Rent to Own Advice in MA

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My wife and I moved back to Massachusetts, from California, less than a month ago. We are living with my in-laws and would like to get out asap. The current plan is to go straight into a rental, then begin the process of home buying (primary residence) within a month or two of getting settled, knowing it could take several months to find what we're looking for. 

Yesterday we checked out rental that seems really great. That being said, it's well above what we think we think we should be spending for a rental by about $500. We also noticed on Zillow that the house is for sale.  The owner, who showed us the house said he was would be open to a rent-to-open deal, but was not sure about the details and would need to go through he RE Agent. 

Curious what people would do in this situation. While we really liked the house, it's location and THINK we could afford to buy, we'd like to have time to explore all of our options. 



You want the Deed in your name. Do you have any cash saved up? You could do owner-financing instead, own the property rather than leasing it. The pitfalls to a rent to own is when the tenant can't pay when the option date is due and if you don't pay your rent you can be evicted. If you did an owner finance deal, you would own the property. If you default then you'll be foreclosed upon which would give you more time than being evicted.   

@Adam Goldberg There are a few $0 down loans available. USDA (not all towns), VA (Veterans only - with a DD214), NACA (has some hurdles to jump through.

Alternatively, we could negotiate an option, which lets you tie the property up while you organize your finances.

There's some due diligence to go through - price, condition and location.

That said, you might be able to find the right home faster than you think.  Get moving on a pre-approval and start your home search in earnest and you might be in your new home in under 8 weeks.