Most people who buy a home start by saving up money, getting preapproved for a mortgage, and putting in an offer on a home. Once the offer is accepted, you sign on the dotted line and move in. While this is the most common avenue to homeownership, that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.
There are options on whether you need more money for a down payment, can’t qualify for a loan, or have other issues that make the typical home buying process impossible. One of them is choosing a rent-to-own home. It can benefit both buyers and sellers, assuming the arrangement is appropriately structured.
However, finding the right places to search for rent-to-own homes can be challenging. That’s why we want to share the best places to look for reputable properties available on a rent-to-own basis. While you can work with a brokerage or agent, there are also spots online to find hidden gems.
Zillow.com is the most-visited location for real estate on the Internet for individuals in the United States (1). It offers millions of homes for rent and sale, including those that are rent-to-own. It’s a free website to list homes and includes mobile and online search tools so a buyer can search for homes and get estimated property values simultaneously.
As such with a popular website, Zillow will often have the most significant number of rent-to-own properties for cities and even smaller areas. The additional features, such as seeing past sales prices, can also ensure you that you aren’t paying too much for a specific property.
However, you’ll need to set up a search that meets your needs since this site isn’t solely for this type of property sale. If a home is listed as both for sale and for rent, you can speak with the current owner about the potential for a rent-to-own option.
Another great website that can help you find a rent-to-own home is GovHomePrograms.com. This website can help you find various types of homes that could fit your search criteria such as single-family homes, townhomes, condos, mobile homes, trailers, manufactured homes (with permanent foundations) and more.
Many of these programs could be government-funded and could offer other purchase options other than rent-to-own agreements. In fact, you can find many great mortgage lender options listed on the website to help you at the end of your rent-to-own agreement or if you have a change of heart and decide to traditionally purchase your new home with a conventional mortgage.
It’s well documented that rent-to-own agreements tend to have higher monthly rent payments than a traditional rental residence, so it will be comforting to hear that GovHomePrograms.com could help you save up to $3,708 every year by helping you find a lower monthly payment.
Another major real estate website used in the United States is Trulia.com (2). Like Zillow, it has a ton of listings. However, it can also take some time to dig through and find rent-to-own options. It isn’t listed as a search option, so you’ll need to go through houses for sale that note they allow rent-to-own.
Trulia offers detailed listings with photos, prices, detailed descriptions, and information about the neighborhood. You can also set criteria to find homes based on lot size, square footage, type of structure, number of bedrooms, price, and much more.
One thing that sets Trulia apart is the monthly breakdown of costs. It shows up as a visual image so you can learn more about the property. The same applies to crime map data, which allows you to decide whether a home is right for you or not.
Another good website to use as a resource for finding listings of rent-to-own homes is RentToOwn-US.com. When you search by your city, state or zip code, you can find properities in your area that are rent-to-own eligible including plots of land, mobile homes and/or trailers, townhomes and single-family homes.
Looking through these rent-to-own eligible listings is perfect for those individuals who have poor or less-than-ideal credit. You should be able to find rent-to-own agreements that will work around or be flexible due to your credit history.
If you do happen to be ready to traditionally purchase your own home, you can find traditional home listings on RentToOwn-US.com as well.
While the name of Foreclosure.com might make you think it wouldn’t be a place for rent-to-own properties, that’s not accurate (3). In fact, this website has a special section where individuals can view homes that are specifically offered in this manner. In addition, you can choose to look at rent-to-own homes by state or city, depending on your preferences.
There may not be as many options on Foreclosure as Zillow or Trulia, but it’s easier to find the ones that meet your needs. Once you choose a state to look at homes in, you can further filter the results based on price, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, listing type, and property type.
As you move away from websites that focus on other things but also include rent-to-own properties, make sure to take a look at RentToOwnLabs.com (4). Right away, you know you can find a variety of rent-to-own properties instead of needing to search through results and hope some of them meet your needs. The front page lets you search via zip code, state, city, and more.
A visual map of the United States is also available for searches. This is a gold mine as you can click on a state and immediately find out how many rent-to-own properties are available. Just keep in mind that this feature is down the page a bit. You can also see the number of foreclosures, bankruptcies, and other deals on real estate.
At HousingList.com, you’ll find a variety of rent-to-own homes (5). In addition, this resource also lists HUD home listings for nontraditional buyers. It bills itself as a website that helps people with poor credit scores, lack of access to a down payment, or other issues that prevent traditional homeownership.
Browsing this site is relatively simple. You can either click on your location from a list or enter the city and state in the search box. In addition to rent-to-own and HUD houses, there are also for sale by owner listings, foreclosures, home auctions, and short sales to look for in order to select the home of your dreams.
DivvyHomes.com is a bit different from the websites mentioned so far, but certainly provides rent-to-own home options (6). It offers a search section where you can find potential homes. However, the process is a bit different than working with a specific owner. Instead, most of the work is done by Divvy Homes staff.
The basic process involves filling out an application, being approved for a budget, selecting a home, having Divvy Homes pay for the house, and moving in. After that, you’ll start saving for the home sale, but can also choose to walk away with your savings if you decide it isn’t the right option for you.
There are lots of websites that aid in finding the rent-to-own home you’ve been working towards achieving. All of the links above will give you a good start, but consider all the information before you move forward. Being educated and aware is the perfect first step, even in a rent-to-own situation.
Keep in mind, this is only a sample of the rent-to-own home websites available online. A quick search on your favorite search engine will give you other options. Just be sure any site you use is reputable and well-reviewed to avoid scams and other problems.
The Best Resources to Use to Research a Property Before Signing a Rent-to-Own Agreement
(1) – Zillow.com
(2) – Trulia.com
(3) – Foreclosure.com
(4) – RentToOwnLabs.com
(5) – HousingList.com
(6) – DivvyHomes.com