This is a win situation for the buyer because if the prices of homes go down you can simply not execute the option and generally renegotiate to the market price. If home values go up you can execute the option at the agreed lower price and have made a profit going to the closing table OR you can sell the option to someone else.
Be sure the option document reads( "YOUR NAME and/or his ASSIGNS).
This is great thinking for the new economy!
While you lease you will have to concentrate on repairing your credit rating.
I have several clients who have the same problem. They have leased a home while they are working on their credit and at the same time are looking at other homes in the area.
Please let me know if you have any other questions MoFridlich@MonroeRealty.com
If your credit is to a point where you will not qualify for a mortgage then renting/lease option is your only solution.
Lease option to buy will give you the time needed to repair your credit so that at the end of the lease you can then get a mortgage and purchase the property. This is a great option. Now the only issue is seeing how much of that money the owner will allow to be used towards the purchase of the home. A realtor can discuss this with the owner and negioate for you.
As far as a realtor working with you. Of course they would be eager. Just so you are aware, a realtor would most likely be paid a small split of the lease as if it was just a rental deal then they would get a fee if you do purchase at the end of the lease. All paid by the seller unless otherwise stated.
With tons of homes on the market, I would look for one that is vacant, high days on market and go for it. Because you can most likely lock in on a price that in 12 months could be a great deal if prices do come up a hair.
Any more questions, just post them here and I would be happy to answer or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org