The recent collapse in the real estate market and the rise in unemployment rates has turned purchasing a home into an intimidating experience. To alleviate some of the concerns of buying a home, many potential buyers are considering rent-to-own options.

A rent-to-own contract will set the purchase price of the real estate at the beginning of the contract, but the renter does not actually purchase the house for a number of years. By fixing the cost of sale early on, the renter is able to see whether the value of the property rises or sinks before making a decision on whether or not to purchase the property. If the value decreases, a reasonable risk in today’s shaky market, the renter has no obligation to purchase the property. If the value increases, the cost does not increase to the buyer.

Renting to own can be a way to work towards buying a house for people who do not have the means to make a purchase immediately. A portion of the renter’s monthly payments are going to the purchase of the property; the renter is essentially building a down payment with every monthly rent payment. The renter is also buying time to build their credit.

While there are many benefits to a rent to own contract, renters need to be very cautious in reviewing the language of the contract. Some rent to own contracts will be voided if the renter makes late payments, or the late payment will not count towards the purchase of the house. Many contracts will require renters to handle certain repairs, or in some cases renters will voluntarily make improvements to the house. But renters need to remember that if for any reason the purchase does not go through, they will most likely loose any money that they put into the house.

The contract should take into consideration circumstances such as death of the seller, foreclosure of the property, or other transfers. A good attorney can help a renter eliminate the risks of a rent-to-own contract, so the renter can feel confident that he is making a good investment in his or her future.

You can also work with a rent to own service like Ownerwiz. These types of companies help make the process easier for both the buyer and the seller. Ownerwiz and similar companies provide listings of rent to own homes in your area and in your price range. They will also ensure the contract is funded and that your rent to own home becomes a reality.

Whichever road you decide to take, owning your own home is something many Americans will only dream of. If you have the opportunity, do your research and find out if one of the home ownership options makes sense for you.