The world is full of rent to owns and lease options. For people who can’t get a mortgage, these appear to be a way to move beyond renting and own a home. The problem is the traditional rent to own works better for buying furniture than buying houses.
About the Author: Matt Lavinder is the founder of New Again Houses, which develops several properties every month and sells many of them through its unique Bridge to Own ® Program.
The Problem with Traditional Rent to Own Programs
At New Again Houses, we hear rent to own horror stories weekly.
“The landlord kicked me out after 5 years and sold the house.”
“The seller took my payments and didn’t make his. The house was foreclosed on.”
“The house is in such bad condition, no bank will give me a mortgage.”
“I’m at the end of my contract and I still can’t qualify for a mortgage.”
Many of these rent to owns are done with individual landlords who have little accountability when things go wrong. They aren’t a member of the Better Business Bureau and don’t even have a Facebook page. If you put your money toward buying a house, you need to be sure the seller is legitimate, committed to selling the house, and you have a path that leads to a 30 year fixed rate mortgage.
It’s not enough to sign a rent to own contract. Eventually, you’ll need to qualify for a mortgage and that doesn’t just happen magically with time. You’ll need help with credit issues and the $29.99/month credit repair plans can cause more problems than they solve. Self-employed or commission based? That’s tricky and you’ll need help getting your finances in line with mortgage regulations. Then, there’s the house. Old windows with peeling paint? That could be a deal killer for an FHA loan. No heat pump? Old roof that’s survived a few hail storms? Knob and tube electrical wiring? The lenders and appraisers will go running in the other direction.
Our Bridge to Own® Program Solution
At New Again Houses, we’ve developed the Bridge to Own ® program to solve the problems keeping you from owning one of our remodeled homes. We won’t let you move in until we’ve done the following:
- We look at your finances to ensure you can qualify with a licensed mortgage company or bank.
- A credit expert develops a detailed plan to get your credit to the required score.
- A licensed mortgage broker reviews the file to make sure we haven’t missed anything.
- We invest in the house remodel so it will pass any lender’s inspection and be a good investment.
- We talk through the contracts so you fully understand your responsibility in the process.
The Bridge to Own ® is not seller financing and it’s not your traditional rent to own. It’s a short term bridge that enables you to get a 30 year low fixed rate mortgage within six months. To get started, contact us today to see how our unique program can help you buy a home.