This is a good option for many people who can not qualify for the tightened lendingThere are many homes on the market and not many buyers at this juncture so negotiating something which works for everyone is a great option. standards. A good place to start your search is Craigs list and or your local paper. Look for ads placed by sellers for LEASE/OPTION or RENT TO OWN. Look in both the "for Sale" and the "for rent" categories.Also, Run an ad yourself stating what you are looking for.
Check vacant homes in the neighborhood you would like to live and call realtors on homes that have been on the market a long time. Suggest the realtor be paid a percentage of the rental or a percentage of the option consideration and guarantee realtor fees at final closing if you should finance in the future.
Be sure to have a clause that forbids further encumberance of the property and be sure to search and have a clean title before committing. An attorney can help with this for a nominal fee.
Good thinking. Good Luck