How To Find Housing

It Doesn't Grow On Trees
Does this resemble your current situation? You and your family would like to purchase a home, but at present, a traditional bank mortgage is not in the cards. You've spent time researching the rent-to-own option, and feel it has potential for you and your family. But after doing some initial "googling" you realize it's not readily available (or necessarily even easy to find).

It all boils down to a simple question, how do you find available rent-to-own housing? In this short guide, we will cover some of the ways home seekers discover prospective candidates. It isn't always straight forward and will require you to roll up your sleeves, put on your detective's hat and be proactive in your approach. Let's get started.

Find Motivated Sellers
Most homes that are possible rent-to-own scenarios are rarely marketed that way. This may be because the sellers haven't considered renting to own as a possible option. However, that doesn't mean you can't encourage them to consider it. This is especially true for homes that been on the market for an extended period of time. They may very possibly be underwater and be considerably more open to creative purchase solutions. One main key is finding motivated sellers.

Motivated sellers are great prospective participants but how do you find them? Sometimes the listing will help you by stating it directly. Again this means that they are probably more flexible than a traditional seller and usually fall into one of the following scenarios:

  • Their home has been on the market for more than 3-4 months
  • They are moving due to a job transfer
  • They are carrying two mortgages and MUST sell
  • Owners of homes that were previously rented out but now wish to sell
  • Newly married couples who are merging 2 residences
In all of these cases the sellers have a need to sell their home quickly. They may be listed as for rent, for sale by owner, or even through a realtor. However, they may have never considered or been informed of the benefits of the rent-to-own option. That is until you skillfully present it!

Finding Homes That Are Listed
There are a number of websites that contain listings of 'available' rent-to-own properties. By finding listings that already include a rent-to-own option you know the seller has considered their situation and are willing to pursue a rent-to-own sales approach. Rent-to-own listings may include condominiums, town houses, manufactured homes and single family dwellings.

You should be aware that some websites charge membership fees before allowing you to view any information beyond a photo, number of bedrooms and baths. Most offer you a trial period, but will then bill you if you don't cancel within the stated period. We have an article covering this subject you can find by clicking here.

Finding Homes That Are Unlisted
Numerous real estate companies like Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com offer you the opportunity to search for properties to buy or rent. However most don't offer a rent-to-own option. This is where knowing whether or not a seller is motivated can come in handy. Remember that even if a home is not listed with a rent to ownership option that doesn't mean the seller won't consider it. Also, homes that are listed for rent may be good opportunities for rent-to-own possibilities. Inquire, inquire, inquire!

There are several ways to look for homes that may be possible candidates. These ways include:

  • Homes listed For Sale By Owner
  • Homes listed for Rent
  • A listing stating that you as a buyer are interested in finding a rent-to-own home
  • Real Estate Agents
By reviewing the above options you are allowing yourself a broader selection of properties. While looking at unlisted homes be sure to engage the seller in conversation and be aware of their interest (or lack of interest) in discussing rent-to-own possibilities.

Searching for a home involves effort. You must also have a general idea of how the process works. The rent-to-own option can prove beneficial for buyers and sellers alike; you just need to find the perfect home (and a willing seller) first, be able to start a productive dialogue and sell the potential benefits of the option for both of you.