Rent-To-Own Precautions You Should Never Skip

When you find your dream home, it’s natural to be anxious to close the deal and sign your name on the dotted line before another interested party comes along. Before you make your rent-to-own contract official, however, experts say you should take these important steps to protect your financial interests.

Do a Title Search

Ensure the home has a clear title; that is, there are no liens against the home that may prevent you from purchasing it once your established rental period ends. Many companies offer a free online property report, so search around to find the information you need before signing your contract.

Insist On a Home Inspection

If you skip the professional home inspection, you risk inheriting costly – or even dangerous – maintenance conditions. You’ll want to be aware of these up front so that you and the owner can determine the timeline and responsibility for repairs in writing.

Make Your Exit Clause Air-Tight

In a rent-to-own scenario, the renter has the option to decline to buy the home once the lease period ends. Make sure your contract spells out the details, including how and when you must inform the homeowner of your decision and your timeline for vacating the premises. This clause serves to protect you in the event you choose not to ultimately purchase the home.

Image via Flickr/kpjessop