Rent to Own Buyer's Guide

How to Take Action on a Lease Option Purchase

Before entering into discussions to purchase a home using rent with an option to buy, it is vital to have a basic understanding of the rent to own, or lease option, approach and how to use it toward home buying. Be sure to read through the rent to own overview to build knowledge before contacting sellers to discuss rental and purchase terms.

Equally important is gaining an understanding of the buyer's credit situation, and putting in place a plan to improve credit to ease mortgage qualification in the future.

Once buyers have gained a general understanding of buying a home with rent to own, and have identified a realistic payment budget, the excitement starts with a home search! How to search, find and then rent to own can be summarized in three action steps.

Rent to Own Action Step 1: Contact Rent to Own Home Sellers. See the how-to suggestions for putting together a plan to contact sellers of rent to own homes. Expand the options of rent to own housing by effectively identifying more lease option candidates. See how many choices of homes for rent to own are on the market, but not visible to all buyers. Learn how to best communicate the buyer's needs and find the right home to rent with an option to buy.

Rent to Own Action Step 2: Make a Rent to Own Offer. Create an offer that works for both the tenant-buyer and home seller. Decide on the purchase price, monthly rent rate, purchase option costs, lease term, coverage for insurance and taxes, and more.

Rent to Own Action Step 3: Organize Lease Option Purchase Agreements. Understand how to put the best interests of both buyer and seller forward during the home lease period. Agree on an lease option that requires as little money down as possible. Finalize the purchase with a sales contract to lock in the best purchase price.

To ensure a successful purchase at the end of the rental period, tenant-buyers must also be mindful of their credit ratings.

Maintaining or improving credit scores is important for the rent to own home buyer's future mortgage qualification. Having good credit is the result of smart money management. There are some basic things for buyers to do on their own to maintain and improve credit, such as signing up for a credit monitoring service. In other situations, professional assistance for credit repair may be needed.