Rent to Own – A Home Buying Option With No Down Payment Required

Daniel Penzing
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Here’s How Rent to Own Typically Works

The buyer discusses wishes to rent for a specified period. The owner agrees to sell the home. The renter/buyer makes normal monthly payments to the seller. The buyer can purchase the house at any point as long as their monthly rent payments cover all closing costs.

A rent-to-own agreement is generally used for properties that are occupied by the current homeowner. This means that the renter/buyer can see how they like a community and a particular house before they purchase it.

Borrowers like Aaron still rely on many of the same protections as other types of loans, including credit score reporting and escrow accounts. The renter/buyer will have to pay monthly mortgage payments, and, at the end of the rental period, all of the monthly payments will be placed in an escrow account. This will help to ensure that the home owner gets paid at the end of the rental period.

Note: If the renter/buyer decides to purchase the home after the rental period, they will need to close on the home as any other type of buyer. However, they won’t need to find the needed money for a down payment.

Advantages for Rent to Own Buyers

If you’re considering renting to own a home, you’re likely wondering what advantages this type of purchase offers. Well, in this case, the advantage lies in the fact that you won’t have to come up with a huge down payment in order to buy the home at the end of your renting tenure. Since down payments can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, this is a significant advantage. It’s also a very attractive feature for first-time home buyers that don’t have any savings or equity from a previous home.

Minimum Out-of-Pocket Cash Needed

For Home Buying!

Renting to own a house is a great way to get the home you want without having to make a down payment of thousands of dollars. By renting to own, you proceed from one easy step to the next, building equity as you move toward ownership. To start, you need to know your timetable for buying the home, your income and credit history, as well as your housing needs and desires.

Timetable for Buying – and How to Build Equity

The first step in rent to own is to determine your timetable for buying the home. The next step is to work out your payment schedule. Your landlord will ask for a significant down payment for the purchase of the home, even if all of the work is done through a lease-purchase agreement and the money is not considered a down payment. This is to protect the landlord against loss.

So, it is important to save up the purchase money or obtain a conventional mortgage. And, as you move through the process, you will be accumulating equity in the home. This is the amount you will have to sell the home for when ownership is transferred to you.

Locked-in Purchase Price

One of the biggest difficulties of buying a home is accumulating the down payment. For many potential homebuyers, finding the money for the down payment can be a challenge in itself. To make it even harder, down payments are usually required to be paid all at once.

If you hesitate when trying to make a down payment, you’re not alone. A lot of people in the same situation as you do not have enough money set aside to pay for the entire down payment. Just because you might not have the money required doesn’t mean that you can’t enter into a home-buying program.

If you get an offer for a rent-to-own house, you’ll be provided with an opportunity to get the house you want with no down payment. The contract will be your payment for the house and is called a “TIC.” When you decide to buy the home, you’ll make an offer to buy the home for the market value at that time and you will still pay no down payment.

Start Building Equity Immediately

Homeownership is a great thing, but sometimes it can be difficult to finance or obtain a mortgage when you don’t have a job, have spotty credit, or your down payment is nonexistent. If you are willing to commit to your agreement with the property owner, also known as the rent-to-own home seller, you may not have to have any money for a down payment at all for many rent-to-own homes. It can be an exciting opportunity to own a home of your own and start building equity immediately. However, since it is a contractual agreement, be sure to read your contract very carefully before you sign it.

Rent Money Is Working Toward Purchase

If you are in the market for a home and wondering how to save up for a down payment and how to get financing, you might want to consider a rent-to-own plan also referred to as a rent-to-purchase contract.

Rent-to-own is a type of financing model that lets you rent a home with monthly payments that go towards a down payment on the property.

You are purchasing the house you want to live in, but you are not required to make a down payment as with traditional home buying.

You may be able to rent to own a home with zero down. Because you have no upfront cash outlay, you can get into a home right away. This is a great alternative to the traditional home buying process with a bank.

Delayed Closing Costs

Time to Improve Credit Rating and Qualify for a Lower Interest Rate

For many people, buying a new home is a dream. It is also an exciting time, filled with anticipation and anxiety. The thought of getting a new home is exhilarating, but the truth is that securing financing can be perplexing and exhausting. There are so many options available, each one demanding a comprehensive financial plan that will help you realize your dreams without getting caught up in the hype.

Here are what we at _________________ as the greatest advantages to renting to own a home:


Rent to Own can help you improve your credit rating and in turn can help you qualify for a lower interest rate.

You can learn about credit, home ownership, and what kind of monthly payments you can expect.

Repair costs are usually minimal (ie. cosmetic repairs only).

Get a home warranty included in your rental agreement.

You can avoid the costs associated with selling your current home and moving out.

Get a home inspection and repair credit, to keep your home in the way you want it.

Get valuable advice from experienced professionals who want you to succeed at owning your own home.

A proven track record of getting people into a solution that works for them.

No need to wait for the next re-finance plan.

Reinforced with the option to purchase down the road.

Maintenance of your new home.

Qualification Much Easier (Credit Problems Are Often Okay)

Many renters want a home of their own but are held back because they think renting is their only option. Many people who have made the best mortgage decisions back in the day find it hard to get qualified for a loan now.

The restrictions on getting a mortgage are often too high for many people to qualify. Rent-to-own homes, although it is a financing option, actually money is not exchanged. Instead, you are allowed to live in the property and you pay rent until you have the money for the down payment.

One of the things that make this option very popular is the fact that you can also use subprime credit scores. This is great for people who may have been in foreclosure or who have had a bankruptcy. It is even great for those who just are not making enough money to qualify for traditional financing.

By starting with a smaller rent payment each month, you are given time to build up your credit without having to sacrifice much in terms of luxury. You will also get time to make sure that the house is the right fit for your family before you make the implied contract of a down payment.

The rent-to-own option is also a lot less hassle because you only have to deal with one party. This makes the process of buying much easier when compared to traditional methods. You are just dealing with one party and this means there are fewer errors to correct.

No Property Taxes

Oftentimes, the main reason most people don’t buy houses is that of the high down payment amount. They simply can’t afford to make that deep of an investment. But what if they could do the exact same thing that renters do – pay a monthly rent that is equivalent to a mortgage payment for the same home? Instead of being forced to rent a home, a person would end up actually owning it, with no huge down payment requirement involved.

This is exactly what rent to own homes for sale is all about. With a rent-to-own program, you can purchase a home without having to pay a high down payment. That makes the process much more affordable for everyone involved, and it makes sense. Instead of paying a mortgage payment every month, the owner receives the same amount of money, only it’s in the form of a rent payment. At the end of the rent-to-own financing period (typically 2-3 years), you have the option of purchasing the home for the remaining amount owed or you choose to walk away with nothing out of pocket.

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Quick Move-in Time

Homeownership is a great goal to have, but it isn’t always easy to achieve. Many people don’t have the extra cash that they would need to put toward a down payment on a new house. And not everyone can qualify for a home loan that doesn’t require any money down.

But there is another way for you to buy a home without a down payment and move in quickly. It’s called rent to own, and you may find it to be an excellent financing option if you’re in a rental and want to buy a home but have limited funds.

Rent to Own Lenders

Here is how a rent to own loan works: Financial investors buy the home and rent it out to you … generally for a longer period of time than a normal lease. This allows you to get to know the home as well as the neighborhood and makes it less of a risk for the investor. If you like the home and want to purchase it, you’ll make an offer on the home itself and agree to a timeline for making payments on the purchase price.

Opportunity to Avoid Paying PMI

There is a great option available to first-time homebuyers who are trying to avoid paying the Homeowners Insurance and Mortgage Insurance premiums – what are called private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums. Buyers need to ensure that they have enough cash available for a down payment (generally between 3 and 5%). PMI premiums range between about 0.5% and 1.5% of the loan value, so buyers who have a down payment of less than 20% need to consider a rent to buy option.

There are various term lengths available for rent to own, including 12 months, 24 months, 36 months and even 60 months. Most term lengths are available on both fixed and adjustable rate mortgages. Renters can also consider an option to own rent to own, which typically involves renting from one to three years and taking over ownership of the property from the landlord.


Your home is a tremendous asset. According to Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad , one of the biggest mistakes made by middle class families in America is their failure to realize the enormous value of their home. Having equity in your home is like having an "Irregular Savings Account" that is paid for before-hand by the pain of your future labor. To learn more about this concept, check out Rich Dad's Cash Flow Quadrant .

This "time-saver" asset allows you to literally save time and power by conducting your business from your home. Let's say you work for a software firm, and you spend forty hours a week working out of your home. In the short-term, buying a home might seem like a financial hindrance because the bank is paying you only a few extra hours of your time at the end of every month. However, over the long-term, this "forced savings account/time saver" turns itself into a cash flow machine.

Some of the businesses you can run out of your home include:

A Home-based Business *Accredited Tutor *Guidance Counselor *Financial Consultant *Substitute Teacher *Cleaning /Maid Service provider *Lawyer *Web designer *Freelance writer *Pet caretakers *Landlord *Start-Up Business

Cautions for Rent to Own Buyers

When you are not ready to buy a home and all the conditions are not right, a rent-to-own option can be the solution to your funding challenge. During a rent-to-own contract, you are paying rent every month and you can use the home as long as you want to. This allows you to test your housing situation before you actually commit to buying a house.

Sometimes it is difficult to know when is the right time to buy or rent a home. Surveys consistently show that the average home buyer makes so many trips to the closing table that his or her family has eaten more than 40 dozen doughnuts.

A rent-to-own contract has some advantages and some disadvantages, which is just like any other contract. The advantages and disadvantages will vary depending on many factors, such as your credit rating, the location and condition of the home, and your desired terms. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of rent-to-own housing.

Market Price May Go Down

Rent to Own is a real estate option, where a person opts to rent a house or a building or whatever, but there is an option to go ahead and buy the same. What this implies is that the price may go down in the coming years, because the person is likely to delay the purchase to purchase on cheaper price.

This is mostly opted in the current economy, where a person does not know if he will get a job in the coming years or not.

Not Qualifying for a Mortgage

I thought I was going to be able to get a mortgage, but then something happened. A car accident caused my credit score to go down. Or I just had trouble meeting a couple of the other qualification requirements that seem to be getting more and more difficult to achieve. Or I needed to raise money quickly and simply didn’t have it. Planning to save a 10 or 20 percent down payment just wasn’t in the cards.

Rent to Own Homes and Reality

In the past, rent to own homes were advertised as a way to get into a home with no money down. In the majority of the cases, however, there was still a down payment required. Unfortunately, the homebuyer didn’t have the means to put it down and, as a result, the rent to own home purchase never happened.

A Home Buying Option for Everyone

Fortunately, Kim & Scott Valaer have created an innovative process to help people with credit issues, bankruptcy, or bad credit qualify for a mortgage. Through their program, with no money down for a down payment, homeowners can now secure a rent to own home.

Paying Too Much Above Market Rents

Not Going Through With the Home Purchase

However, as some borrowers found out, this lease-to-own option didn’t work out well for them.

First of all, homebuyers who back out at the last minute are not penalized, so they don’t have to pay anything. In some cases, the buyer (borrower) simply decides that they don't want to buy the home, or they come up with some excuse to not go through with the deal. The reason is irrelevant.

The borrower often has very little responsibility and risk when it comes to backtracking on a lease-to-own contract, and the seller almost always loses out.

Secondary Mortgage Market

The borrower was encouraged to make the corresponding rental payments with no intention to actually purchase the home.

Meanwhile, the owner of the property was not receiving any monthly cash flow from the house.

In the end, the scam was profitable, and the borrower received a lot of personal benefits from the scam. Meanwhile, the owner lost the home to foreclosure, and the lender to cash flow.

Clear and Sensible

Despite being a risky deal for many home sellers, lease-to-own is still considered by many to be a viable option.

Not Budgeting for Home Maintenance and Repairs

If you have been renting your home, you may have developed the habit of not investing money in its maintenance. After all, this is someone else’s home, and you’re just paying for the use of it. This is a dangerous frame of thinking when it comes to buying a home because you are now the owner.

However, the reality is that most people don’t plan for home repairs, and they also don’t save enough money to cover emergencies that could happen once they are the homeowner. This puts them at the complete mercy of the homeowner’s association. This all changes when you use a rent to own home.

Not Working With a Reputable Rent to Own Agent

If you have been looking into rent to own as a viable option for home ownership, then one of the first things you will need to do is find a reputable realtor with whom to work. Rent-to-own is not a common term nor a widely-used option, so before you begin your search for a realtor, you may want to check with local banks or community groups to find out whom they recommend.

With a rent to own home, there is no realtor involved, as the seller is the realtor. There is no down payment and after a year or two of monthly payments, you own the home. It is so simple that you can see how someone would not take the time to find a reputable realtor. And unfortunately, this is a mistake that you do not want to make.

So what do you look for in a good rent to own realtor?

Chances are that the realtor you find will be someone who not only finds the right home for you to buy but who also does the negotiating with the owner. Ideally, you want to find someone who understands what you’re going through – an invetor is buying the home, but a renter is paying for it. A good realtor will protect you in this unfamiliar territory and guide you as you move along. Here are a few qualities you would want to look for in the realtor you choose.

Beware of Scams

Renting to own is a process of buying a property over time. You can do this by moving into the property and renting it. This is a good option when you need time to save for a down payment for the property. If you have enough money saved then you can buy the property outright.

However, since the property is rented, the owner also gets the rental deposit and a security deposit from you. renter paid in advance. The renter needs to pay the security deposit and the first month’s rent of the property as a down payment.

Next, the renter pays the monthly rent and the amount of a security deposit every month, until the final payment. After the final payment is made, the renter owns the property.

The renter owns the property after all the monthly payments are made. This property-buying scheme is called the rent to own option. It is a plan that ensures the rent of the home is paid and at the same time the home value is increased.

This process is commonly used by real estate brokerage companies. It gives you the advantage of buying property over time. To take benefit of this plan you can look for a local real estate agent or you can go for a national real estate agency to find the right home for you.

Traditional Mortgage vs. Rent to Own

Perhaps this would be best to explain rent to own as an example.

As most people already understand, one of the reasons why a home typically doesn’t become available is because a loan needs to be obtained from a bank. And since the bank’s goal is to make money, that means the amount of the loan is going to be decided based on what the bank expects to earn from the home. If they anticipate that the home will have a high dollar return for them, they will typically approve a large loan. And because the goal of the owner is usually to sell the home for as high of a dollar amount as possible, the owner will have to accept a loan with a more limited dollar amount.

And that’s where rent to buy becomes an attractive option.

If you don’t have the cash to pay for a home up front and you’d like to buy now so you don’t have to worry about renting any longer, but the only option you have is a slow, costly, and stressful mortgage, you can turn to a rent to own home to get into your own home sooner.

Instead of going through a bank to get a traditional mortgage, you will find a landlord who will offer you a rent to own agreement.

So How Do You Find Rent to Own Homes?

If you are shopping for “rent to own” properties, you will most likely have to look online because these are not properties that are traditionally out there in the open.

In order to make these rent to own homes available to anyone, some developers and homebuilders have teamed up with title organizations, real estate agents, mortgage lenders and even advertisers to make these available to potential home buyers who might not normally qualify for a home loan.

Rent to own has taken a new twist over the years. You see, it wasn’t all that long ago that this was a bad option for future renters. These properties often had poor track record with maintenance issues, had poor ownership and management, and were a pretty unsafe option.

But with the help of the internet, that has vastly changed. You can now find out about the reputation of the landlord or management company before you even agree to a lease. You can get information about the neighborhood to see if it’s the kind of place you want your own property to be sitting. You can find out about the investment opportunity you represent and what the odds are for you to turn over your investment to the landlord after you’ve started keeping up with your payments.