Step 1: Home Search
Search the many options of homes that are available for rent-to-own on the market
Step 2: Draft an Offer
Start your draft of an offer. Think about what will work for both you and the seller. Research and familiarize yourself with the terms purchase price, monthly rent price, option fee, option credit, option period, property tax, HOA fees and more. It is important to understand these terms as you start negotiating and deciding on different prices that could work for you. One key note - all negotiated prices will be set and locked in for the duration of the agreed rental term (even if other housing prices increase or decrease during your rental term).
Step 3: Organize Offer Information
There are three specific pieces of information you will need to put together - final Rental Agreement, Option Agreement and Sales Contract. Be sure to include looking into lease options that require putting down as little money as possible.
- Rental Agreement: Rental agreements include the "how" and "where" rent is paid. It also includes the security deposit amount (as well as where the deposit goes at the end of the term), your monthly rental rate, the durations of the rental period, and any notices of additional fees (including late fees and more).
- Option Agreement: The Option Agreement ensures the seller does not sell the home to any outside party (based on you following the terms agreed upon). If, at the end of the leasing period, you decide to purchase the home, the fee associated with the option agreement will become part of your down payment. If you choose not to purchase the home, the option fee will be income for the seller. This agreement also includes whether the option fee can be refunded, how/when it will be paid out, the price of the fee, as well as an expiration of the option (and more).
- Sales Contract: The Sales Contract includes several things - the purchase price of the home, loan financial details, as well as title insurance details, and any home inspection requirements. This is a standard contract that is provided by your real estate agent.
Step 4: Build, Repair, or Maintain
One of the most important steps in the process involves your credit score. It is very important that you - build up your credit to a good score, repair a bad credit score, or maintain a score that is already in good (or better) standing. This will help you when it comes time to purchase your new home!