Owning a home — it’s part of the American Dream!
Home ownership gives a sense of freedom, security, and permanence.
Americans dream of growing up, finding a home, and starting a family; they dream of owning their own piece of land and proudly knowing “it’s mine.” Millions of families want a nice home, a white picket fence, a place to rest after a hard day of work, and a place to raise their families.
It’s no wonder that pioneers and settlers came to America to escape the over-crowded rental slums of the Old World and to tame and claim their piece of this vast land. Even today, newcomers to America are attracted here in part because of the opportunities for a better future — which includes owning their own home.
The American Dream Is Changing…
While home ownership continues to be a high priority among many Americans, the American Dream is evolving. There’s still plenty of land and places to live, but it’s evolving for other reasons:
- There’s the growing number of Americans with credit problems — perhaps due to debt or poor choices or difficult circumstances or even just low paying jobs.
- There’s the growing number of banks that reject loan applications because they don’t meet the bank’s tightening loan requirements.
- There’s a trending increase in the number of lower-paying jobs, while higher-paying jobs are vanishing or being outsourced overseas.
- And the economy is on shaky ground, with one recession barely over and another one threatening to strike.
Although these might not be ideal circumstances, this is the reality we live with. As a result, two things are happening:
- House buyers are trying to find creative ways to acquire a home to live in, even if their credit isn’t at the level that a bank is looking for.
- House sellers are trying to find creative ways to sell their house because there aren’t as many buyers.
This creativity has led to a new opportunity for people to buy houses even when they may not be able to apply for traditional loans. And that’s how the American Dream is evolving: people still want to own homes (and can!) but there are new ways of buying those homes…
Rent to Own Housing in Your Area and Other Areas
In a traditional house purchase: the buyer goes to a bank, pays a down payment, and gets a mortgage loan for the remainder of the amount owed on the house they’re buying.
In a rent to own agreement: the buyer who may not have perfect credit works directly with the house seller — to rent a house for a period of time while they build up their credit so they can quality for a mortgage loan.
This works well for everyone!
- For the seller, it gives them access to more potential buyers.
- More importantly, for the buyers, it creates a new way to get into a house sooner — a permanent address in the house you’re likely going to buy, a sense of ownership before you even own the house, and an opportunity to work on your credit.
- Banks love it because it means more people can qualify for loans, too!
Just imagine: if you’re someone who wants to own a home but you can’t get a traditional bank mortgage right now, you might have thought that living in a permanent home was years away. Well it doesn’t have to be: you can get into your permanent home now, enjoy the sense of ownership right away, PLUS you’ll have a stable address (which can help to contribute to a higher credit score).
What are the Costs of Rent to Own Housing in Your Area?
In a rent to own agreement, a buyer would move into a home, paying rent, and building credit towards a down payment to ultimately purchase the home. This is a valuable option for families who may not have the necessary credit score to get a traditional mortgage.
The price varies widely, depending on a number of factors, and each rent to own arrangement will be governed by the details described in the agreement. But in general, this is what you’d be looking at…
First, you’ll pay a regular rental amount (just as you would if you were renting anywhere). This amount goes towards the rent and upkeep of the property, just like a regular rental.
Second, the costs of rent to own housing in Your Area may be higher in some areas… but for a very good reason. In some cases, rent to own rental amounts may be slightly higher versus rental rates you get elsewhere, and this is influenced by a few things — such as the neighborhood the house is in, the condition of the property, the length of the rental period before purchase, etc.
As well, there’s the lease option portion of the agreement, which allows you to buy the house at the end of the rental term. This is built into the cost of rent and, in some cases, a portion of your monthly rent will be applied to a down payment on the home. (Check with the landlord because this is not always the case).
Example: You rent a house for $1,000 even though other houses in the area rent for $900. This extra $100, though, is applied to your down payment and accumulates month by month for 3 years until you are ready to purchase the house.
Important: these vary from one rent to own seller to the next, so make sure you talk to the seller about how the costs of rent to own housing in Your Area when you’re looking to buy.
While it’s possible that in some cases you may pay slightly more to rent to own a home each month, the savings in the long term could be significant. This is because many sellers will set a predetermined price on the house, locking in protection against housing market fluctuations.
Example: You’ve agreed to rent-to-own a home for three years, before exercising your option to purchase. You come to an agreement with the seller on a price at the end of that term of $200,000. Let’s say that at the end of your rental term, the housing market becomes extremely competitive and surrounding homes are selling for $300,000. As a buyer, you’ll be saving $100,000 on the cost of your new home simply by renting to own and locking in the price.
Rent to own — it’s a great new way that families are getting their own piece of the American Dream even when circumstances have prevented them from doing so in the past.