Why Rent to Own Homes are Trending in NYC and How the Renting Process Works?

By: ROS Team

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NYC has always been a land of opportunities. People come from all over the world, and the city never disappoints them. It has something to offer to everyone who happens to step into the city for once.

Buying a home in NYC is a real feat, and not everyone can materialize that dream. Rent to own a home is a fascinating idea to buy a home in NYC. You might not have heard much about it earlier because it never gained momentum in the past.

While many may disagree but the truth is that the pandemic has made things challenging for everyone. It has affected the real estate sector in a fair proportion. Landlords and real estate companies are coming up with appealing offers to bring some activity back into the market.

Let us get to know about it in detail:

What is Rent to Own Homes?

A rent-to-own home is a kind of settlement that gives buyers to live in a home for a certain period to experience life and get their rent adjusted in a purchasing cost towards the final deal.

There is no specific limit for the time duration. Usually, it shall fall within a year. Rent-to-own homes are not offered in every building, but you may undoubtedly find these in all NYC boroughs.

What Kind of Homes You May Expect?

Usually, co-ops are frequently offered as rent-to-own homes though you may find condos as well. The chief reason behind such an offer is that when a particular apartment is not attracting buyers and wants to sell it for personal or professional reasons, then renting to own option is given to appeal to buyers.

couple arriving at summer vacation rental

Is it Good Enough?

Buying through rent to own provides an excellent option to take advantage of. It works in your best interests if you are purchasing an apartment in an area that is not fully developed or in the process of development. You may experience life there and then take a decision rather than playing a blind shot.

In the wake of COVID-19, rent-to-own homes are in fashion these days, and you may easily find them in all of the boroughs of NYC.

The offer is compelling for those tenants who adore their apartment and wants to buy it. It would give them a huge benefit of buying it as a home to rent a home.

How to Find rent-to-own Homes in New York?

1. Search by Yourself:

It is not like every building is offering rent-to-own homes. Instead, you have to do some work to get to know where it is being offered. To get to know about the latest listings, search about the latest listings and get in touch with people who may know about it.

2. Ask Friends and Family:

If you do not have much time to do it yourself, ask your friends and family to let you know when and where rent-to-own apartments are available. Ask them to let their friends know that you are looking for a rent-to-own home.

3. Take Help from the Internet:

The Internet is your best friend in modern times. There is hardly anything that is not available on the internet. There are several websites dedicated to new listings. In addition to it, you may take the help of social media platforms to get some information.

4. Hire a Broker:

Besides all other options, hiring a broker to run the whole operation is more valuable. Your broker is likely to let you know even before the apartment would appear in the market and do all the essential work to get you a better deal. You would save a lot more than what you would spend against the agent’s fee.

talk of brokers

A Flip Side of Rent to Own Homes:

You must be wondering that if it is that good an offer, then why it has not been in talks so much? For some time, rent-to-own homes are being offered, but the idea never gained momentum.

To be honest, the pandemic has shaken the foundations of every sector, and real estate is no exception. Real estate companies and landlords are having trouble selling homes, especially companies that offer luxury apartments.

Such offers are tossed in the challenging days of the market, such as during the previous recession, companies resorted to the same option.  It is used as a tactic to attract buyers. Besides, it is being offered in some of the buildings across NYC, and that too luxury apartments, which many New Yorkers cannot afford.

However, those who can afford such apartments may take advantage of this offer and test the place before concluding. Others who may take advantage of it want to buy an apartment but are pending it for one reason.

How the Process Works:

There is no single rule for rent-to-own homes; instead, it works differently in different offers. It depends on how developers want it to be. Usually, when you apply for a rent-to-own home, it is a style that a particular portion of the rent can be deducted from the purchasing cost. How much of the rent would add up depends on how long you resolve to settle as a tenant before buying the property.

But if you are up to renting a house, here’s a guide to some of the essential aspects and details of the rent-to-own process. Renting is simpler because you only have to safeguard your interests. Assessing the offer will help you choose whether you should purchase a home.


  • Rent-to-own agreements are transactions in which a property is rented for a set length of time, with the option of purchasing the property prior to the end of the lease term.
  • There are a regular leasing agreement and an option to buy the property afterward.
  • When a lease expires, the option to buy the property is granted to the leaseholder. However, the property must be purchased if you signed a lease-purchase agreement.
  • In some situations, the payments you make are deducted from the purchase price.
  • You may have to take care of the property and pay for repairs in some rent-to-own contracts.


Nonrefundable Upfront Fees

The option consideration, option money, or option fee is a non-refundable advance payment made to the seller. This charge lets you purchase the residence by a specific date in the future. It is possible to negotiate the option cost because there is no set pricing. Although the cost is usually 1% to 5% of the purchase price, the fees might range from 0.05% to 1% of the total price.

Lease-Option vs. Lease-Purchase

While there are many sorts of rent-to-own contracts, some are more accommodating to the general public and more flexible than others. A lease-option arrangement gives you the right to buy the property after the lease expires, but you are not required to exercise that right. The option just expires if you choose not to buy the property after the lease. You don’t have to continue paying rent or purchasing the property, as you would if you were contractually obligated to do so. Even with lease-purchase contracts, this is not always the case.

Agreeing on the Purchase Price

Rent-to-own agreements should include agreements on when and how the purchase price of the home is established. A contract is sometimes signed at a higher price than the current market value. Also, the price is decided to depend on the property’s current market value when the lease expires. In markets where property prices are rising, many purchasers choose to “lock in” the purchase price.

Investing in Real Estate

When the contract is finished, the result will depend on whether you entered into a written agreement or a verbal agreement. Mortgage or other finance may be necessary to pay the seller if you have a lease-option deal.

Also, you move out of the home if you fail to purchase the property or cannot arrange finance after the lease period. Most of the money you’ve already paid is gone, including any payments, you have made for the opportunity to buy, as well as any money you have earned as rent credit. However, you are not obligated to keep renting or to buy the home.

You can be legally required to buy the property when your lease expires if you have a lease-purchase arrangement. This can be challenging, and if you cannot obtain a mortgage, it will be even more difficult. Under a lease-option deal, you are less likely to be sued if you don’t buy the home because you are free to terminate the contract and won’t have any legal ramifications. If you are unable or unable to purchase the home.

Before Signing the Contract

1- Use Appropriate Terms

To ensure your money isn’t tied up, agree to lease-option agreements, not lease-purchase agreements.

2- Ask for Help

If you wish to comprehend your legal rights and responsibilities, you should work with a real estate attorney specializing in contracts. Before signing, you may choose to discuss some aspects or decide not to agree if it is not advantageous enough to you.

Before Signing the Contract

3- Investigate the Home Order Independently

Secure an inspection, verify property taxes are current, and eliminate any liens.

4- Find Out More About the Seller

Search the seller’s credit record to identify any financial problems and request a title report to assess how long the seller has held the property. If the seller has had the property for a long time and has acquired equity. Then you can feel more confident in the property.

5- Make Sure you Review the Fine Print

Should you lose your right to acquire the property under any of these circumstances? Even if you just pay your rent on time one time or if you don’t notify the seller of your plan to buy, you will lose the right to cancel the contract.


A rent-to-own agreement enables people who have yet to secure a mortgage to purchase a home while in the same manner helping them improve their credit scores and/or save for a down payment. For sure, terms and conditions under the rent-to-own agreement must be met. Even if a real estate agent helps with the process, it is critical to meet with a real estate attorney before signing any contract to determine whether you understand the terms of the contract and your rights.

Extraordinary time demands extraordinary measures, so you are not likely to find them in every season. If you aim to buy a home, take full advantage of the rent-to-own offer.

Read Also: Do You Know the Basics About Rent-To-Own Condos?