Hi Victoria, the answer to that question is quite complex. First it makes a difference on where you want to buy. Rochester MN for example has had a very good real estate market this year and the unemployment rate is just over 4%. Prices have started to increase. So much depends on the national economy and consumers belief of what the economy is doing. Rochester also has a very good rental market. If the market was not right to sell in 3 years, if you bought the right property, it could be rented until the market was right.... more
I know I'm speaking from a different state, but one item to further investigate...with the lease purchase as described by Shawn and the contract for deed described by Holly, it is likely there is equitable interest given to the tenant/buyer.
The risk for the seller is, should the tenant/buyer stop paying monthly, chances are the seller will have trouble evicting them as they would be considered co/part owners (at least that's how it can be construed in our state). The seller may have to foreclose on their interest in the property which would be far more expensive to do when compared to a typical eviction.
A lease option, however, can very much accomplish the same thing through two separate documents that don't relinquish any equitable interest to the tenant/buyer. Many times folks confuse a Lease Purchase with a Lease Option and they are two very different transactions.