Yes do need a Down Payment for lease to own, as should you not buy at a later period
per the lease, you then loose the down payment.
Have a Lawyer or Realtor help you draft up one, and do not sign one blindly.
If you don't have a down payment, you will be asked to pay rent over and above the usual rent (only that overage, not the full rent you pay, would be applied to the purchase price) but - you will forfeit that, also, if you don't buy the house, so make sure you really understand what this kind of arrangement means.
Your answer would depend on the contract that you sign.
Some lease-to-own contracts, put part of the monthly payment toward a future down payment; others require a small down payment in the back end, just when you sign the final purchase contract.
Talk with a knowledgeable agent in your area. Interview several and pick the one that you feel most comfortable working with.
Realtor, Certified HAFA Specialist
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