Sonya, you need to ask yourself if that is really what you want. I have had buyers come to me and as their buyer's agent I explored this option with them and discovered that within 3 to 6 months we had their credit stablelized and then they were able to instead choose from the many homes that were available rather than the very few homes that would take the risk of a lease with an option to own. Of course if you know it is exactly the home you do want to own at the price that you will be able to obtain a loan for then it just may be the home you will want to own, so if it passes all of that then sure it is possible. Realize that the seller often needs to feel a comfort that their home will sell and they have it all ready and do not want to think if you did not exercise that option and buy that they would have to spend $ again to get the home ready and put back into the sales market. Even more often that seller is selling so they can either up size or down size and buy their next home for their family and in this economy it is more challenging for them to have that mortgage and acquire another as well as the risk. I am not saying it is not possible as I have had lease options written before but it should be given very thoughtful consideration.
Deborah Rigsbee Miller, Real Estate Broker
Coldwell Banker - HPW - Southpoint Serving the Triangle and More
I agree with Russell and Deborah, some sellers will consider renting, it is a tough market to sell and they may simply want to cover their expenses while waiting for the market to improve. FYI very unlikely that a bank owned property or a short sale will consider renting.
Still if you are still renting due to a creit issue, it might be time to work on improving your credit. It is the best time in decades to buy a house. Talk to a lender and determine if your credit can be improved with some work.
If you are renting because it works better for your life, it is a tough time to find decent rentals so it doesnt hurt to ask a homeowner to consider renting to you instead of selling. Maybe offer a large security deposit to entice them.
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