Profile picture for Mom2NAC

What do you think of doing a rent to own to avoid some of the hassles of moving?

We are going to be putting our house on the market in early 2012, but I have 3 small children and am dreading both showing the house, and possibly living in an intermediate location like an apartment if the closing dates don't line up perfectly.  If I could find a lease-to-own option in the neighborhood I am interested in, would it be worth it to avoid all the hassles of moving with 3 small children?  That way, we could just go ahead and move into the home, and then buy afterwards, once our house (that would only require one good cleaning!) sells.  Thoughts?
  • November 22 2011 - US
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Answers (12)

The rent to own alternative has become an increasing possibility in Louisville, Ky. especially for those relocating to our area. This way they learn the neighborhood and check out the school system .
  • January 22 2012
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Notwithstanding regional differences, it's still a buyers market, so it shouldn't be hard to line up your closings. The hard part is selling your current home. Once you have a solid offer from someone to buy your current home, the sellers of your new home should be ecstatic to have a buyer and by very flexible with your timeline.
  • January 13 2012
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Hi there, rent to own to avoid moving? Hmmm... I would recommend this only under the following circumstances:
(1) You love-love-love the community you rent in because it is unique i.e. nothing comes close to the location and amenities
(2) There are absolutely no comparable homes for sale to replace the one you rent
(3) You do not have any chance of buying outright (a lot-lot-lot cheaper in the long term
(4) You do not have solid investment alternatives (such as tax deferred annuities from your employer) and so you have nothing to lose by sinking your capital into downpayment and closing costs.

If you meet all of these criteria, then I'd say rent to own. If, however you do not meet at least one of these criteria, I'd say simply rent. Buying today is not a good idea, given the job market, anyway. 
  • January 12 2012
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Profile picture for Mom2NAC
Oh, really?  I didn't know that realtors would work together for the good of their clients in that manner!  ;-)  Thanks!  That's good to know!
  • December 13 2011
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Just a thought:  Another option would be to wait until you have a contract on your house, then go find the house you prefer (give your agent the top 3 requirements) and have the dates synced by both agents.  This was just done with 3 houses yesterday and all 3 of us agents were on the same page, so it was seamless and everyone was happy.  Good luck!
  • December 13 2011
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Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
 There are issues if it is an older home, so be careful , lead, asbestos.
Quite frankly, three children in a home that is for sale, is fine as long as their 'mess'( which its not, its their creative world), can be limited to their bedrooms. I work with a lot of buyers and rarely see buyers comment on childrens toys. You are right though, it will be a lot of work for you. The thing is, what happens if you don't sell? You are carrying two homes, one a rental, the other a mortgage, and you lose your mortgage write off because it is no longer your primary residence. Be careful here....I would suggest you sell first.And I know, its a lot of work for you to keep it tidy, however its less economic strain on you
  • December 13 2011
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Given the current economic situation the lease-to-buy options have increased in popularity. I've been seeing more and more of them in the Bay area. Most will be listed in the MLS as Rentals and your agent can check with the owner to see if they are interested in selling.

This is a popular option for both buyer and seller because the seller most likely overpaid for the home and is taking a monthly loss on the rental rate. Its a big plus for you as the buyer/renter because you can essentially test drive the home for a year and still have 100% of your rent money count towards the down payment.

  • December 12 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Dated and fixer upper are not the same.  Six months on the market really isn't that long in some communities.

Good luck in your negotiations.   Your position would be enhanced if you show that you have pre-approval by a lender after your house has sold, and that your house is already on the market.
  • November 22 2011
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Profile picture for Mom2NAC
I just sent them an email, so I'll see what they say!  It's not even a fixer-upper so much as it is long overdue for an update.  The owners have terrible taste in decorating, bright colors on the walls, etc.  I think that's why they are having so much trouble selling (Zillow lists it at 197 days on the market).  Since it is in such a desirable area, though, and we are going to be stretching a little to afford a house in that area, I can look past the need for updates for now.  Once all my kids are in school and I go back to work, we will have plenty of money for remodeling!  It looks very nice on the outside, and has a gorgeous backyard!  Those things are more difficult to fix later on - it's really just the inside that is not good.
  • November 22 2011
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If you are "in love" with that for sale by owner find out if they are willing to follow your terms of a rent-to-own for up to six months. Show them that you are serious by putting a sign in your yard so they know that the offer you are making is contigent towards the sale of your home. If you pitch them correctly you might even get them to agree up to one year if you home takes that long to sell. However, the down side is that they might be looking for some sort of security deposit that is out of your reach, but it doesn't hurt to ask. [self promotion and contact information deleted by Zillow moderator.  Please see our Good Neighbor Policy]

Oh more thing... if it is a fixer upper you can always when the time is right do a 203k loan and roll all the cost of the improvements into the transaction. I love doing these types of loans b/c the end result makes every homebuyer excited like buying a brand new car!
  • November 22 2011
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Profile picture for Mom2NAC
Thanks!  There is a house that I have my eye on that is for sale by the owner.  They have reduced the price twice, and state that they are willing to negotiate even more.  I was thinking of asking them if rent to own were an option just to see.  The house is a fixer-upper, which is why I think it's having trouble selling, but it's in a great neighborhood with excellent schools and resale value, so I wouldn't mind the fixing up aspect.
  • November 22 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Sounds like it would be wonderful, but there are very few owners who are willing (or able) to do rent to own.   As a consequence, you may find that the houses available to you with this limitation are very few and aren't ones you'd like to purchase.  

If you are renting between houses, there is no reason to unpack anything in the rental.   Most people can unpack a suitcases worth of material possessions, a box of toys for the kids and a few dishes for the kitchen and do just fine for several months.  Meanwhile, your other things can be in storage (even something like  a POD). 

  • November 22 2011
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