95% of the lease purchases never close. Whatever was preventing the buyer from buying initially is typically still an issue. Even if the buyer has done all the right things (improved credit, etc) I have seen the mortgage rules change so they still couldn't get a loan. Then the seller has a tenant in the home with tenant rights and they have to get the tenant out, fix the home up again and put it back on the market so they can find a buyer since typically they really don't want to be a landlord, they want to sell the home.
When a lease purchase is done correctly, all the inspections are done and paid for upfront (the buyer has money out of pocket for all the inspections), and any repairs the seller is going to make are all ready negotiated. BUT the appraisal cannot be done until right before closing, so the seller is left hanging since if the home doesn't appraise, the sales price has to be dropped or the contract ended and the majority of the time, it's ended since the seller doesn't want to sell for the lower price. Again, the tenant/buyer is still in the home with tenant rights and the seller has to get them out, fix up the home and put the home back on the market.
On the buyer side, the only sellers desperate enough to put themselves in a lease purchase situation typically have a home that has issues and they have been unable to sell it any other way. That means that you have a very small selection of homes to chose from and they all have issues, many of which will require additional funds from you to correct down the road. If instead you wait until you have corrected your credit and have built up a downpayment, you will have a greater selection of homes available to you that are in better condition.
You need to sit down and talk with the Better Family LIfe, Beyond Housing or NECAC HUD counselors. They can advise you on correcting your financial issues and they will be able to put you in special programs that will allow you to be given State and Federal monies to help with your downpayment once you complete their program. 314-533-0600 is the number for Beyond Housing. Call them - they are your best resource to help you get to your goal of buying a home. Once you have completed their program, give me a call and I will help you find the right home.
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Marinka Nekic, Agent, Saint Louis County, MO
Have you looked in NACA program. It is not credit score based
I suggest that you get with a mortgage banker to obtain a "look ahead / what if" pre-qualification analysis to get an understanding of what you will be able to afford at some date projected into the future after your credit score and other mortgage obtaining factors come into balance insofar as "qualification" is concerned. That will put a parameter (upper limit) on your future purchase price capacity and define for you what price house in the lease-purchase market you need to be looking for either by yourself or (recommended) with an agent. Hope this helps. Good luck. Let me know if I can further explain my suggestions.