You are desperate!
Your Credit or Finances, or both, will not allow you to go the conventional route:
You need the Seller to help you out!
The Seller will know it, and you are going to pay dearly for this service:
There aren't too many altruistic Sellers out there.
The terms that can be written into a Lease/Option can be dangerous to you:
How long is the Option period?
How much money are you putting in to the Option?
What happens if you are not able to execute the Option?
How do you know what your financial situation will be 2-5 years from now?
How much is the rent in the meantime?
Who will be responsible for maintenance and repair in the meantime?
What will be the Market Value of the home in 2-5 years?
What will be the Selling price 2-5 years from now?
This is the Ultimate Caveat Emptor!
To avoid scams, it's best to work with an agent. Here's a rent with option to buy place located in DC (http://mrislistings.mris.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?k=304 ). It's newly renovated.
Let me know when you would like to check it out this week. My number is (202) 670-6677.
Talk to you soon,
In my experience, Rent-to-Own properties typically occur in rural areas where the lifestyle is much more laid back and some sellers feel like being neighborly in helping someone buy their home. I grew up in a rural area where this is still often found. In urban and metropolitan areas it is rarely found and the best way to find one, if it exists, in your area is to use a Buyer's Agent to locate and vet them for you before you even go see any property. It will save you time, money and potential headache if it turns out to be a scammer that "stalks" potential marks. Plus, a Buyer's Agent will be able to negotiate the best price for you because they have no emotional attachment, other than getting you the best deal they can.
Hope this helps!