Depending on the terms of the contract, you may be responsible for maintaining the property and paying for repairs. Usually, this is the landlord's responsibility, so read the fine print of your contract carefully. Because sellers are ultimately responsible for any homeowner association fees, taxes and insurance (it’s still their house, after all), they typically choose to cover these costs. Either way, you’ll need a renter’s insurance policy to cover losses to personal property and provide liability coverage if someone is injured while in the home or if you accidentally injure someone.
“Anything unusual – in income, for example – tosses good income earners into an ‘outlier’ status because underwriters can’t fit them neatly into a box,” says Scholtz. This includes people who have nontraditional incomes, are self-employed or contract workers, or have unestablished U.S. credit (e.g., foreign nationals) – and those who simply lack the huge 20% to 40% down payment banks require for nonconforming loans.
Market Timing. One of the biggest investment flaws people have is projecting the recent past trends indefinitely into the future. This is part of why people crowd into markets near the top & sell out of fear near the bottom. Institutional investors tend to be more pragmatic & experienced at investing than most individuals are. Those who have liquid cash during recessions are able to flip the cost structure by buying homes at rock bottom prices. This is why hedge funds bought large portions of the residential housing supply in Phoenix and other cities after prices sometimes fell by more than 50%. Blackstone acquired 40,000 homes and created derivative products based on the rental payments.
"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."
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Life can hit you hard, and unexpectedly sometimes. That shouldn’t mean that you can’t achieve your dream of owning your own home. You might be recovering from a bad credit due to unexpected expenditure from medical issues, bankruptcy or even a divorce. You could be in between jobs, or just an unexpected bad run. Whatever the reason, going for a traditional real estate purchase will be hard because it requires a good credit score.


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Here's a typical example: The house is worth $200,000, and typical rent would be $1,000 a month. Someone who's renting to own might pay $1,200 a month in rent and then receive a $200 rent credit each month. Add the option fee, in this case $5,000. On a three-year lease, the renter would earn $7,200 in rent credits. Adding the earned rental credits to the option fee, the renter has accumulated $12,200 for a down payment.
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Conversely, if you decide not to buy the house – or are unable to secure financing by the end of the lease term – the option expires and you move out of the home, just as if you were renting any other property. You’ll likely forfeit any money paid up to that point, including the option money and any rent credit earned, but you won’t be under any obligation to continue renting or to buy the home.
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Making your lease payments on time can help improve your credit. Just make sure your landlord/seller reports your rental payment data to the major credit reporting agencies.  There are many other things you can do to improve your credit score while you’re in the rental period of your lease agreement. Start by requesting your free credit report. Federal law entitles you to one free credit report once a year from AnnualCreditReport.com, a website set up by the three major credit bureaus.
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There used to be a distinction between a lease-option arrangement and a lease-purchase deal. Lease-option meant that at the end of the term, renters didn't have to buy the house. They were contractually obligated to buy it in a lease-purchase deal --- whether or not they could afford it. People now use the terms interchangeably, so be clear on exactly which contract you're entering into [source: McLinden].

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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.

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.
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