Lease options are possibleâ€¦ generally the trade off is that the seller wants to cut a deal for more than the property is actually worth in today's market. Otherwise, they would just sell it to a fair market value buyer right now and be done with it. Sometimes agreeing to a price a little higher than current market value is an acceptable bargain for a buyer who cannot qualify for a loan now, but has realistic expectations to be in a better position to qualify in the next few years.
There are lots of reasons people prefer to own than to rentâ€¦ just the freedom to be able to move a wall, paint the kitchen, or invest in the landscaping without worrying that you are throwing your money and efforts down the drain improving someone else's propertyâ€¦I get that. But it is a gamble. - and if the home doesn't appreciate to your pre-negotiated purchase price, you may find yourself unable to get financing for it when you are ready to exercise that option.
Generally, a lease option will include a "premium" payment above and beyond the fair market rent, which can be converted to down payment later on if you exercise the option. Sometimes a seller will carry the paper on the financing if you come up with more down payment during the lease period and exercise the option - especially now, if they can also charge much higher interest rates to you than the going rates (that presumably someone in this position wouldn't be eligible for) Be careful though, the "idea" of a lease option is a very common way for people to get taken advantage of. Never sign a lease option agreement without having a professional, and preferably a real estate attorney look at it first. The language is almost always convoluted, and most people don't fully understand what they are agreeing to when they do it.
Best of luck to you!