Yes, I have seen advertisements about this concept in two different states so it's probably common. The problem is not all of your rent is applied toward the purchase of the home, ninety percent of the time, unless you are in a small town where everyone knows one another and is willing to take a chance on you, or unless it is family or friends. You might be better off renting for less than what you can currently afford, saving the difference as your down payment, and keeping copies of all checks paid to the landlord as proof of credit history to show a future, regular lender. That's what we are doing after seeing all the scams out there in rent to own land and getting burned on our last rental (literally! The fusebox caught fire because it was faulty).