Im having trouble finding lease purchase homes. Any Suggestions?

Asked by Kathleen Jones, Harrison, TN Sun Feb 24, 2008

I am looking in the Harrison Tennessee area.

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Ken Herrera…, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Sun Feb 24, 2008
Hello Kathleen,

I have attached an answer I gave another Trulia Buyer so that you can consider a few things when looking for a lease purchase home. Although I'm not in your area, I'm very familiar with Lease Purchase properties and how to obtain them. In your case if your having difficulty finding the homes, it could be because too few are available or you are not looking in the right place. If there are too few available then you will need to market yourself as a "Lease Purchaser," in other words let people know that you are willing to do a lease purchase on their home. If you happen to see a home in your area that just can't sell. then this may be a great candidate for you to approach and let them know about your solution to their problem. As I mentioned below, please be sure you understand what you are getting into before you get into a contract.

"My first suggestion to begin your search for Lease Option properties would be to start by contacting a local Real Estate Agent, unless you are sure you can handle this situation on your own. By handling it on your own, I mean you understand the pitfalls than can come if you do not have a firm grasp on the contract and the owner of the home.
Please review the following questions:
What do I do if I enter a lease option and the owner of the home forecloses on the property?
What happens to my option money?
Will the bank evict me once it forecloses on the property?

I would take these questions very seriously as it could be very costly in the end if the above scenario happens to you. More than likely if the owner of your home forecloses on the property, you will be out money and a place to live. Yes you will have a contract and you will probably be able to recover some of your expenses, however that may take a legal proceeding.

If you feel you have a grasp on it, contact a local Realtor, search through the newspaper and online advertising such as All of the avenues will lead you to find Lease Option properties."

Good Luck,
Web Reference:  http://www.c21infinity
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sat May 17, 2008
Here's an answer I posted recently for a similar question. Here are some ways:

To find lease-purchase properties, you often have to use some creativity. Most aren't listed on the MLS.

If you use a Realtor (a good idea, by the way), your Realtor has to go beyond searching key words. And there are plenty of ways you can find a lease option on your own, as well.

The main point is that a large number of homes for sale or for rent are owned by people who'd be interested in offering the properties on a rent to own or land contract. But most won't be listed that way. So you really have to go beyond the obvious--having an agent look in the MLS for "lease option."

There really is no "best" way to find them. It depends on your neighborhood, what you're looking for, what you can afford, your comfort zone. (Are you willing to call up people who are advertising their houses to rent and ask them if they want to offer a rent-to-own? Some people are; some aren't.) So, read through the list and pick 3 or 4 that make sense to you.

Here are just a few ways.

**Using a Realtor**
[Note: If you use a Realtor--which is fine--ask them how they'd find lease-purchases. If they can't come up with more than 1 or 2 of the answers below, find another Realtor.]

--Some lease-purchases (for simplicity's sake, from here on I'll call them lease-options--in other parts of the country, similar arrangements may be called rent-to-own, land contracts or contracts for deed) 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.

--Attend a meeting of your local real estate investors club. It may cost $10 or $15, or maybe nothing. There's usually a time near the beginning of the meeting when investors can stand up and offer or solicit deals. You can stand up, too, and announce that you're looking for a rent-to-own. Specify what you're looking for (number of bedrooms, baths), geographic location, type of property (townhouse, single family home, etc.), maximum amount you're willing to spend on rent and purchase, and anything else that's relevant. Print up some one-page factsheets with details. Make sure you put all your contact information on there. To find your local real estate clubs, go here: here: -
0 votes
Alan Kennemor, , Harrison, TN
Sat May 17, 2008
are you still looking to lease a home in harrison,tn contact me
0 votes
Joe Sorrenti…, , Buffalo, NY
Sun Feb 24, 2008
Try hooking up with an agent /company that does leasing as well as selling. When someone has a home that they are leasing, that means that they do not need the money from the sale of that house to buy something else or that the property is an income property. It is becoming more difficult to find in many areas because people need the money. Have your agent look for homes that fit your needs that may be vacant and look at those. If you like it, propose a lease/purchase.
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