What To Expect When Buying A Rent To Own Home

If you’re interested in purchasing your dream home but aren’t quite ready to do so, buying a rent to own home may be the perfect solution for you. In this post, we will provide guidance on what you can expect during the rent to own process so that you don’t encounter any surprises along the way.

Rent to own contracts are a popular alternative to traditional home buying, especially in markets like Westchester County where housing prices can be high. This option opens up the door to all kinds of new potential buyers, while buyers can put down roots, save up, and restore their credit.

A rent to own contract is a unique way to purchase a home, but it’s not for everyone. It’s important to understand the process and the pros and cons of this option before signing a contract. Here’s what you can expect when buying a rent to own home:

The Process

The terms of a rent to own contract can vary depending on what the buyer and seller agree upon. Typically, the buyer and seller will enter into an agreement stating that the tenant will lease the house for a specific period of time, with the intention of purchasing the property outright once the lease is up. The tenant will usually rent for around 2 years, giving them time to prepare financially and improve their credit score if necessary. If you’re not confident that you can do this within the two years provided, a rent to own contract may not be the right choice for you. However, if you’re confident that you can buy at the end of the lease, a rent to own contract could be a very beneficial option in the long run.

During the rental period, the tenant will typically pay an increased rent, with a portion of it going towards the down payment on the home. The tenant will also need to pay a deposit upfront to secure their intent to purchase the home. If the tenant defaults on their agreement, the owner can keep the deposit and increased rent paid. If the tenant fulfills their lease obligation, they will then be able to buy the house at the predetermined price. Prices are typically agreed upon before the lease is signed, which can be beneficial for you if the market goes up before the sale is finalized.

Pros and Cons

While buying a rent to own property is an excellent choice for some buyers, others may experience disappointment at their inability to qualify for a traditional mortgage right away. There are pros and cons to this option, including:


  • You’ll have a sense of pride knowing that the house will be yours someday soon.
  • You’ll have a chance to save money and repair your credit.
  • You’ll be able to begin putting down roots right away.
  • You won’t miss out on the home of your dreams.
  • You’ll build equity instead of just renting.
  • Locking in today’s price will save you money.


  • You might be paying higher than average rent.
  • Something could go wrong with the house after you move in.


Contingencies are a crucial aspect of any real estate transaction, including rent-to-own agreements. Before signing on the dotted line, it’s important to ensure that all the details are covered and that you have a solid plan in place in case something goes wrong with the home.

One critical aspect of contingencies is the inclusion of an inspection clause. This clause will allow you to have the home inspected by a professional before finalizing the contract. An inspection can reveal potential issues with the home that may not be visible to the naked eye, such as mold or structural problems. If any issues are found during the inspection, you can negotiate with the seller to have them repaired before moving forward with the purchase.

Additionally, it’s crucial to have provisions in the contract for repairs and maintenance during the rental period. This can include who is responsible for the cost of repairs and how they will be handled. It’s important to have a clear understanding of these provisions to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes down the line.

Overall, contingencies are an essential aspect of any rent-to-own agreement. By taking the time to ensure all the details are covered, you can protect yourself and your investment and make a smart and financially savvy decision.


One of the main advantages of a rent to own contract is that it allows buyers who may not qualify for a traditional mortgage to get into the housing market. Rent to own homes are often sold to individuals with less than perfect credit or those who have recently gone through a foreclosure or bankruptcy. This option can also give buyers time to save up for a downpayment and closing costs while also providing them with the opportunity to build up their credit score.

Another advantage of a rent to own contract is that it allows buyers to test out the home and the neighborhood before committing to purchasing it outright. This can be especially helpful if you’re new to the area and want to get a feel for what it’s like to live there before making a long-term commitment.

Finally, a rent to own contract allows buyers to lock in the purchase price of the home at the beginning of the lease period. This can be a huge benefit if the housing market in Westchester County is expected to rise, as you’ll be able to purchase the home at a lower price than it may be worth in the future.


Despite the many advantages of a rent to own contract, there are also some potential downsides to be aware of. One of the biggest disadvantages is that the tenant may be required to pay higher-than-market rent during the rental period. This can make it difficult to save up for a down payment or make it harder to keep up with other financial obligations.

Additionally, if something goes wrong with the house during the rental period, the tenant may be responsible for repairs and maintenance costs. This can be a significant financial burden, especially if the issue is a major one like a leaky roof or a malfunctioning HVAC system.

Finally, if the tenant is unable to purchase the home at the end of the lease period, they may forfeit their deposit and any rent payments that were put towards the down payment. This can be a significant financial loss, especially if the tenant has been renting the property for several years.


A rent-to-own agreement can provide several advantages for homebuyers who may not be eligible for a traditional mortgage or who want to take a more measured approach to purchasing a home. It allows buyers to lock in a purchase price, build equity while renting, and improve their credit score, among other benefits. However, it’s crucial to do your due diligence before signing a contract, including working with a reputable seller and having a real estate attorney review the agreement to ensure you understand the terms and any potential risks. With proper guidance and understanding of the process, buying a rent-to-own home in Westchester County can be a smart and financially savvy decision.

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