– RENT TO OWN / LEASE OPTION PROGRAM-
Home buyers & renters, do you wish to know more about owning a home of your own, on a Rent to Own basis? My name is Donald J. Leske II, I am a Licensed Real Estate Agent and Managing Broker of BCI Properties, LLC in the Tacoma area of WA State. I am a bit long winded…, so please bear with me.
Basically most tenants would rather own a home than rent one.., but many people simply cannot come up with the needed credit scores and/or down payment needed from one to five years. A person who has a “hope” of buying a home and is willing to pay rent with an option to buy……, can be counted on to:
- Pay their rent on time! (or loose their option to buy)
- Pay a higher rent of generally $200 more, for the Option to Buy your property. Non refundable.
- Handle more of the maintenance, clean up and repairs than the average renter.
- Will often be willing to pay a higher retail sale price for your home, more often than most buyers.
What we require of renters;
- A qualified job, meaning that they have been on a job at least a year and it is full time, plus if their co-buyer or spouse is to be used to qualify then they must also have a job or other qualifying income.
- Enough cash to pay screening fee, 1st months rent plus a deposit, upon approved screening.
- Willing to pay for and be approved with a basic screening, which checks for criminal background and any past evictions, credit etc. No evictions or Felons on last 5 years of records.
- Plus tenant must meet other standards that vary from property to property, such as Non Smokers, No pets etc. Some home owners who are willing to rent their home will not allow anything that may damage their home.
What are the Fees and are there any hidden costs or requirements involved?
- FEE. Tenants who take our Lease/Option program will only pay on average $200 extra a month added to rent. Non refundable. This can vary depending on mutual acceptance of agreeable terms.
- Renters Insurance.., may be required often the cost is $10 to $20 a month, which will cover damages that a tenant may cause.
- Maintenance. Most owners who agree to work with this program, will expect the tenant/buyer to treat their home as their own in terms of keeping up the maintenance. Example; if a toilet plugs up an owner will expect the tenant/buyer to be responsible…..as if they already own the home.
- HOA Dues. Often with newer homes in a community of similar homes, there is a Home Owners Association which generally has a monthly or yearly fee that the owner must pay…..and they may expect the tenant/buyer to pay it since they occupy the home. An HOA has specific rules and regulations which a tenant/buyer and owners must comply with. These may include, no riding bicycles or skateboards on the sidewalks, careful regulations of how the yard must be cared for and how many vehicles may be parked in front of a home. Some HOAs even cut your grass for you and keep up the landscaping.
NOTE: Please remember that owners generally are making mortgage payments to a bank or lender, which puts a lien on the property. The risk to the tenant/buyer is that if the owner does not pay their mortgage payment on time, then their lien holder could force a foreclosure on the home which would put the tenant/buyer in harm’s way. In time a tenant could be put on the street by the bank or lien holder. To protect all parties involved we ask the owner to give us a Letter of Notice to be sent to their lien holder or bank which would instruct them to notify BCI if the owner misses or is late on even one payment. This letter gives BCI no other rights other than to be informed.
EXAMPLE of a Lease Option we offer:
- Lease/Option Terms: Typically can be from one to Five Years on Lease/Option, Rent to Own!
- The sale price of a property must be preset or Locked-in, during a lease with an Option to Buy. Sale price can not be ambiguous or left to a later appraisal, or it will be hard to negotiate terms and the legality of the agreement can be questioned. Owners need to make sure the sale price will meet their needs in the end.
Example: An owner and tenant mutually agree that tenant will pay an Option Fee to owner of $200 per month to be added to the rent, for consideration to owner for not allowing anyone else to buy the home for the entire time of the Lease.., and for a Locked Sale Price. This is a non-refundable fee and is paid as rent to the Landlord. Such as, if base rent is $1,695/monthly then the Lease/Option would bring it up to $1,895/monthly, paid as rent but with consideration to owner and credit to tenant/buyer.
- Typically an owner will credit back the tenant an additional $200 for each month that the rent is paid on time as a reciprocal consideration. Total $400 monthly credit is then possible for a tenant/buyer which can be applied to their down payment and/or closing costs.
- What happens to the extra money paid in and gifted credit back……, if a Tenant-Buyer does not buy ….for whatever reason? The owner keeps the rent and option money, unless the owner backs out of the agreement for a personal reason with no fault of tenant/buyer, then tenant/buyer should ask for consideration.
- The NWMLS Purchase & Sale Agreement and Form-75 Lease Option documents are attached to the Lease and give various protections to buyer and seller.
Buyer does not have to buy the property* if the appraisal is not high enough at the time of Escrow closing the deal to satisfy their Mortgage Lender, or if the tenant/buyer simply decides to walk away…in which case they would lose any vested interest and money paid.
Seller does not have to sell the property*, nor refund money if the buyer cannot obtain a loan or demands a lower sale price due to a low appraisal. Since the seller/owner has removed the property from the market and has agreed to hold the property on behalf and in consideration of the tenant who will buy, then the owner takes the risk of losing the sale and only retains the Option money of $200 per month. Owners may have to pay back a tenant/buyer if they fail to honor the agreement at no fault of the tenant/buyer.
- NOTICE: BCI Properties does not enforce these agreements. We are only a facilitator, and any enforcement will have to come before a Civil Court or Arbitrator for remediation or satisfaction.
- Interest Rate is totally dependent subject to buyers choice of Lender and credit approval.
- Monthly payments: dependent on a negotiated Lease with Option terms. If rent is $1,695 a month normally, then it will go to $1,895 a month….non refundable.
- Negotiable Terms. 1-5 year Leases contingent on mutual acceptance. Buyer and seller must agree on all terms of the lease and Purchase and Sale agreement before a deal is made and signed.
Sale is NOT contingent on a Bank Appraisal.
This can be Good for the tenant/buyer if the home appraised value raises above the locked in value, because buyer will end up with added equity due to a locked in price. Also, the owner will get their house sold for a price that they asked for.
This can be bad for the buyer/tenant if the Bank Appraisal is less than the actual sale price in the end. They can go ahead and buy the property if they can come up with whatever additional money is needed, or the tenant can simply walk away. There is no way to determine what an appraised sale price will be in two or three years.
TENANT/BUYER CANNOT RECLAIM OR DEMAND BACK THEIR $200/mo OPTION FEE*.
The tenant will lose their Option money that they paid unless the owner accepts a lower than expected Bank Appraisal as it is and agrees to sell for a lower price…, or unless the buyer/tenant can pay the difference; or if the owner decides to not sell at no fault of the tenant/buyer.
The “Option” consideration or money was being paid to the owner for the right and privilege of tying up the property for a set period of time with an agreement to sell to tenant during that set time, but this is NOT a sale price guarantee. Plus the option money may or may not be credited to the tenant in the end, unless specifically mutually agreed upon. The most common practice is to credit back to buyer this Option money if they follow through and make the purchase as agreed.
A failed sale would also be considered bad for the owner as they would not get their home sold as they had planned on, but owner would keep the Option money.
*NOTICE; Subject to each party doing their own due diligence in terms of being aware of Bank Appraisal issues in the end, any liens or back taxes due, closing costs due at Escrow/Closing etc. It is recommended that each party should ask their Attorney to review and ratify all documents prior to entering into any such agreement.
Mortgage Financing: It is Buyer’s choice of Bank or Lender who will finance these homes, generally at the end of the Lease but tenant/buyer may opt to buy sooner. Financing will be contingent on several factors such as; Lender/Bank approval of and Appraisal of property.
Donald J. Leske Sr. – Manager/Broker (253) 241-6695
Office: (253) 531-1010
Emily Leske – Accounts Manager
(253) 531-2600 Accounting
Rentals: (253) 531-2000
Fax: (253) 531.5358
Main Office Location: 9702 South Tacoma Way, Lakewood WA 98499
All Terms are subject to Fair Housing Laws of the State of Washington and Federal HUD rules and regulations as applicable, plus of course subject to change without notice in case of any conflict with local, State or Federal laws, also subject to approval of screening and HOA if/as applicable and subject to final approval of property owner. Other options and terms are available by request.
Important Notice & Disclaimers: ALL TENANT/BUYERS must be responsible to clean up their own credit. If your credit is still bad at the end of the Lease/Option the owner/seller does not and often WILL NOT extend your lease. The majority of tenant/buyers have good intentions, but in the end do not buy the property that they entered into an agreement on, for many varied reasons but the most prevalent reason is that they never did get their credit straight. The information on this page is an Example/sample and only for information purposes. All contracts for Option and/or sale of property must be negotiated and mutually approved on by buyer/tenant and seller/owners. Also, all buyers are recommended to obtain the services of an Attorney to review all terms.
What can go wrong? Several things can go wrong of course, such as; Buyer changes their mind and wants any and all extra money they paid back.; Buyer does not qualify and wants any and all extra money they paid back.; Buyer got a divorce and wants any and all extra money they paid back.; Buyer lost their job and wants any and all extra money they paid back.; …etc. Plus, the home or property may not appraise …or live up to the actual agreed on sale price when it comes time to close the sale. There are never any iron clad guarantees, however in general we all hope that things go as they should, then buyer/tenants and owners are satisfied in the end. I recommend that if you have any doubts or real concerns, you have all documents reviewed by a Real Estate Attorney and/or obtain professional advice as to property value prior to signing any agreement.