How To Find Rent-To-Own Homes: A Guide
Victoria Araj5-minute read
July 07, 2023
A rent-to-own home is a type of property that’s rented for a certain amount of time before it is eventually bought and owned by the renter. A portion of the monthly rent payment in the beginning of this agreement will go toward a down payment so the tenant will have some financial stake in the home by the time they decide to own it.
But, before you enter into this unique real estate agreement, you’ll need to search for a rent-to-own property. Let’s discuss the different ways you can go about finding this kind of home.
How To Find A Rent-To-Own Home: 5 Different Ways
As with any home purchase, there are many ways to find what you’re looking for. We’re explaining the several different ways you can find rent-to-own homes.
1. Connect With A Real Estate Agent
A common way for people to find homes is to work with a real estate agent. Not only can they help you navigate the real estate market but can give you some solid advice when it comes to the ins and outs of the home buying process.
It’s also important to make sure the real estate agent you work with is familiar with rent-to-own homes and the agreements that come with those types of homes. If you’ve never been involved in a rent-to-own transaction before, having someone on your side who understands the process will be extremely helpful. Real estate agents can also help you stay within your home buying budget so you don’t waste time looking at properties that are out of your price range.
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2. Search The Local Real Estate Market
While this might be obvious, there are pockets of the real estate market that are ideal for finding rent-to-own properties. This includes properties that have maybe been listed on the market for a long time with no promising activity or properties that are in preforeclosure. The owners of either of these kinds of properties could benefit from a lease option contract or a lease purchase agreement, giving you the chance to potentially make an enticing rent-to-own offer.
Checking the local real estate market on a regular basis is a simple way to keep your eye on unique properties that might be ideal for this type of arrangement.
3. Apply For A Rent-To-Own Program
There are various rent-to-own programs that can help people find a home. These programs have different qualifications and requirements (credit score, debt to income ratio, income, etc.) potential buyers will need to meet in order to get their application approved.
Performing a simple search online can help you find local rent-to-own programs that are specific to your area or you can even find national or regional programs. Once you’ve properly researched these programs, you’ll have enough knowledge to select which one fits your needs and can best help you eventually become a homeowner.
Here are just a couple of rent-to-own programs offered in various states nationwide:
- Home Partners of America
- Dream America
- Verbhouse, Inc
4. Utilize A Rent-To-Own Portal
Rent-to-own portals are databases designed to help people locate available rent-to-own properties. However, these portals aren’t free and usually come with a monthly fee that you would need to pay in order to access it. It’s also important to note that not every portal can guarantee that all of the listed properties are rent-to-own, but they might have the option to turn into a lease purchase agreement.
As we mentioned earlier, properties that are in preforeclosure or have been sitting on the market for a long time could be ideal candidates for a type of rent-to-own agreement.
5. Present An Offer To An Interested Party
As you’re searching for a rental property that you could eventually own, keep in mind that you do have the ability to present an offer to any interested party. For example, let’s say you find a rental property that has everything you want, but it’s not currently listed as a rent-to-own home. Consult with your real estate agent to come up with an offer that you can present to the property owner – the worst thing that could happen is they’ll say no.
The same goes for other properties that might not explicitly be listed as rent-to-own but have the potential to become a rent-to-own property. Making an offer to a property owner could get you into a rent-to-own agreement that positively benefits both you and them.
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What To Look For In A Rent-To-Own Home
Choosing your home is a personal decision with a lot of factors considered before you make your final decision. We’ll go over what you should be looking for in a rent-to-own home next.
A Knowledgeable Landlord
Since a lease purchase agreement is a unique type of contract, it’s important to feel like you’re working with a knowledgeable landlord. The property owner should be well aware of your financial plans regarding the home and be aligned with the lease purchase agreement that is put in place.
Working with an experienced landlord is especially important when the rent-to-own agreement is being finalized as this type of contract has many unique aspects to it compared to a typical rental agreement.
A Home In Good Condition
As with any home purchase, the condition of a home should always be considered before you sign on the dotted line. The last thing you want is to be putting money into a home that isn’t in the best condition just in time for you to become the owner and take full responsibility of the property.
Do your best to really evaluate the property and ask questions to the property owner in order to fully understand the current state of the home as well as any other issues that may have happened in the past.
A Smart Investment Opportunity
While you might not be considering this home as an investment opportunity, it could eventually become a real estate investment over time – especially if you ever want to move out and sell it. It might be worthwhile to ask yourself a couple of questions before you commit to a rent-to-own property:
- Will the value of this property continue to increase?
- Is this neighborhood going to stay popular and safe?
- Could I make money off of this property if I sold it in 5 years?
- Could this property act as a rental or investment property in the future?
- Is this property going to cost me a lot of money in upkeep and maintenance once I own it?
Consider these questions as you search for the right rent-to-own property.
The Bottom Line: Find A Rent-To-Own Home That Fits Your Needs
Finding a rent-to-own home can take time and is a process that shouldn’t be rushed. Working with a real estate agent, searching the real estate market, using a rent-to-own program and portal and presenting an offer to someone are all ways you can go about finding a rent-to-own home. Keep in mind that this house should be able to work for you in the long run since you’ll eventually be the full owner of the home.
Are you ready to become a homeowner? Start the home buying process today.
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