If you are a first time home buyer then the time is right. I know you did say that you wanted to rent with option but you didn't mention the reason why. What is your budget for rental? Have you checked your credit lately? You are entitled to check it once a year for free by going to http://www.myfico.com. Might as well contact a lending institution and see what you could afford if you were to buy. You may want to do this yourself and you can use any mortgage calculator and you'll find one on my website: http://www.exittogreenrealty. The reason I am suggesting a purchase rather than lease is because home prices have never been lower and mortgage rates have never been lower. Add an $8,000 credit for a first time homebuyer to use for closing or downpayment and you're at once in a lifetime.
If you are determined to rent with option it may take some time to find that type of property and of course your credit will need to be great. I could help you with a pristine 3 bedroom townhouse but it is in New Paltz.. My suggestion is to work with a certified buyer agent who will guide you through out the entire process.