Receiving credit for downpayments is one of the biggest appeals of rent-to-own homes. Quite often, buyers and sellers will write up the rent-to-own contract that specifies that the buyer will get a certain dollar amount of the rent that is paid each month that gets credited towards the eventual home purchase. For instance, the seller may specify that $200 of each month's rent payment will be credited to the buyer at the time they purchase the home using a mortgage loan.
Rent-to-own homes will typically cost a bit more than the fair market value of other home rentals in the area. That’s because a portion of the monthly rent-to-own payment will be designated as a “rent credit” -- up to 20 percent of the monthly amount due -- will go toward the purchase of the home when the agreed-upon term expires. It’s important to make these monthly rent-to-own payments on time and as scheduled.
Traditionally, there are two different types of RTO options. Each strategy has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as reasons why sellers opt to do RTO for their properties. As long as a seller owns the home outright, they can choose to use the RTO strategy to sell the property. This includes condominiums, townhouses, single-family homes, and multi-family homes.
Buying the Property. Once the term is up if the potential buyer decides or isn't able to buy the home, the RTO offer expires. The buyer will forfeit any money they have paid in, including option money and rent. If there is a legal obligation to purchase the property and the buyer forfeits, court proceedings may begin. At the end of the RTO term, if the tenant wants to buy the property, they usually apply for a mortgage. They may deduct the option money and any rent they have paid in so far from the total purchase price.
Home Partners of America is committed to making homeownership a reality for more people. The program provides a clear path to homeownership. Our process is easy, transparent, and built on a foundation of choice and flexibility. Home Partners is helping more people get into great homes, in neighborhoods they love, with the opportunity to build a more secure financial future.
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.
Rent to Own is your resource for all things related to rent-to-own real estate. Whether you are looking for rent-to-own homes in your area, or you are simply looking for information about rent-to-own properties, such as determining if a rent-to-own home is right for you or understanding more about the rent-to-own process. In addition to our lease-to-own home options, we also provide local-level data on foreclosures, auctions and regular home sales so you can get a great deal on the home you deserve.
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Repairs and maintenance: This is where many landlords get hung up with rent-to-own properties. Some forget to include language in the agreement about which party is responsible for R&M. This can cause major, deal-threatening disputes down the road. Be explicit about who is responsible for what, and to what extent. For instance, maybe a tenant is responsible for all routine repairs and property maintenance up to a certain dollar amount each year, at which point the costs are covered by the owner (or shared between both parties). Capital improvement costs should be included in this provision.
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 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.
Unfortunately, Rent to Own is an option that has been tainted by a few companies with a poor reputation in the housing industry for taking nonrefundable deposits from tenants who clearly won’t ever be able to qualify for a mortgage or afford the home they’re hoping to buy. Buying a house is an emotional experience. You can fall in love with a home and ignore the numbers. You need to advocate for yourself and make sure you can afford home ownership and qualify for financing when your lease runs out.
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You will usually pay higher prices with a rent-to-own arrangement. These inflated prices are due to your rent money going for two different things, as well as miscellaneous fees that the tenant will be responsible for. You could also start out paying a slightly lower price and have it go up each year. Some clever buyers have paid inflated rents for a short period of time before coming into a "sudden windfall" to buy the property early, though contracts are typically created by the seller with the seller's interests first.
Before entering into an agreement, sellers have to decide the sale price and rent they'll charge for the house. Both amounts are subject to negotiation, just as a regular sale would be. But sellers and buyers need to remember that once they sign an agreement, the sale price of the house is locked in until the end of their rental term, between one and three years. Even if other housing prices rise or fall during that time, the original agreed-upon price is final.
Unfortunately, finding rent-to-own homes isn’t quite as simple as finding properties that are for sale or rent. Online, you can try websites such as HousingList, RealtyStore, or IRentToOwn, but you will have to pay a fee with these before you can view any significant information or contact sellers. Craigslist can be a good free option; searching “rent to own” in the housing section turned up about 50 listings near me.
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 donâ€™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 youâ€™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 youâ€™ve paid. In fact, since youâ€™re in Las Vegas, you might want to think of it more like gambling!