Rent to buy

5 Replies

hi BP members!

My name is William and I just joined and this is my first post so here goes:

After listening to many podcasts and webinars I have been looking around the Springfield, MO area. 

I found some listings on Craigslist that were called rent to own. They ask for a much higher down payment in the range of $1500 instead of the regular $200-300. This does go towards the purchase price, though.

My question is what do you think of rent to own? Is is basically like owners financing or is it completely different?

Thanks a bundle!

rent to own can be a good program for people who want to own a house but can't qualify for a traditional mortgage.

I personally don't recommend it. You don't build equity, you don't get the tax benefits, and you pay a higher rate. That said, for many people it's an option to purchase when they have no other options. 

If you're looking to invest, it's not for that. For people who desire to simply own their own home someday but have poor credit, it provides them opportunity. For reference, rent to own is a really good strategy if you're the owner.... 

hank you for clearing that up! My idea is definitely to invest so I will steer clear of those!

Is it better to Rent or Buy (Primary Residence)?

How many times have you heard somebody say some version of this statement: “We made 100,000 on the sale of our house and we only lived there for five years. Can you imagine if we continued to rent the apartment we used to live in all that time? We would have lost all that money…

What they really mean is that they sold the house for $100k more than they paid for it.

Most of us here on BiggerPockets chime in to help new investors, so I put this post together hoping to help them on this topic.

I have long been an advocate of renting your primary residence vs. owning it. A lot of years ago, I wrote a technical paper on this topic (long before there were blogs or MicroSoft Word). It turns out I was right. Well in most circumstances, anyway.

For the record, I own two homes (I paid cash for the both).

Of course there are several financial factors that are involved when making a decision like this.

Home price

How long will we live there?

Down payment amount

Future economic factors

Maintenance costs

And that concept call Opportunity Cost

I ran across this Post in the New York Times today and I’ve spent two hours analyzing it.


It confirms what I have what I have been saying for many years.

Please take a look:

Here’s my synopsis: We are all involved in real estate because we know how to, or we are trying to learn how to, generate a secure and attractive rate of return on our money.

I regularly double or triple my money or more buying and selling vacant land. Usually in less than 30 days (or I don’t do buy in the first place).

The input in the post only allows for a 20% annual return. If it went any higher the argument for renting would become even stronger.

The opportunity cost of tying up all that cash, time & energy is almost never worth it.

One of the only times it makes since to finance your primary residence is when you know you are buying a property substantially under market, and reselling it. Some folks call that flipping. Or if you buy a duplex, live in one side, and work the deal so the tenant is paying all or most of the mortgage (some circumstance like that).

Buying a rental house (or 20) the right way, and renting them out forever is one of the best passive business models I’ve ever experienced. This discussion is only about your primary residence.

And that’s just half of the decision. The other half is location. Every apartment or townhouse I’ve ever lived in centered around a ton of fun. Every house I’ve lived in was in the quiet suburbs where we did chores on Sunday.

A few years ago, I sold my primary residence and paid cash for a townhouse in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona smack in the middle of all the fun. We completely renovated it and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

It was one of the best financial and lifestyle decisions I’ve ever made.

Renting is almost always better, when you consider every aspect.

@William Busch

@Alexander Felice

Thats a very nice post and has good points. my question however was what it meant to rent to buy not rent or buy :)

My goal is to start off house hacking which is fairly easy here in springfield, MO once you have enough for the downpayment since a lot of duplexes etc being sold already have tenants. You basically kick one out, renovate that side while living in it, and then kick the other tenant out, move to that side and rent out the nice side for a higher rent. Refurbish, refinance, buy the next place, move into it and rent out the second half of the first duplex.

So far i have alway rented my living space. when i buy something it will be to temporarily live in it and then rent it out for passive income.

Thank you though!

In real estate business, both sellers and renters should be clear about the agreement they draw up before they consent to this plan. Renting-to-own has points of interest and impediments for both sides. Dealers who have as of now purchased another house will have alleviation from paying two home loans without a moment's delay, and in a moderate housing business sector with numerous homes available to be purchased, this may be their best choice.

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