1. What are the parts of a rent-to-own agreement?
There are three main documents in our Lease To Own Documents:
a) First Right Of Purchase Agreement/Option To Purchase Agreement – This document gives you the ability to buy the property and mentions the purchase price, the length of time you have to purchase the property and the amount of rent credit you will receive each month toward reducing your purchase price. (See question 11 to find out more about rent credit)
b) Statement of Understanding – An agreement you sign to acknowledge that you understand that you are not the owner of the home until you have paid off the purchase price in full.
c) Lease Agreement – Your lease agreement allows you to move into the home during the time of the First Right Of Purchase/Option To Purchase period. This document will provide the details of where your monthly payments will be made, the monthly lease amount and the total amount of rent that should be accumulated during the contract. The lease agreement also identifies who is responsible for what, such as maintenance, insurance, taxes, subleasing and various others.
2. Is rent-to-own a new concept?
There are many people in The Bahamas that have used rent to own, owner financing or the option to purchase as a method of acquiring real estate. The Hawksbill Creek Agreement of 1955 (The Development of Freeport, Grand Bahama) was built on a conditional purchase lease, which is similar to a rent to own contract. Many hotels throughout the country have secured the land beneath their buildings with leases and options. Option to purchase contracts are also common when purchasing condominiums that are still in the preconstruction stages, most investors use this as a strategy to buy in at a low price to sell to someone in the future at a higher price.
What is new, is that, now you can come to a company such as ours that offers these types of real estate contracts. We are the first to do it.
3. What is the difference between rent to own, lease option, lease purchase, and owner financing agreements?
Lease option transactions are also known as rent to own, or rent to buy transactions. In these transactions, the renter has the OPTION to buy the home after the rent period is over or during the time of the rent period. The written agreement states the lease term, the purchase price, the down payment, and the rent credit. (This is the main type of renting to own contract we use)
Lease purchase transactions are similar to lease options, but these agreements REQUIRE the renter to purchase the home after the renting period is over.
Owner financing agreements have similar payment plans as lease options. However, in these arrangements the buyer gets the deed (title) and the home is in their name as soon as the agreement starts. Instead of taking a full amount for the home immediately, the owner acts as a lender and takes payments on the home. The buyer must be approved for a mortgage from a third party lender when it comes time to pay for the rest of the house. The legal risk in this type of rent to own is that you can be sued if you do not purchase once the rent period is over. WE DO NOT OFFER THESE TYPES OF RENT TO OWN CONTRACTS, UNLESS A CLIENT ASKS FOR IT SPECIFICALLY.
4. Why are rent-to-own transactions not more common?
Most people are not aware of the rent to own concept because they have been taught that a mortgage is the only way to purchase real estate. In our current economic climate, being approved for a mortgage is not an option for 80% – 90% of the people that apply. Rent To Own Bahamas is committed to “making ownership possible” for the 80% – 90% who have been denied or cannot qualify for a mortgage today.
5. Do we own the properties we list?
We do not own the properties we list on www.Rent2OwnBahamas.com. We also do not represent the Sellers in these transactions. What we do is acquire an interest and then assign and sublease our interest to you, our client.
6. What type of potential buyers choose the rent-to-own method?
Potential buyers include the following:
a) Families who need help getting their finances in order so they can apply for an affordable loan once the rental period is over.
b) Families with debt who are not able to get approved for a loan at the present time, but are willing to work on repairing their financial situation in time to buy the home once the rental period is up.
c) Families who want to try out an area before they move for good.
d) Families who do not want to pay rent anymore and make progress towards owning a home.
e) Real estate investors.
f) People that have been employed less than two (2) years.
8. What are the benefits of rent to own versus other methods of purchasing a home?
a) It gives you the opportunity to purchase your own home while improving your financial stability.
b) Great method to prepare for home ownership and to learn what it means to really own a home before you buy one completely.
c) Your rent is now an investment. The down payment and parts of your rent go towards ultimately purchasing your home.
d) The purchase price is fixed in a rent to own agreement, which means you can profit from value appreciation (home increases in value) at the time of purchasing the home. You will also have instant equity in the home, as the home is now worth more than the balance that is owed.
e) You have the option to purchase and it is up to you, whether you want to buy the home or not after the rental period is over. The Seller cannot cancel this agreement unless you are in breach of the contract or behind on your monthly rent payments.
f) Renting to own gives you the potential to own real estate despite your current financial situation. Even if you have bad credit from past issues or present ones, home ownership can be a possibility for you if you are willing to work on improving your situation
9. Do I have to buy the house at the end of the lease?
No. The seller gives you the option, but you do not have to. Be aware, however, you will not get any of the equity invested returned to you if you don’t buy the home.
10. Do we provide Financing?
At this time, we are not affiliated with any third party lenders or banks. You will have to seek financing at your own discretion. We hope to provide financing in the future.
11. What is a rent credit?
Rent credit is a portion of your rent each month that goes towards reducing the balance that you owe the seller.
12. Why do the prices seem high?
The prices of the rent to own listings that we have may seem high because they are not an average rental. Most mortgage payments are around 1% of the total value of the amount you borrowed. Example, if you borrowed $200,000.00 from a bank, you can expect your payment to be about $2,000.00 monthly depending on the length of your mortgage. It is common practice for rent to own payments to be similar to that of a mortgage, as it prepares you properly for the mortgage payment your lender will charge you in the future.
13. Will my down payment & monthly rent credits be returned to me if I do not purchase the home at the end of the lease?
No, these fees are not refundable. Unfortunately, this is one of the things you must be aware of in a rent-to-own agreement. If you are strategic about the home you choose and making yourself financially stable, then this will not matter because you will be able to purchase the home when you want to. So be sure you consider all your options and make careful decisions before entering an agreement. Another reason why these funds are not refundable is that the Seller would not have been able to sell the home to any one else during the time of your rent to own agreement.
14. Who pays the taxes and any insurance on a rent-to-own agreement?
During the lease period, the seller is responsible for the mortgage payments, homeowners insurance and property taxes, unless agreed otherwise. At the end of the rent to own agreement, those responsibilities are transferred to the new home owner.
15. Can I get a refund?
The deposit is usually non refundable unless there are title issues to the property or if the owner decides to cancel the agreement before you receive possession. If this does happen, refunds are processed in 60 days from the date of cancellation of the contract.
16. Can I move in the home during the rent to own period?
Absolutely, you can move in.
17. How can I contact Rent To Own Bahamas to get an appointment?
You can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance if you need an appointment or more information.