Watch out for lease-purchase contracts. With these, you could be legally obligated to buy the home at the end of the lease – whether you can afford to or not. To have the option to buy without the obligation, it needs to be a lease-option contract. Because legalese can be challenging to decipher, it’s always a good idea to review the contract with a qualified real estate attorney before signing anything, so you know your rights and exactly what you’re getting into.
We are not Realtors who are selling someone else’s homes, bankers or loan brokers who get paid to find you a loan. We are actually the owner of some lovely homes that are available for purchase in various ways including lease to own. Since we own the homes, many times (depending on your circumstances) we are willing to finance all or part of the purchase ourselves or lease to own them to you. All the normal rules concerning credit, debt ratio and proof of income are thrown out the window. Since we own the homes, we can be very creative with the financing and structure it to fit your needs.
"rent-to-own agreements reside in a gray area of the law. An examination by The New York Times of contracts and court filings, as well as interviews with housing lawyers and more than a dozen of Vision’s customers across the country, found that these deals are risky, lack consumer protections and may not be enforceable in some states. Most tenants walk away with nothing, having sunk money for rent and repairs into homes they had once hoped to own. Others faced surprise evictions, having signed a contract that did not disclose what repairs were needed, yet set a deadline for making sure the home was up to local housing code. As different tenants move in and out of the same property over the course of years, many homes fall further into disrepair."
A: Yes, a Realtor can definitely help you find a rent-to-own home, also known as a lease with option to buy. A lease with a purchase option offers flexibility to a potential real estate buyer. The program works exactly like it sounds; it gives the renter the option to buy. For buyers a lease option can be a great way to go because it gives them an exclusive option to buy the property being rented and binds the seller but not the buyer.
The legal controversy surrounding rent-to-own transactions has centered primarily on the question of whether the transaction should be treated as a lease or a credit sale. The industry has contended that the transaction is a lease; while consumer advocacy groups have advocated for the transaction to be treated as a credit sale. As of 2011, forty-seven U.S. states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia have passed laws characterizing the transaction as a lease. Of the five U.S. state supreme courts that have addressed the question, three (Massachusetts, Arkansas and Maine) concluded that the transaction was a lease. New Jersey and Minnesota concluded it was a credit sale based upon those states’ credit laws. A federal district court in Wisconsin also found the transaction to be a credit sale under Wisconsin state law.
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These consequences should be clearly outlined in the rent-to-own contract. If a tenant misses payments, the seller can choose to start the eviction process, and the buyer will forfeit any payments that they have made so far, including the money that is in escrow. Depending on which type of contract you're locked into, there may be legal consequences. If you've chosen a lease option, you have the choice to opt out of buying the home without any lasting consequences. However, if you've chosen the lease purchase, you are required to buy the home at the end of the contract. If you don't, the seller could start legal proceedings for breach of contract.
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Renting-to-own a home is the new alternative path to homeownership. In today's housing market, the challenges of buying a home through traditional methods have increased drastically. The rent-to-own process allows potential buyers with poor credit scores, or who simply lack the large down-payments required to own a home, the opportunity to live in their home while working on improving their credit and saving funds. What could be better?
Think about it, what if you were able to pick an area that you would like to live in but may not be able to afford right now or just no ready to make that big purchase. With the Rent to Own process, you can get into that house without the 30 year commitment. You can even have a portion of the rent credited to the sales price or closing costs, that’s instance equity at closing for you.