If you would like a free CMA to help you decide whether to rent or sell your current home near Chicago, I could help. My company also lists properties for rent if you would like to list it.
Conlon: A Real Estate Company
Although many sellers do not do lease options, it may still be a possiblity. Just because something that is on the market for sale and it doesn't mention that they will do a lease option, if you ask the seller (or agent) sometimes they will consider it. That being said, lease options are not generally done here because, 1) many people are under water or have little equity, 2) the rent or lease would not cover the expense of the current owner's mortgage...that is just to name a couple. Also, about 90% of lease options never turn into a purchase by the buyers for one reason or another.
It may be best to rent a while and get the feel of the area. If schools are important, check out which districts show the most promise for your needs, and then try to rent in that district. That way, when you decide to purchase, you can purchase in the same district so you don't have to uproot your children from their school.
http://www.City-data.com has some good information on areas and school districts. By the way, Northgate is not in the Walnut Creek school district, so I would advise doing some research on which areas attend which school districts.
Please let me know if you have further questions. Have a great New Year!!
Homes in the Northgate feeder locations are in high demand. Any vacant homes for sale are that way for a reason. Do not worry though there are many Northgate rentals available. I suggest that you rent here for a year and take your time looking. The current inventory is mostly fixers and gems are getting snached up quickly. Inventory should improve over the next few months but who knows what the condition of theos homes are.
Have you toured the area already and that is how you focused your search down to the Northgate neighborhood? A lot of the homes that are currently on the market in Walnut Creek that are vacant, are REOs or short sales listings. I know that REO listings will not do leases or lease options, as the banks are looking to move their inventory. And I personally, do not recommend doing a lease on any short sale properties as there are no guarantees that you will be able to reside in the property once it falls into foreclosure.
There are twenty one active listings in the Northgate area currently, of which ten are vacant. Five of of those ten are non REO or short sale listings. None of them are offering lease options right now. There is only one advertised property on the market that is offering a lease option, but that property is located in Lafayette (and depending on your price point, it may be too much).
I hope that answers your question. If you are not working with an agent already, I am happy to send you active lease listings in the area and work with you to help you and your family find the right place. I have helped other relos in your same situation, and understand how stressful it can be moving from one state to another in a short period of time.
Well, Happy New Year and best of luck,