That is a good question. I have a long answer for you all they way from Philadelphia where I work.
A rent to own agreement (at lease the way we do them) is a lease with a slightly inflated monthly rent accompanied by a full agreement of sale with an agreed upon sales price. It is between you and the seller to determine how long the lease will be and if you will loose any deposits if you do not buy in the end.
Having a solid work history and money in the bank makes you a stronger renter. But a poor credit history (due to: not paying bills for example or a high debt to income ratio...) will lower your standing and may raise a red flag to the seller. As a buyer of a lease purchase property, you will need to show the seller that you are ready willing and able to correct your credit to the point that you will be able to procure a mortgage by the time the lease expires. Speak to a mortgage person now and do a credit repair program. Make sure you are claiming all of the money you make on you tax returns. Under the table money hurts people's chances getting a loan.
You seem to have a good grasp of the concept. But the Lease Purchase options out there are super slim. You may need to have your Realtor throw the idea out to the Seller to see if they'd be interested in entertaining that type of purchase option. It may be a challenge to find a Realtor who knows how to structure a purchase like this but there is so much info out there to assist them, I am sure with some intelligent investigation, they can figure it out. It takes a lot of work to put these contracts together and the Realtor does not get paid (except possibly 1/2 of the 1st month rent) until the property settles.
I have attached a few links from our Blog that you may like regarding the lease purchase and related process:
Hope this helps you and anyone else who is interested in the lease purchase process. As a Realtor, I think this may be part of the solution to get some homes off of the market now. The payoff for this is low for the amount of work it requires but I am willing for the Big Picture Benefits. Others are too!