Hi John! I've noticed that you have been very active in looking for a home that is available either by rent to own or owner financing. I will certainly keep a look out for anything that comes up. The reason this is uncommon is because the owner of a home is taking a pretty big risk, and would need a pretty big financial "cusion" to support this kind of deal. If you don't pay the mortgage, the owner must... and they need to make sure they have the funds to cover you in case something happens. Most homeowners are selling their home and purchasing another, making a payoff on their current mortgage necessary in order to get the final approval on their next mortgage. Others who are in foreclosure have no choice now. Once the forclosure ball starts rolling, it's hard to stop it.
It may be worth focusing on homes that are up for shortsale... However, many of the homes currently on the market for shortsale are ones that were purchased when the market was booming. The mortgage payment is large compared to the current value of the home itself. When the home was bought, not only was the price of the home larger than what it is today, but rates were higher, in addition to some "creative" financing deals. You could be paying $2500 for a 1000 sq foot home.
In light of this, while it isn't too common to see a home for sale offering owner financing, it's not impossible to find one. I am holding on to your contact information so that in the event I come across a home with this kind of financing I will surely pass it along to you.
In the meantime, I think it is a good idea for you to talk to some banks about your options now, and what you would need to be in the position of buying a home on your own. If you are patient enough to wait for it, you could find a home in east providence, that is up for shortsale or foreclosure, and with the rates today.. you would have a lower monthly payment than trying to take on someone elses.
Good luck to you, Mr. Mosher!!