Frequently Asked Questions
General questions about our program, and the service we offer on this website:
- What does Rent to Own actually mean?
- What is the Rent to Own process?
- Do appliances or furniture come with a rent-to-own home?
- What if I have bad credit? Can I still get a rent-to-own home?
- Is there a down payment on a rent to own home?
- What are the benefits of a rent to own home?
- What are the requirements of a rent to own arrangement?
- Can I have my lawyer look at the paperwork?
- Who pays for repairs?
What does Rent to Own actually mean?
In most cases, a rent to own agreement is a contract on a property that works like a lease and leads to a purchase. It’s often called a lease with an option – or a lease/option agreement for short. The lease portion is a standard rental agreement that includes monthly rent, security deposit, and other typical terms. The option in the contract gives you the right to purchase the property after a set time period – usually around 3 years. This gives you the ability to save money towards a down payment, repair credit, increase your income, or otherwise improve your ability to qualify for a mortgage.
Most of the time people use a traditional mortgage loan to purchase the property prior to the expiration of the option period, but there are other options if your financial situation has unique needs. We help lots of folks like you to purchase the home of their dreams.
What is the Rent to Own process?
The rent to own process is actually pretty simple. Once you’ve seen one of our fantastic properties, we’ll give you an application to fill out. Don’t worry – we help people with all kinds of credit and financial situations, and if you can afford the property, we can probably help you to own it. After you’re approved to rent the property, just sign the lease, pay your security deposit and rent – then move on in! Your lease/option agreement (also known as the rent to own contract) will spell out the length of time that you have to complete the purchase of the property – typically 3 years, but in certain circumstances, we may extend your option if you need more time. The purchase of your home usually takes place through a traditional mortgage loan, but there are other ways to complete the purchase, depending on your finances. That’s the process! Once you’ve completed your mortgage, you’re done – now you own your home!
Do appliances or furniture come with a rent-to-own home?
Most of the time, furniture isn’t included with a lease/option purchase. Generally, the basic appliances are there – like a refrigerator, stove, oven, and sometimes extras, like a dishwasher, a washer and a dryer. Parts of a property that are installed or attached – like the heating system and air conditioning – are definitely included. Sometimes, we’ll offer a property that includes some furnishings. Most buyers want to bring their own stuff with them from their previous home, and that’s why furniture is sold separately. There are many companies out there that provide a rent-to-own service for furniture or extra appliances, and you’ll get lots of choices on styles and types. But be careful! Even though rent-to-own real estate can be a great deal, some (not-so-honest) furniture companies will charge you huge amounts for a rent-to-own agreement. You might end up paying 2-3x more for these products than if you bought them outright. Plus, those appliances will probably go down in value – unlike real estate, which usually goes up in value. Of course, you want your money to be going to an asset (like your home) that will rise in value, not expensive interest payments on new furniture..
What if I have bad credit? Can I still get a rent-to-own home?
Yes, you can! Many people with bad credit can still get a rent-to-own home. Every situation is different, but we specialize in helping people who have been through tough circumstances (or just made mistakes in the past) to repair their credit and get started on the path to a great financial future. Even if your credit is bad, you can still own a property!
One of the major benefits of a rent-to-own scenario is that it gives you time to repair your credit before you purchase your home. You’ll enjoy many of the benefits of home ownership while you’re rebuilding your credit and saving money towards a down payment.
What are the benefits of a rent to own home?
There are a lot of benefits of a rent to own agreement!
In the Durham region area, lots of smart people are using the rent to own agreements as a way to get the home of their dreams without having to qualify for a bank loan right away. In the past few years, banks have been very tight on their lending criteria. Most people who use a rent to own agreement want a few years to get ready to qualify.
Here are a few more reasons to use a rent-to-own agreement:
- Try before you buy! You get to live in your rented home before you actually purchase it, allowing you to make sure it’s actually your dream home. If you don’t like the house, you don’t have to complete the purchase.
- Own without great credit or a big down payment. You can start feeling like a homeowner right away while saving up and improving your credit.
- Privacy. You’re not listed as the purchaser on any public records until the closing takes place, giving you years of privacy.
- Profit from home appreciation right away. Often, homes in Scarborough are worth more on the day of the purchase than the price that you’re paying! This can be a huge money.
- Move in fast. Since you don’t have to wait for a mortgage, you can often move in right away – and get started living a new life in the home of your dreams!
Is there a down payment on a rent to own home?
Not right away!
You don’t have to have a down payment until your purchase is complete (typically 3 years). However, there is usually a fee upon move-in and execution of the rental agreement. Just like any other lease agreement in Peterborough, there may be a security deposit and a small application fee in addition to the fee upon move-in. Of course, you’ll have to pay rent each month. Zero down payment doesn’t mean you won’t need to bring some cash with you.
Instead, a rent to own arrangement can be a way to build a substantial amount of money that will help to reduce the amount of cash you have to deposit on a home. We can help you to structure the perfect scenario to meet your needs. We’ll show you the rent-to-own calculators and formulas that we use when we prepare your agreement, and help you figure out what’s best for you.
What are the requirements of a rent to own arrangement?
We know that every person, family and situation is different. We do our best to help you uncover creative solutions to help you own the home of your dreams. Once you’ve had a chance to check out the house, you’ll fill out a rental application that will include detailed information on everyone living in the home. We’ll conduct a credit check and verify the income(s) for everyone over 18 who is living in your household to confirm that you’ll be able to make your monthly payment. People with bad credit, no credit, limited cash available, and other financial situations have all been able to lease then purchase their perfect piece of real estate.
We’ll speak with your references and previous landlords because relationships matter to us more than just scores assigned by a computer.
Can I have my lawyer look at the paperwork?
Absolutely, we prefer you have legal representation look over the paperwork, however, if you choose not to, that is fine as well.
Who pays for repairs?
As a future homeowner, you have to experience all aspects of home ownership – including repairs. You are responsible for any minor repairs, however, larger issues that exceed $500 such as foundation problems, heating, roof, etc. will be the homeowners’ responsibility.