Buyer FAQ

How long does the process take?

This will depend on how quickly you get through the application process.  If you submit everything in a timely manner and we have a home that fits your needs, it may only take 1-2 weeks to move you in.

How can I buy a home when I have bad credit or no credit?

You can’t through conventional lenders, but you can with our help.  Through our Rent-to-Own program, we can help you improve your credit over time.  We are not extremely interested in your past credit status.  Your ability to make reasonable monthly payments and your desire to be a homeowner are important to us.  Our Preferred Lenders and Credit Repair Specialists will guide you through the process and tell you what needs to be done in order to qualify for a conventional loan.  It is absolutely critical that you pay your rent on time every month in order to get approved for a mortgage.

Can you help me if I have a foreclosure, short-sale or bankruptcy on my credit record?

Yes, we understand that bad things can happen to good people and we can help you if you have experienced a bankruptcy or a foreclosure.  Typically it will be at least 3 years before you can qualify for a conventional loan after a foreclosure, bankruptcy or short-sale so you’ll need to choose from one of our long-term Rent To Own homes so you’ll have the time you need.

How is this different than just renting?

This is a way to help you get started toward BUYING your own home. Often part of your rent payment will go towards the purchase. Instead of throwing your money away each month on rent and having nothing to show for it at the end of the year, with our Rent To Own program, each month a portion of your monthly payment is credited toward the purchase of the home.

Do I have to ‘qualify’ for this program?

Yes, but our standards are not nearly as strict as those of conventional lenders.  We look at your total financial situation and base our decision on your ability to qualify for a conventional loan in the near future, not today.  If you have realistic expectations and are dedicated to owning a home we will approve you and our Preferred Lenders and Credit Specialists can show you the way to home ownership.

How much option consideration money do I need?

Normally we require a 3% - 5% option consideration, which is what you would pay for a downpayment if you were using a first time home buyer loan.

Is the option consideration money non-refundable?

Yes!  If you break the lease or don’t pay your rent, you forfeit all of your option consideration money and any rent credits.  You get your option consideration money credited back towards the purchase price of the home when you buy it.

What other methods of option consideration are accepted?

Unlike most lending institutions, we accept borrowed funds for closing. If you have a close friend or relative willing to lend you money for your option consideration, you can use that with our programs. You may also be eligible to withdraw or borrow from your 401K to purchase a home without penalties.  We’re even open to discussing trades if you have other assets that you can use for the option consideration (e.g. stocks, land, gold, etc.).

How long is the Rent-To-Own period for?

Typically we can give you 12-18 months, and sometimes up to 24 months, before you would need to complete the purchase. However, our Long-Term Rent To Own homes often carry a term of 10 years or more.  Each property is treated individually and we try to accommodate your situation.  You can close as quickly as you can qualify for a conventional loan, you do not have to rent the entire term.

How flexible do I need to be?

You need to be flexible in your terms.  There are a lot of people looking for quality rent-to-own homes.  If you’re looking to rent to own, we recommend you be reasonable in your expectations.

Is the price of the home established in advance?

This depends on the type of Rent To Own home.  All of our Short-Term Rent To Own homes have a set price that is locked in and not affected by market fluctuations.  Our Long-Term Rent To Own homes do not have a set price - the price is determined by the loan amount of the original mortgage when you close.  This allows Sellers who are over-leveraged sell their homes rather than go into foreclosure and it helps Tenant-Buyers build equity in the home before they even close.

Who pays the property taxes and insurance during the Rent-To-Own period?

The homeowner is responsible for taxes and insurance but you will pay for all minor repairs and all utilities and will need to carry a renter’s insurance policy with a minimum amount of personal property and liability coverage.