Rent-to-Own Leases Help Fill Up Condos

In slow market, some developers offer test drives to renters
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2008 9:04 PM CDT
There can be pitfalls for potential rent-to-own buyers. "Some of the lower-income areas are being hammered, so if you are a buyer, make sure it's a good piece of property," said one expert.   (Index Stock)
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(Newser) – The credit crisis landed the housing market on shaky ground, but condo developers are attracting cash-strapped buyers by offering them rent-to-own leases, the Boston Globe reports. The deal allows would-be homeowners to rebuild their credit and test out conditions, while developers make money on properties that otherwise would be empty. “It can be a real win-win,” says a real estate marketer.

The option typically is available in low-value areas, “so if you are a buyer, you want to make sure it’s a good piece of property,” an expert advises. Still, one non-profit director remains skeptical of the benefits for renters: “A lot of things can happen that will make them less likely to buy rather than more likely to buy.”