Let's use an example of a home with a current market value of $400,000.
The SELLER will want a substantial deposit, probably 10%, to agree to a $400,000 sale a year from today, and to credit the buyer half of the $1500/month rent.
If the value goes down 10% in that year, does the buyer want to go ahead with the purchase of what's now a $360,000 home for which he's paying $400,000?
If the value goes up 10% in that year, was it good for the seller to sell a now $440,000 home for $400,000?
That's a simplistic example, but the principle holds.
Personally I would not counsel either my seller or buyer to execute a lease to purchase transaction
Most sellers can't "cash-flow" in a lease-option. If they have equity, and it's an income producing property it's generally not for sale. If the seller has no equity and can't cash flow, he may be facing foreclosure.
There are few lease to purchase properties currently available in the area. When you do a lease purchase they are usually a "lease-option", which means that you are paying option money for the right to purchase at an agreed price at some definite point in the future or walk away from your option money.
Benefits to buyers: no need to have large downpayment. Detrimental to buyers: You are agreeing to buy a home at a certain price. What if it needs repairs?
Craigslist is a great place to find homes for lease. Any agent can pull rental listings for any city from the MLS. Also, any agent can pull properties for sale also flagged "lease"
Keller Williams Realty
I'm not sure how easily you will find an accurate list of these types of properties online. However, I'm able to run some searches directly in our MLS to pull a list of the properties that the current owners have indicated they would be receptive to a lease option on. Right now, it looks like there are approximately 11 different properties that fall into this category. If you want, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll send you the list as well as get you setup to be automatically alerted of these in the future.