We found it exhausting trying to find rent-to-own (aka lease option) or contract for deed homes. We spent hours researching this in the region and wanted to share our experience and tips to hopefully save you a lot of time.
Since each city/state is unique, the answer will vary depending on many factors including:
- Population size: metro area vs non-metro areas. Typically larger cities have more options.
- Local market dynamics: Is it a buyers or sellers market? What is the rent to price ratio? What is the availability of rentals or listings in your area? These local factors impact the affordability and probability of rent-to-own or contract for deed homes.
- Legal obstacles: Some states (like TX don’t like rent to own programs) and some require specific terms. Local laws impact availability.
To find rent -to – own or contract for deed homes, we recommend two paths:
- Online search (Google, Zillow, etc)
Word of mouth. Since rent to own or contract for deed homes can be tricky to find, it is often that someone know someone who knows someone that can put you touch with a person to talk with locally. A trusted referral is a great source for leads near you.
These word of mouth referral sources can be:
- social media (facebook, twitter, etc)
- property managers, or
- local chamber of commerce
A local trusted referral can be a great source for leads near you. An example is Tulsa Oklahoma. Casa de Reality specializes in contract for deed homes. You may hear about them but it would be very hard to find them online anywhere except word of mouth. In an area like Fargo North Dakota, there is not a single company who does 1,000s of rent to own homes a year but there are a few individuals who specialize in selling homes on lease options or contract for deeds if you ask around.
This can be your best friend or your biggest time suck. You may find exactly what you want on the first page of google or you may spend 4 hours filling out forms and calling people hoping to get a home.
Here are some tips as you search the web for Rent-to-Own or Contract for Deed Homes Near You
- Large Specialty Companies: If you are looking to move to a large city (over 200,000 people), there is likely existing companies that can help you find these types of properties. Specifically, take a look at Home Partner of America (which is the largest company of this type) or Divvy Homes (which is a newer company that can also help you). It is important to know that these two companies specifically specialize in lease to own rather than contract to deed homes. These companies do 1,000s of homes each year and have a legit system in place.
- Specialty Sites like Zillow, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace: Search locally for rent to own or lease to own or lease option or contract for deed keywords to hopefully find existing inventory and a phone number you can call to go visit the property. These sites can be a fast track to finding a home quickly. You can also ask existing rental properties if they are open to a lease option or contract for deed style arrangement, if if they don’t specially state so in the description you never know what you can find.
- Data-pulling site (like renttoown.org): These sits aggregate and gather data from existing for sale by owners, foreclosures, and other types of properties that MIGHT BE interested in a rent to own or contract for deed home. How this works is you usually pay a monthly fee to access potential properties that these data-mining sites pull together to help streamline your search efforts. This can be frustrating and may not be worth the time since you end up simply calling property owners and asking if they are willing to do a rent to own on their property. The struggle is these sites dominant google. Because these larger companies use paid advertising and specialize in search engine optimization, they are typically the top 10 search results for you region. We have also found that they seem to be similar companies. For example renttoown.org and rent to own labs and rentbeforeowning.org all lead to the same site. These sites may help you find a home just realize they are one of many options.
- Local Companies: There are a handful of local companies (like us here at Home Equity Partner or someone like C4Dcrew) who specialize in buying homes in any area and selling them back to you as a lease option or contract for deed. These companies don’t have existing inventory, instead, they qualify you first and then have you go pick out a home with an agent on the market. These local companies can buy homes where the large companies can not. The kicker is that these local companies may require a higher down payment (e.g. 15% instead of 2% down). If you are in need of a home and can’t get a bank loan but have good income and a down payment, these local companies may be a good resource.
Many people in today’s market want a rent-to-own or contract for deed home. However, these can often be a bit difficult to sniff out. The reality is that there is not an easy resource out there to find these homes.
Finding lease to own or contract for deed homes can be a tricky process. Depending upon your area, you may find one rather easily or with a lot of leg work. Our research has found these to be your best tips for finding lease-to-own homes.
Want to hear more? Tune into our podcast episode where we discuss finding lease to own and contract for deed homes.
If you want to see other blog articles, view FAQs, or learn more about Home Equity Partner. Visit us at homeequitypartner.com or find us on Facebook.