For people who can’t qualify for a mortgage or can’t come up with a down payment, a rent to own agreement can provide a avenue to home ownership that these people wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Rent to own buyers rent a home for a period with an option to buy it later on, often paying the down payment in installments along with the rent. While it does present a path to ownership for people facing financial difficulties, there are certain risks, especially with unscrupulous sellers who may take advantage of the inherent vulnerabilities. So let’s see exactly what is involved in the rent to own process for buyers in [market-city].
Basics and Terms of Rent to Own
Rent to own arrangements (lease to own) can vary widely depending on the needs and financial circumstances of both sellers and buyers. Broadly, though, the rent to own process involves the buyer paying the seller a deposit or monthly rent premiums (or both), with these premiums often applied to the purchase price. Although the terms of the agreement can vary, the buyer intends to buy the home at some point in the future.
There are, however, some key terms you need to be aware of . . .
In some rent to own agreements, the buyer/renter is required to pay an upfront, nonrefundable option fee or option premium. Usually, this fee is applied to the down payment and/or purchase price at the time of the actual sale.
The rent premium is a certain amount paid in excess of the market rental rate each month. Generally, this amount is held in escrow and will go toward the purchase price of the home at the later purchase date.
The rent to own process in [market-city] can also involve an arrangement whereby you can purchase the house for a set price at some point along the line. But in these arrangements, the price may increase each year, or you may have to pay market value at the time of purchase.
Some rent to own contracts also specifies whether the buyer or the seller has to foot the bill for maintenance and repairs during the course of the rent to own process in [market-city].
Rent to Own Process – Option to Buy
The rent to own process involving an option to buy is probably the best and safest for buyers. In this arrangement, the renter can either choose to buy the house at the end of the lease or simply forfeit the rent premiums and option fee if she chooses not to buy.
Typically, the owner cannot sell the house, during the lease period, to anyone else unless you violate the terms of the lease. If you did break the lease, then you may have to come up with a down payment and qualify for a mortgage at sale and closing time.
Rent to Own Process – Obligation to Buy
More inflexible than an option to buy, an obligation to buy arrangement specifies that you agree to buy the home at the end of the lease. If you back out for some reason, the seller may be able to take legal action.
The drawback to the obligation to buy is that, when the time comes, you still may not be in a financial position to be able to buy the house. So, in most cases, experts advise opting for a lease option agreement if you can.
A rent to own arrangement can be a boon to anyone unable to make a down payment or qualify for a mortgage because, basically, the owner/seller finances the house for you through rental payments plus a premium. You just have to make sure the rent to own process in [market-city] is set up in a way that best meets your needs and safeguards your interests.