The Buyer’s Guide: How to Rent To Own

Like most people searching to buy their first house, home buyers are often disappointed when their search ends shortly after it begins. Everything from rising housing costs to little money set aside for closing fees and down payment. Buyers quickly find their dream of homeownership going down the drain.

If you have run into any of these problems when searching for a home to buy, renting with the option to own may be the solution you have been looking for.

Follow these 3 steps in our Rent to Own Buyer’s Guide and get ready to fulfill your dream of home ownership.

1. Improve Your Credit Score Now

One of the main reasons people cannot purchase a home is because of bad credit scores. Get a free copy of your credit report which allows you to see the details of your credit and make corrections. If you find errors on your report, contact our friends at Cake Credit Repair. They will work tirelessly to repair your credit with guaranteed results.

If you need to improve, put these quick fixes into action:

Pay down credit card bills. Lenders like to see a large gap between your balance and your available credit limits.

Pay on time. Set up text or email reminders when a payment is due or sign up for autopay to avoid late payments.

Apply for credit only as needed. Don’t apply for a bunch of new cards at one time to establish credit or to get a one time discount.

2. Know the terminology

Rent to own contracts differ from traditional purchase contracts and it helps to know all the definitions before you get into negotiations.. Here are some important terms to remember:

Option Agreement– With a rent to own, you will sign a traditional lease to rent the home as well as a separate option agreement which gives you the option to purchase the home at an agreed upon price.

Option Fee– This fee is an amount due upfront that you pay the seller. Paying this fee gives your the legal option to purchase the home within the agreed upon time period. At the end of the lease period the option fee becomes credited toward the purchase price.

Option Period– Usually noted in the Option Agreement, the amount of time you have to qualify for a loan and purchase the house which can be anywhere from 12-24 months or can even be 5 years or more.

Rent Credit- The portion of rent each month that is credited to you for the purchase of the home. Usually these credits can be used to help pay for your closing costs when purchasing the property.

3. Search for Rent to Own Homes

Start the search in your area with our easy to use tool on Rent Until You Own. When you are ready to make an offer, finalize the purchase with a legal rent to own contract.

When signing contracts, remember:

  1. You will be signing 2 separate agreements: a traditional lease and the option agreement.
  2. Make sure your contract is state specific.
  3. Be certain you read and completely understand the entire document. Seek a lawyer’s advice before signing if necessary.


For more tips and advice, or to find answers to frequently asked questions regarding rent to own properties, visit us at

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