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What are lease-options and lease-purchase options?

Buyers who lack funds to make a down payment might want to consider using a lease-option or a lease-purchase agreement. With a lease-option agreement, the buyer leases the home for a specified amount of time, usually 12 to 24 months, after which he/she has the option to buy the home at a price agreed upon during the lease term. With a lease-purchase option, the buyer leases the property for an agreed upon amount of time and is obligated to purchase the property when the lease expires. Lease-option and lease-purchase tenants may have to pay an above market rent and in return they receive rent credits toward the down payment on the property.

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