed to, which I get back if I buy the house. Incredible. Incredibly stupid.
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Unfortunately, there are a lot of RTO scams that any potential buyers have to watch out for. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. If you don't' trust the seller, or if they're asking for a lot of money upfront, leave it. There are legitimate RTO options available. You don't have to take the first one that comes along. Ensure you read the fine print and have a Realtor and/or a real estate lawyer verify the contract is fair. Many deals are fair - particularly those offered by local nonprofits like SHOP - but dishonest companies who do not disclose major issues can destroy people's lives:
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The second method starts with a tenant who wants to RTO a property and wants to buy it out at the end of the contract's term. An investor will then match the tenant to a property that works with their budget. When they locate a property, they can collaborate to close the deal, and the tenant can purchase the property on an RTO basis. This method works out well for real estate investors as they don't own the home, they're just acting as brokers to find the tenant their RTO property.
My understanding is that it is ILLEGAL for a seller of a home to give money to a buyer of the home for the down payment. That would be a gift. Simply giving the buyer back the rent credit and option money toward the down payment is doing just that – “gifting” the buyer the down payment. Gifted funds and sources of those funds are STRICTLY regulated. I can see agreeing to pay the buyer’s closing costs up to the amount of the credits and option fee. Lowering the sales price by the amount of the credits and fee will lower the appraisal value (I have seen this happen), so that is risky. Your thoughts?_
Most people aspire to be homeowners, but in today’s economy, it isn’t always too easy. By examining the options available, you may find that these rent to own homes are the best bet for you to get on the track to home ownership. While this may not be the right type of situation for everyone, these arrangements give many people the opportunity to become homeowners, who would not be able to otherwise.

For most of us, the purchase of a home is the single largest investment we will ever make. However, there are many of us who do not currently have the ability to purchase a home because of closing costs, the down payment or just don't have the credit score to get a mortgage. If you fall into this category, there is still hope. A rent-to-own property allows you to rent a home while partially pay for it at the same time.


What does the contract say? The lawn isn’t mowed, what does the contract say about that? There’s no insulation and it’s cold inside, was the move-in inspection signed and did it say the house was OK? Well, tough noogies, you get to buy the insulation. I could do this all day, but I think you can all understand now that you need to read the contract before you sign, or you might just get screwed. Or, you’ll think you got screwed when it was all plainly written out in the contract.
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Maintenance. Usually, there are specifications in the contract concerning maintenance. It isn't uncommon for the person who is purchasing the property to maintain it while they're living there. The tenant can be asked to pay for any repairs, property taxes, insurance, and any homeowner's association fees. Since it is the seller's home, they are technically responsible for taxes, insurance, and homeowner's association fees but they could ask the tenant to pay them. Either way, the tenant will need renter's insurance. It is up to the potential seller to specify what is covered by maintenance and what is not covered. This is very important because if nothing is specified, the tenant could end of doing major repairs instead of basic maintenance.
Credit. Your credit plays a large role when you apply for a mortgage. If you have poor credit, or if you have a thin credit history, renting or RTO may be a better option because they will both give you a chance to build your credit. This will give you time to get out of any debt you may have and establish a good repayment history. If you have excellent credit and you can afford a down payment, outright purchasing a home would most likely be a better option.
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