How Do Lease Options Work And What Are The Benefits?

A lease option is an arrangement with you and a seller to exercise the option to buy a house after you have rented it for a specific period. A portion of your rent would be applied toward the purchase if the option is exercised. This is referred to as rent credit, which most institutional lenders will accept as part of the down payment if rental payments exceed the market rent and if a valid lease­purchase agreement is in effect, a copy of which must be attached to the loan application.

Read any lease­option arrangement carefully for details on transferring the option and other important concerns. If you are considering a lease option, be sure you do your homework first. And have an attorney or financial advisor on hand to review any paperwork before you sign.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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