In the real estate market today, it is very tempting to follow through on one of those ads in the local paper or on Craigslist that are practically screaming the great deal of rent 2 own homes.
This option can be a win-win for both parties, but is it always the best method to get into a great house?
Sure, you can’t sell your home right now, or if you’re the buyer, maybe you aren’t able to receive a home loan with bad credit.
You could be in a great home that you love and feel a sense of ownership (more than if you just rent a house the normal way) sooner than you thought!
Although, it is always recommended to ask these questions below when meeting with your possible rent to own seller.
Here’s a few important (smart) questions to ask a rent to own house seller
“What is the length of the option to buy the house?” –
With a rent to own house agreement (also called lease option home) it’s usually two parts. First, a normal rental agreement. Second, the option to buy the house at a pre-determined price at a date in the future. Usually the timeframe is a minimum of 2 years. Anything less and you may not reach the credit score goal that you’re aiming for to purchase the home. You need this time to weigh your options and to see if things are looking up for you in the future. Of course the longest option agreement timeframe can be the best for you… to give you more time to get back on your feet credit wise or financially so you can get a traditional home loan.
“How much of my rent will be put toward my purchase price?” –
You can read horror stories all over the internet about how some tenants were strung along thinking that they were paying a higher percentage than what they actually were for their future home among other factors with this option. Ask the seller! Recent federal laws have made providing “down payment credits” from your monthly rent very hard… if not illegal in some areas and situations. Usually the monthly rent on a rent to own house is a bit higher than the monthly rent on a non-rent to own house (because you’re paying for the chance to purchase the house at a pre-determined price which ties the seller down as well). So just make sure to ask the seller if any portion of the rent is able to be contributed toward the purchase price if you do decide to purchase the house when the option is up.
“Who is responsible for repairs and damages on the property?” –
This will be depend on the agreement. It can really vary. Generally, you as the renter are responsible for general maintenance and upkeep as it is your Home now. Again, this varies with every seller. If you’re working with us on looking for rent 2 own homes in … we’ll walk you through how our rent to own program works and answer any of your questions anytime.
“If I’m not able to reach my goal after the option period, can I extend?” –
For tenant buyers who work with us… we’re usually very flexible in working with you to help us both reach that ideal end goal… of you buying the house! :-)As long as we can see that you’re on track to make things work… and the extension makes sense for both of us… we’d be happy to work with you on making your dream of home ownership a reality. If your future seller is honest and fair, they will give you this option. It’s always good to have backup. Do your homework and make sure you talk to the seller of the house FIRST and ask them these types of questions before you sign on the dotted line.
“I don’t have the best credit score. What do I need to do to lock in this home?” –
Again, any reputable rent to own house firm like Local Home Investment will help give you resources and connections to help you increase your credit score while you’re renting the home from us. This may include a referral to a reputable and honest , mortgage broker… credit counselor… or even our own internal guidance along the way may be an option. Of course we realize that many of the tenant buyers who work with us on getting into a rent to own house have bad credit. That’s OK. We’re experienced in working with that situation. But as always, we have to protect our investment as well and we’ll only work with a tenant buyer if you show that you’re committed enough today and a safe enough bet that you’ll consistently pay the rent on time and have a great chance of actually qualifying to purchase the home when the option agreement is up.
Last, but definitely not least,
“May I take a copy of the rent to own agreement to my lawyer?” –
The answer should always 100% of the time be “YES!” If you’re working with a landlord / seller of a rent to own house here locally that tries to guide you against running your agreement by your lawyer or CPA (or other trusted advisor) you should RUN THE OTHER WAY. Nothing in the agreement should be hidden or glossed over. There are some really important elements in a rent to own / lease option agreement that you really should be aware of… and we want to walk you through the agreement line by line before you sign, so we’re both fully on the same page and can go into this with confidence and trust. So, make sure that you do take some time to review the agreement to make sure you understand it and how it works. Any reputable rent to own seller will help you understand the agreement and encourage you to run it by a trusted advisor of your own.
So, What’s Next? Seeing Available Rent 2 own homes
With these six tips, it should be fairly easy to weed out the good sellers from the shady ones.
It’s always harder to find the better ones… the reputable ones… with REAL rent to own homes with a great seller behind them. When you do find a great rent to own house seller, you won’t be sorry that you went the rent 2 own route like so many others do.
So, your next step may be to dive in and see available rent to own homes right?
If you haven’t started your rent to own / lease option search… START HERE!
Simply fill out the short form on that page and start your search to see what we currently have available.
Our rent to own houses tend to get snapped up fast… so be sure to get on our list and open the email alerts we’ll send from time to time when a new rent to own house becomes available.
Also, if you’d rather chat with someone about our program or about your situation… call us anytime at [770-626-5311] or shoot us an email through our Contact Page.
We’re here for you and we look forward to working with you 🙂