How do I go about finding homes that will rent with option to buy??

Asked by Allison Miller, San Antonio, TX Sun Mar 23, 2008

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Karen Shrock…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon Mar 24, 2008
Lease options and lease purchases are not real common because they're rather complicated and they have been subject to abuse in the past. Some unscrupulous landlord/owners have been known to rip off their tenants/prospective owners. Others have gotten a reputation of trying to turn the same house repeatedly.

There are some out there though. I see them listed on the MLS.

Another option for you might be homes with owner financing available.
1 vote
Margaret T.…, Agent, Conroe, TX
Fri May 30, 2008
Don't -- that is the best answer I can give you . If you wish to get a home and purchase it later, ask your realtor to find you a home that is for lease that is also for sale, have them write n the special provisions that if you purchase the house within say 2 years that the house will be so many dollars, and other wise it will not go up over so much. Rent the house. Take care of the house, make your rent payments on time and buy it later.
Don't worry about trying to play games with getting credit for rent payments on toward taxes or the house, one is dishonest, because the owner is taking the same credit and the other you never receive. So all you get is trouble in the end. That is why we can no longer do this type of transaction.

Good Luck , You will be better off with a House where the seller is not trying to take advantage of you.
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed Apr 2, 2008
I personally don't like this idea. In my experience few people end up buying. This presents a problem as your contract normally obligates you to buy and puts your down payment at risk if you don't. If you want to rent --then do it, RENT. If you want to buy, then BUY, but don't mix the two. We've recently taken steps in Texas to prohibit these types of transactions. There are still people advertising such schemes and think they have a way around it, but the intent and content of the law is clear-NO RENT TO OWN. There's a reason for the law and that is that there were too many bad guys out there taking people's money in a lot of different ways. As a person wanting to rent you put yourself at some risk agreeing to these transactions.
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Mar 28, 2008
There are dozens of ways. Some make use of a Realtor; others don't. In brief, a few are:

**Using a Realtor**
[Note: If you use a Realtor--which is fine--ask them how they'd find lease-options. If they can't come up with more than 1 or 2 of the answers below, find another Realtor.]
--Some lease-options are listed in the MLS. Not too many, but some. That's where to begin. However, that's not where to end.
--Search for homes that are listed both to rent and to sell. There may not be any comment that the property is a lease-option, and maybe it didn't even occur to the seller. But a property that a seller is willing to lease, but is also willing to sell is a perfect candidate for a lease-option.
--Search for homes that are listed for rent, but were previously listed for sale. It's likely that the owner was trying to sell the house, but wasn't able to. Now he/she is willing to rent it. That's another perfect candidate for a lease-option.
--Search for homes that are listed for sale, but were previously listed for rent. In today's market, there will be fewer of them, but it happens. Again, another great candidate for a lease-option.
--Search for homes with expired listings. The owners wanted to sell, but weren't able to. Many will consider renting the property, especially if it's vacant.
--Search for homes listed for sale that are vacant. The owners are hurting. They might appreciate the cash flow they'd receive from leasing the property.
--Search for homes listed for rent that are vacant. Again, the owners are hurting. And most owners of single family homes are "reluctant landlords." That wasn't their long-term strategy. Especially if they're bleeding, they may just want to get the property off their hands.

***Not Using a Realtor***
I'm not advising doing it yourself, but you certainly can. Any competent Realtor--and there are many--should be able to find you plenty of lease-option opportunities using the strategies above. However, here are a few other ways to do it.
--Advertise on sites like CraigsList for a lease-option. Advertise under both the rental and purchase areas.
--Go through the papers and look for properties that owners are trying to rent out. A lot of them won't be listed in the MLS. Approach them and explain that you'd like to rent their property for awhile, then have the option to purchase it.
--Look for FSBOs. Same basic pitch to them. You'd like to buy their house, but would like to rent it first.
--Choose a neighborhood you like. Knock on doors. Ask, "Do you know anyone in this neighborhood who might be interested in selling their home?" Often, you'll turn up people before the home is listed. Again, you explain you're interested in buying, just renting awhile first.
--Put cards up in your local supermarket.

And the list goes on and on and on.

However, Texas does have some stringent limitations on lease-options. Make sure you check with a lawyer to make sure that what you're doing complies with Texas law.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Shayne Stone, , Rosenberg, TX
Fri Mar 28, 2008
If you email me your search critria (i.e. 3-bedrooms, 2-baths, Houston, Sugar Land area etc). I'll be happy to create a private website for your viewing (FREE). Your can use this site as a Real Estate Journal making notes per properties etc.
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Allison Mill…, Home Buyer, San Antonio, TX
Wed Mar 26, 2008
I have the money but I'm waiting on my own home to close so I can get my equity. I didn't want to have to move twice so I thought I could find a property that I can stay in and just buy when mine sold.
0 votes
Thomas Johns…, , Houston, TX
Wed Mar 26, 2008
In Texas, lease/options are problematic. As Realtors, we do not have a standardized form for writing one of these, so you will have greater attorney costs for preparation of the contract. I have never seen a lease option actually close, so why do you want to do this? If you don't have the money, you will come out far ahead by renting and saving until you can afford home ownership. The lease/option deals I have seen are not very favorable to the renter. Consult your Realtor.
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Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Sun Mar 23, 2008

A local realtor should be able to help you find a lease option.
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sun Mar 23, 2008
A local realtor in your area should be able to source MLS listings that have these features offered by a seller.
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Linda Carroll…, , Lacey, WA
Sun Mar 23, 2008
Start by calling rental property managements and asking if they have any rentals where the owner may be thinking of selling. It is easier and quicker to get a landlord to sell, than to get a Seller to rent out.

Best wishes, and let me know how it works for you!
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