From the seller's perspective (again, assuming he doesn't need his equity out immediately), his revenue stream is uninterrupted, as opposed to you moving out whenever your lease is over and the house sitting vacant. Also, if he were to put it on the open market, he'd probably have to do various repairs and upgrades--some of the sort you alluded to, and others that you might not care much about, but which might be necessary to sell it in today's market. Plus, as you indicated, you're willing to pay an additional amount--an option fee--thus boosting the owner's income while you continue to rent.
And from your perspective, you don't have to move. You're in a house you like, and it's one you know. You can build up option credits while you continue to rent, and your rent will still very likely be less than what you'd pay for a mortgage. And the 30 months will give you a chance to accumulate more of a downpayment as well as address any credit glitches you might have.
Sounds like it could be a win-win situation for you both.
I guess it all depends on why the owner wants to sell. If they need a quick sale and you are not prepared to purchase at this time you may be out of luck. You also have to consider that that sellers are understanding that time is money at this point. Are they willing to risk that the home will be worth as much in 30 months as it is now or that interest rates won't increase making it harder for buyers to get financing.
In all honesty, my advice to your owner would be to sell now if you are ready to sell. --- Mike
This seems like a great opportunity to build your real estate and personal financial portfolio. Since you know the building personally I can see how it would be easy to purchase. Be sure you are happy with the local comps...what other homes have sold for.... And then consider having an attorney draft the Purchase & Sales Agreements. You might also to consider not improving anything in the building until you take title in 30 months.
Well this depends on a lot of factors, while renting your are not building equity owning a property does. First you should see what and how much properties similar to the one you are renting now , are going for. Last sale, how long was it on the market, how many current active listings are there, just to name a few. My advise is for you to contact a reputable Realtor in your area and let him/her do the job of researching the market and giving you the best advise. Good luck.