I was trolling the internet early this morning looking for inspiration for a blog topic to take us into the weekend when I found a reader question about a "Rent To Own Program" on the Trulia Web Site.
It is a good question and a good example of what readers should expect to find on the large, aggregate real estate sites, so it gives me two great paths to take for this post in the Tallahassee Real Estate Blog.
So first, the question. The Trulia reader asked:
My credit score is not really good. Is there a rent to own program that I can get into and be able to bring my credit score up at the same time?
My answer to this is much simpler than what the reader received on Trulia. You see, you do not need a "program" when you want to rent to own. All you need to do is execute a lease-purchase agreement with a property owner who is willing to do this. And contrary to what you might think, there are many Tallahassee home sellers who will consider a lease purchase if the offer is presented correctly by your REALTOR®.
As a simple summary, a lease purchase agreement is simply 2 agreements between seller and buyer, with each agreement referencing (contingent upon) the other. So the homebuyer and seller agree to a purchase price and date to close (in the future), and then they execute a lease for the period of time in which the buyer (tenant) will occupy the home prior to closing. Many more details are needed, but that is the simple gist of it.
Aggregate Real Estate Sites And Stalkers
If you are ever really bored (like can't sleep bored) and you want to see a form of stalking, check out the Trulia (or Zillow) Questions & Answers Site. Half the questions are written by "fake" potential buyers, and then are immediately answered by real estate agents with a solution, which usually starts out with something like "hire me ..."
Every so often a good question (like the one we found this morning) pops up and every so often there are some good answers. Today's question was good, but the answers were mostly about how to obtain credit counseling! Think about it. The person who asked the question wanted to buy a home, and 6 real estate agents got into a conversation about who offers the best credit counseling?
How about just answering the question (see above). Unfortunately, this is a classic example of real estate agents who have no ability to help a homebuyer with less than perfect credit. With the nature of the housing market today, I think that will be a death sentence for ignorant agents.
If you look at the list of homes for sale in Tallahassee with special financing options, you can see that there are plenty of opportunities for somebody with damaged credit to buy a home. It doesn't take them signing-up with a credit counselor to get a home.
So the moral of the story is make sure you trust the source of any advice that you receive about real estate. There is so much advice available, but much of it is from real estate agents who have never been successful in the real estate brokerage business. Caveat Emptor!
Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.