Is the "rent to own" option something real or is it another scam? I see a lot of ads for that but I'm afraid it might be a scam

Asked by Janainafrancis, Brooklyn, NY Thu Jan 31, 2013

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Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Thu Jan 31, 2013
It is real, but it should be looked at as a scam because they are a horrible idea and a great way for you to lose more money. They don't work so owners avoid them, so you will rarely find one. You still have to get a loan to buy it, no loan = no buy and you lose your deposit and option money and you have to move. It's no good deal. Rent now and buy when you can.
2 votes
John Lajara, Agent, Riverdale, NY
Fri Feb 8, 2013
Hey Janaina,

It is not a scam but a very complex deal to work out. Too many variables involved as my business partner Trevor Curran mentioned below. I've never seen them done so you're better off just strictly renting or buying straight out. Now is the best time to buy due to the all time low interest rates as well as low prices. Maybe you should consider looking into that option because now they have low down payments and closing cost assistance for first time home buyers. Please contact me and I'll be happy to help. ood luck to you!

John Lajara
REALTOR®/Notary Public
Certified Buyer Representative (CBR)
Cell: 917-848-4655
Fax: 917-522-9638
E-mail Address:
EXIT REALTY SEARCH | 3928 E. Tremont Ave | Bronx | NY | 10465

Visit me on Trulia & Zillow!
1 vote
Tammy Benkwi…, Agent, Somers, NY
Thu Jan 31, 2013
I've never been comfortable with the rent to own concept. Over th years buyers have called me asking for help finding a rent to own property. By the time we are done talking they realize it helps no one. It requires having a crystal ball to envision what a house will be worth in a year or more. Risky.
1 vote
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu Jan 31, 2013
You are desperate!
Your Credit or Finances, or both, will not allow you to go the conventional route:
You need the Seller to help you out!

The Seller will know it, and you are going to pay dearly for this service:
There aren't too many altruistic Sellers out there.

There is no FORM printed by anyone; there are just too many variables.
The terms that can be written into a Lease/Option can be dangerous to you:
How long is the Option period?
How much money are you putting in to the Option?
What happens if you are not able to execute the Option?
How do you know what your financial situation will be 2-5 years from now?
How much is the rent in the meantime?
Who will be responsible for maintenance and repair in the meantime?
What will be the Market Value of the home in 2-5 years?
What will be the Selling price 2-5 years from now?

This is the Ultimate Caveat Emptor!

Good luck and May God bless
1 vote
Antonio Sanc…, Agent, Bronx, NY
Sun Feb 17, 2013

There are some very important necessary steps to take before considering purchasing a home. The first and most important thing to do is get pre-approved by a lender. The more extensive the pre-approval the better of a view you have on what you will qualify for thus allowing to look for properties that directly match your criteria. Take the time and find a serious professional that has been working with home Buyers and let them go over important details of your search.

All the best,
Antonio Sanchez
Exit Realty Search
3928 E. Tremont ave
Bronx, NY 10465
CELL: 347-320-0673
BUS: 347-202-4965

0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Feb 5, 2013
As Ron do bluntly pointed, when a desperate population is identified, the predators flock in.
Those who are considering a 'rent to own' or 'lease/option' are trying to circumvent the PROTECTIONS in place to keep them from a real calamity. Rather than invest the time and discipline required to buy a home, some attempt to 'out fox' the process. They end up much poorer as a result.
These specialists who offer properties of this type specifically target those who have an aversion to throwing their money down the toilet by renting. So they offer this 'illusion' of buying a home. The end result is the same. Consider the formula just described. YOU see it in every predatory environment. (A truth married to a lie.)
There are exceptions. Those exceptions are the ones your real estate consultant CREATES. However, it is predictable that those who demonstrate a lack of discipline in paying bills and the inability to save will exhibit the same patterns and will be unable to qualify for purchase regardless of the time available.
Rent to own is REAL. But if your question is, "is rent to own a real way to buy a home?" the response must be, "Do you believe in MIRACLES?"

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes
Joel Rivera, Agent, Scarsdale, NY
Tue Feb 5, 2013

Rent to own has pro's and cons.

You get first right of refusal on the home that you actually want to own while currently living in it.

You are going to end up paying more for the home when the sellers market recovers and will ultimately have to pay more. Also interest rates may go up.
0 votes
, ,
Thu Jan 31, 2013
Good afternoon janainafrancis,

Rent To Own is a better deal for the Seller than it would ever be for a potential Buyer.

The basic concept is finding a way to "force" savings towards a down payment by including a portion of the monthly rental that goes towards that savings. You pay your rent every month and your Landlord deducts a pre-determined amount to hold in a special bank account, called an "escrow" account. Your Landlord holds that money until you have saved up enough---through this "forced-savings" method---to meet a down payment to purchase the home.

The terms of the purchase price, including the down payment amount, and the amount to be set aside from the rental for down payment, are all set down at the time of lease signing.

It's all about helping the renter/tenant save up enough money for a down payment to buy a home (in this case, the one you're renting). But this is a better deal for the Seller because he gets to lock in a purchase price and a buyer today for a future sale.

Saving money for a down payment? Well, heck, you can do that on your own.

If you are dedicated to the idea of buying your own home, you can create your own savings plan to save up enough money for a down payment. And when you have saved up enough for a down payment, if that takes a year or two or more, YOU get to decide on the price you're willing to pay for the house at that time based on current market conditions. You won't be locked in to a price that may be a lot higher than what the house is worth in the future.

With Rent To Own you'll be locked in both to the house and to the price, even if it takes you 3 years to save enough through the forced savings of the rent payments. What happens if three years from now your life situation has changed? Maybe you need a bigger/smaller home. Maybe your employment has relocated. Maybe your credit or income is insufficient to qualify for a mortgage loan.

Find a way to save up on your own; not with Rent To Own.

Sit down with a local Mortgage Banker and get yourself prequalified, too. You may find you're better qualified than you think you are, and, if you're not, at least you'll know how much loan your income and credit qualify you for, and how much you have to save towards down payment and closing costs.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
Mobile: 516-582-9181
Office: 516-829-2900
Fax: 516-829-2944
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
185 Great Neck Rd, Suite 240
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services

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0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu Jan 31, 2013
There are alot of scams, never rent a home sight unseen, never wire money and if the price is half of what it should be, it is probabily too good to be true. A true lease purchase is when a buyer can quailify for a loan today but needs a year or less to save the money for a down payment or closing costs. Have an agent who specializes in this sure can help
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Jan 31, 2013
Keep in mind that rent to own can be risky and one could stand to lose a bit of money, therefore do inform yourself well, and consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in real estate beforehand. If you haven't done so yet, visit with any licensed loan officer, see if you can buy outright...
0 votes
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