Then, you should focus on an agent who is both familiar with that area, but who also has at LEAST 15-20 years of experience, which would probably include transactions such as the one you seek. Most of us agents have a certain locale tied to our photos - Coto de Caza, for me, for example.
I would be wary of an agent who "claims" to be an expert for ALL of Orange County, because there really is no such person - not even one like me, who has been working in this County for almost 35 years. Most of us have geographical areas of expertise, and that is the kind of agent you should seek, and talk to.
If you're looking in South County, around Coto/RSM/MV, I would be a good such choice.
Good luck in finding a house you'll enjoy.
Yes, there are properties available in Orange County that are what you would call rent-to-own, or lease with option to buy. There have been some very good explanations with lists of pros and cons given to similar questions if you want to read through them. What is important to know is why you want to rent-to-own for five years. If you have been hit hard by the economy and currently have poor credit, then you will also have difficutly in pursuing a rental property or asking a seller to carry paper. If you are in the situation of having excellent credit, but not enough cash saved for a purchase, the renting part will be easy but you would not have money to put into the lease option or a down payment where the sellers "carry the paper" (meaning you do not get a mortgage from a bank but from the homeowners instead). If you do have good credit, you may find there are programs available that require very little down. Speak to qualified lenders to see what would be available for your specific situation. If you have poor credit at this time, take heart, and work towards rebuilding your credit and putting yourself in a stronger position which will give you more options. Good luck!
In addition, most owners who would lease their properties for more than a few years, will tend to keep their property beyond the 5 year mark. The likelihood of finding one today, who plans to sell in 5 years, is probably close to zero. Too many things can happen in 5 years - to either party.
Your best bet is to find a house you like, in a community which you like, and enter into a one or two year regular lease. If it lasts for 4 or 5 years, consider yourself lucky. I can help you locate such a property, if you'd like.