Rent with an option to buy is something that is occasionally done in very down markets. The NYC do-op and condo markets are very robust. As a result, sales are happening at a fast pace and inventory is low. There is, therefore, no need for sellers to do rent with an option to buy. They are able to get buyers and, in many cases, bidding wars. My suggestion would be to save until you have a good-sized downpayment and some liquid assets for after closing and then you will be in a good position to purchase.