David Chiles described the foreclosure process quite well. It seems that the housing market is still declining, i.e.., prices dropping. Rents have come down too. I haven't seen any rent to own foreclosure properties in LA, especially not in West Hollywood (I do a lot of work in this area and live in it too). I think that if you cn be patient for a bit longer, it will payy off and you'll find a good property at an affordable price. In the meantime, if you're interested in looking at some rental properties, feel free to call me and I can show yousome beautiful places to rent at prices lower than last year.
Keller Williams Realty
I would be cautious of the "rent to own" property in Los Angeles. As another contributer said, we don't have that many rent to own places (if any) in LA. I have seen many ads on sites like Craigslist for exactly what it is you are referring to and most of them seem like scams of some sort. Do your homework and check out the companies offering the rent to own options through the Better Business Bureau's website.
The three stages of Foreclosure are: Pre-Foreclosure, Auction, and REO/Bank Owned. Pre-Foreclosure is the time period a homeowner has to repay the delinquent amount of the mortgage. If a homeowner does not pay the mortgage the home is auctioned If the bids do not meet the reserve the lien holder (bank) reclaims the property and it becomes a Bank Owned REO.
You don't want to rent a foreclosure because it will foreclose and then you will get kicked out. Just rent or buy. If you need help finding something let me know.
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
IN SOME states due to number of foreclosures bank are leasing homes vs. other states such as Texas foreclosures are not leased.
Realtor would be happy to assist you
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors