When you rent a property with the option to own, a portion of your monthly rental payments goes toward buying the home at the end of your lease term. This money can be used for a down payment or closing costs.
You should treat the process of renting to own a property with the same care as you would a traditional home purchase. Be sure to do your research and consult a real estate attorney before making any payments.
How It Works
A rent-to-own home allows people who may not qualify for a mortgage to move into a house. Renters agree to an option purchase price and a lease length with the homeowner. Then, they pay their normal monthly rental payments, which includes a portion of money that goes toward the future home purchase.
At the end of the contract, the renter can choose to buy the home or walk away. It’s important to have a qualified real estate attorney review any rental or purchase contracts to make sure everything is legal and makes financial sense.
Some of the benefits of renting to own a home include the ability to build credit, boost income, or take other steps to become more desirable to mortgage lenders during a set period of time, as well as an opportunity to lock in a purchase price and potentially build equity faster than a typical mortgage. However, there are some potential drawbacks to a rent-to-own agreement, including the risk of not purchasing the home at the end of the contract.
Finding a Property
At a glance, renting-to-own sounds like a great way to get into a home without making a major financial commitment right away. However, the process is more complicated than it seems. During the rental portion of your contract, a percentage of each monthly payment will be credited toward the purchase price of the property.
You’ll also pay an upfront fee, called an option fee. This can be 1-5% of the property’s purchase price and is non-refundable if you decide not to buy the house.
Many companies that offer rent-to-own homes will help you find a suitable home and negotiate the home’s purchase price. These companies may also provide credit counseling and other support services to help you improve your finances before applying for a mortgage. However, it’s important to treat a rent-to-own contract with the same caution as any other home purchase. You should always obtain a professional home inspection, consult a real estate attorney, and conduct a title search before signing any contracts.
Signing a Contract
Once you find a home, you’ll need to sign a contract that includes the purchase option. This will stipulate how much you pay upfront as an option fee (typically 1-5% of the home’s purchase price) and what percentage of your monthly rent is credited toward the eventual purchase of the property. Typically, this extra rent money is nonrefundable. For more info I’ll suggest you visit the website how does rent to own work.
The purchase price may be based on the current market value of the home at the beginning of your lease or at its end, depending on the local real estate market. In markets where home prices are rising, locking in a specific purchase price at the beginning of your lease can help you build equity faster.
However, this can also mean that you might end up paying more than the home is worth at the time of the final purchase. For this reason, you’ll want to treat your lease-purchase agreement like a traditional home purchase by getting the home inspected and consulting a real estate attorney before making any payments.
In most rent-to-own contracts, a designated percentage of your monthly payment will go toward the future purchase price of the property. This is often put into an escrow account and will be applied to your down payment once the time comes to buy. This can be an excellent way to save money and build credit while moving into a home.
Rent-to-own homes are also a great option for buyers who can’t qualify for a mortgage right now but are hoping to improve their financial situation and become mortgage-eligible by the end of their lease term. Just make sure to treat your contract with the same caution as a traditional home purchase by getting a full home inspection and negotiating with top-tier real estate agents who know how to help you save the most money on your down payment.
In the final stage of a rent-to-own agreement, you’ll be ready to apply for your mortgage. Using an online mortgage calculator can help you compare rates and closing costs.