Rent To Own Programs
Rent-to-own programs help everyone fulfill their dream of owning a home. It can be difficult to save up money for a down payment. Mortgage lenders often have strict criteria that involve a minimum credit score and income, which some people may have a hard time achieving. It makes it difficult to own a home. However, that’s where rent-to-own programs come in.
What Are Rent-To-Own Programs?
Rent-to-own programs, which are often referred to as lease-to-own programs, allow renters to continue to pay rent as if they were renting the home, but a portion of the rent goes towards the purchase price of the home. Rent-to-own programs are notorious for being easier to qualify for than a traditional mortgage. They often have lower income and credit score requirements. Some things to keep in mind about rent-to-own programs are:
- A rent-to-own home won’t help build your credit
- You lose money due to fees and money spent if you don’t purchase the home in the long run
- There are often stipulations in the contract that will make the contract null and void, such as a late payment. In this situation, you would lose all of the money that you have already put towards the house.
- You will be required to complete all repairs on the home as if you had purchased it through a mortgage lender.
- Only a portion of the rent paid goes towards the purchase price of the home, and this is often stated in the contract. For example, if you pay $800 per month, the full amount of $800 does not go towards the purchase price of the home. Make sure to read the fine print on the contract, and consider having a real estate attorney review the contract with you.
- This doesn’t come with options to build your own house
- It can be difficult to find homes in your neighborhood that qualify
Make to carefully research rent-to-own programs before participating to guarantee that you work with a reputable company. These are some of the most popular rent-to-own companies online.
Home Partners Of America
Home Partners of America is one of the most popular rent-to-own companies online. You are given a rent budget based on your income and can work with a realtor to find a home. The financing process works in a similar manner to purchasing a home.
How Does Home Partners Work?
First, those interested in purchasing a home through Home Partners of America will fill out an application. In order to be approved, applicants must have a specific debt to income ratio, and a credit score of approximately 580. This minimum credit score is lower than mortgage lenders, so that’s nice. Applicants also need at least $55,000 in yearly income. Background checks must be completed on all household members as well.
After being approved, applicants can work with a real estate agent to find a home that they are interested in. Home Partners will give them a maximum rent amount based on their income, making it easy to find a home that’s within budget.
Clients can also browse homes that the program already has available. These are houses that Home Partners has already purchased.
Once a client finds a home, Home Partners purchases that home. After that, the client can rent the home for a period before deciding to purchase the home. Renters will sign a contract that details how much they can purchase the home for later.
Home Partners Of America Pros And Cons
There are both good and bad things about working with Home Partners of America that should be considered before taking the plunge.
Some of the great things about this company are:
- Renters live in the home before deciding to purchase the house
- Makes it easier to find a rent-to-own home
- Can connect applicants with a real estate agent
- The money paid during the rental period does not go towards the purchase price of the home
- If repairs are not completed before the purchase date, the company is not liable for completing them any longer
- Buyer is responsible for closing costs, fees, etc.
- Application fee
- Will only purchase homes in certain markets, particularly more popular markets. You can find a list of the areas they are willing to purchase homes in on the Home Partners website.
Home Partners Of America Reviews
There are thousands of reviews of the company available. Many people say that they had a wonderful experience and that Home Partners made the journey to homeownership as seamless as possible. For example:
“Great customer service and communication. After finding my dream home everything fell into place and HP assisted me throughout the entire process. Thank you, HP”
“My experience with Home Partners has been nothing short of stellar. From my initial application on May 17, 2021, to bids on homes, to actual pending process on a beautiful house, to closing on July 13, 2022, I have not been met with anything short of efficiency and professionalism. HP has made this process effortless.”
However, there are some people that are dissatisfied with the homes they’ve wound up purchasing, such as these reviews:
“This my first time being on the program and this has been a worst experience. Ive moved in on 6/26/22 and been having major issues since then. 1st It begin with Home partners changed the date on when the closing cost was due, since I did not print or copy the document it was their word against mines, next the home is not inhabitable and or livable from no hot water in the home, unable to use showers due to sewage/corrosion of gavelstine pipe where f**** backed ** in both bathrooms, flooring is not secured or installed properly, no electric throughout the home, A/c does not work properly or cool the children bedrooms, leaking kitchen faucets, possible sinkhole, refrigerator leaking, broken kitchen pipes flooding outside, leaking inside the home. Ive contacted Home partners and pathlight management by phone, email, and writing, escalations request and continue get the run around and no one has common courtesy to even return the call.”
“They have not tried to get in touch with me until today when I threatened them do the Health and safety of my family Since your company has failed to respond to my request submitted 6/29,7/1,7/2 also speaking to a representative 7/2 I decided to take things into my own hands and have xcel come out to the home after I received an elevated carbon monoxide blood test from my doctor! **** is here there are numerous gas leaks and other issues with this home! My family will be vacating this home and I will expect a full refund of all money”
There are multiple complaints regarding the condition of homes, even though the company states that every home is properly inspected. Make sure that you perform a personal inspection before purchasing a property.
Divvy Homes is another popular rent to own company. They advertise that they help owners save money for a down payment, and help them qualify for a mortgage to purchase the home in as little as three years.
Is Divvy Homes Legit?
Yes, Divvy homes is a legitimate business. They are an accredited business that was established in 2018 according to the Better Business Bureau.
How Does Divvy Homes Work?
Divvy Homes works in a similar manner to Home Partners. Those interested must complete an application, and everyone in the home must have a background check. Income statements must be submitted. Then, once approved, Divvy will provide a budget for a monthly rent amount and future homeowners can go shopping. They then rent the home while preparing to buy the home in the future.
Pros Vs. Cons
There are quite a few pros and cons to working with Divvy Homes. Make sure that you take the time to look into the company before deciding if it’s the right rent-to-own company to help you become a homeowner.
The main pros of working with Divvy Homes are:
- Application approval in an estimated two days
- Makes home ownership more accessible to people that don’t currently qualify for a standard mortgage
- Requires a “savings” payment in addition to rent. This money is held onto by Divvy, and given back to the renter so that they can make a down payment.
The downsides that you need to consider include:
- 2% down payment is required after you find a home that you want to buy, which is not refunded if you wind up not purchasing the home in the long run
- Three late payments can get you evicted, even if the payments are still made
- Do not usually work with iBuyers
Divvy Homes Reviews
As always, it’s important to take a good look at reviews before deciding to work with a company. Divvy currently has a rating of two out of five stars with the BBB.
Many of the positive reviews are from customers that have been able to enjoy home ownership thanks to Divvy, such as these:
“First of all, if you have all your eggs in the right financial basket, not only would you have a proper down payment but also excellent credit to be accepted by the bank. However, if you don’t this is where Divvy Homes can be a blessing to your unfavorable situation. ”
” A year later through the buy back program, I just closed on my home. Im very grateful to have found divvy and would recommend them to anyone who want a little help getting into a home of their own.”
“Divvy was such a great company to work with! The application process was fast and smooth! I loved that we were able to house **** and pick out our house that we wanted and Divvy did the rest! We rented through Divvy for 8 months and just completed the buy back process this week!”
However, for every person that states they had a wonderful experience, there seems to be another one that has a horrible experience. For example:
“Divvy homes sounded like a good idea. However, the first idea that we realized it wasnt was the fact the company is that they do NOT ever call you on the phone nor will they ever answer. This company will not negotiate at all. They have a **** poor maintenance department that only contracts out the lowest and cheapest repair company. Also, when buying the house they are very shady. They stated that they cover 100% at the closing of the following: deed prep, transfer taxes except tangible, closing fees and recording fees. However when it came for the closing, they refused to pay state stamp transfer tax. Stay away from DIVVY!!!!!!!!!”
“They tried to basically force us into a 200,000$ house. That’s how they get you. They put you in a home that you CANNOT AFFORD. So in 5 or 10 years if you hit hard times and can’t pay for they home they foreclose on the house you lose the home and they resale for the same ridiculous price to the next one that CANNOT AFFORD IT. Check your credit score yourself (it’s free) then go to a lender for the financing.”
“Very disappointing experience. Not a company I would recommend to anyone trying to buy a home”
“Unethical company. This company offered to purchase my sellers home with an all cash offer. Day of closing they pushed back a week then a week later because their renter they had lined up to rent the house to flaked out on them so they terminated the contract on my sellers closing day! My sellers had moved out had all utilities turned off in their name and now cannot close on their new home. DO NOT TRUST THIS COMPANY. They have displaced a family with a 5 year old child!! They don’t even deserve the one star.”
While it seems like some people have a wonderful experience, there are plenty of other people that feel this company is simply great at scamming people.
Rent-to-own companies remain a popular option for many people, but they are not the only ways to buy a house with low income. Renting to own through a private landlord is another idea. Read this blog on the pros and cons of rent-to-own homes to discover everything you need to know before renting a rent-to-own home.