If you have ever browsed through rental listings, you have probably come across a few rent to own homes in your search results.

Landlords who offer these homes tell you that it is possible to put your monthly rent amount towards a down payment on the house, which will eventually make it easier to buy the home in the future. While this sounds like a dream come true, that may not always be the case.

Some rent to own homes are legitimate, but this practice can also be used to prey on families who have limited financial means.

In order to find a legitimate rent to own contract, it is important that you spend time researching different options so that you truly understand what you are agreeing to. This type of rental can be a solution for some families, but you have to be careful before jumping in.

Below, learn more about rent to own homes so that you can make an informed decision about this type of housing.

How does rent to own work?

You may be wondering “What is rent to own?” when you start searching for a new place to rent. These homes are simply rental properties that may be purchased using money that you have already paid in rent. While this sounds like a great idea, it can be a risky choice unless you are cautious.

In this type of deal, a landlord agrees to sell a home to you at a specific price that you can lock in now, and start paying towards with nothing more than your rent. Your agreement includes both a standard lease as well as an option to buy the property before your lease runs out.

Before looking through rent to own homes free listings to find a dream house, it is important that you understand everything about how this process works.

Making sure you know the answers to important questions such as “How does rent to own work?” will help you avoid the potential dangers of entering into this type of deal.

Rent to own homes are a popular option for renters who are tired of living in apartments, but lack the credit score or financial means required to qualify for a home loan. In an ideal rent-to-own situation, landlords benefit by getting a monthly commitment from their tenants, while renters are able to move into a home right away that they will eventually own.

Because rent to own homes are geared towards families who are unable to qualify for home loans or afford a down payment, some landlords use these deals to take advantage of families.

Unfortunately, rent-to-own scams happen all too often, which leaves families to fend for themselves. Scams can take any of the following forms:

  • A landlord claiming to be the property owner, when in reality he or she does not actually own the home.
  • The owner failing to make property tax payments, which violates the law and puts the renters at risk of losing their housing.
  • The owner providing a home that is in poor condition or has issues, such as lead pipes or asbestos, that can present a health risk to renters.
  • The landlord refusing to follow through on repair and maintenance requests, even if he or she promised to offer these services in a rental contract.
  • The owner failing to pay the mortgage, which will cause the home to go into foreclosure.

When you are using a rent to own homes app or any other tool to search for properties, it is important that you always read the details of any deal.

Even legitimate rent to own homes can come with a catch, such as a number of upfront fees or higher monthly payments that may be unaffordable. Furthermore, it is important to understand that you will lose any money you put towards a down payment if you do not end up buying the home after your rental agreement ends.

It also helps to be aware that rental agreements for these homes may have terms and conditions that are more strict than usual. For example, your contract may give your landlord the right to evict you even for minor infractions.

To avoid any of these pitfalls, make sure you read everything thoroughly and that you get any verbal promises in writing rather than just relying on what a landlord tells you.

How do I find rent to own homes near me?

After asking “What is rent to own?” you will have a better idea of what you are getting into with this type of deal. Remember, rent to own homes can be a good option if you are able to find a reputable landlord and you know exactly what to expect from your rental contract.

Understanding what your rent to own contract really says is the key to getting a good return on your investment with one of these properties.

If you are wondering “Where can I find houses rent to own near me?” there are many housing websites to choose from. Some rent to own buildings can be found on websites that are dedicated solely to these types of properties, such as Housing List. If you prefer looking for housing on websites such as Zillow rent to own properties can sometimes be found there as well.

When asking “Where can I rent to own near me?” keep in mind that these types of rentals are less common than apartments or homes with traditional leases.

Landlords who offer a rent-to-own deal may advertise through other media, such as putting a sign outside of their home or placing an ad in the classifieds.

Finding the exact type of housing you want may also be easier if you narrow your search to a specific type of property, such as rent to own mobile homes. Furthermore, because getting one of these homes is more like buying a house than renting an apartment, it may be in your best interest to talk to a real estate agent or realtor to help you through the process.

Keep in mind that rent to own homes may be easier to find during certain times and in certain areas.

For example, you may be more likely to find one of these homes when the real estate market is trending downwards and there are numerous houses for sale.