Buying is a great opportunity if you're able to make it happen. The rates today, combined with great home prices, is making home affordability the best it's been. However, if you're not in a position to buy at this time, or if you're not sure of a specific location in which you'd like to live, renting is the next best option. I would look to avoid a "rent-to-own" scenario, and instead stick with a standard lease. You could even add to the lease a "first right of refusal" clause that would give you first crack at buying the house. There's nothing wrong with telling an owner that you're wanting to rent for a year and then buy... but it's not an advantage to you, the renter, to write it up as a "rent-to-own." Best of luck, and I hope you find exactly what you want!