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1. What is the Lease with a Right to Purchase Program?
Our Lease with a Right to Purchase Program (the “RTP Program”) allows you to find a home that you want to rent from us initially, but may also like to buy in the next three to five years. We believe that there are many households who may be thinking about buying a home but for whatever reason would like to rent at the current time. You can lease the home for up to three to five years, depending on the state, and you may purchase the home from us at any time at a predetermined price.
2. Who is eligible for the RTP Program?
We have certain minimum criteria for our program. Your household must have an annual income of $50,000. You must have stable employment. We cannot accept you into our program if you or anyone in your household has a history of eviction or a pending bankruptcy. Everyone in your household will be subject to a criminal background check.
3. How do I apply to the RTP Program?
Every member of your household who is 18 years of age or older must complete the Pre-Qualification Application and the Full Application. The Full Application requires certain information, including residence and employment history, for each member of the household. You also must provide income and asset verification for each member of the household whose income is to be considered in determining the rent approval amount in order for your application to be considered complete.If you are moving from a different state or starting a new job, we will need confirmation of your new job and income. We take several factors into consideration when reviewing an application, which include household income, rent-to-income and debt-to-income ratios, rental and housing history, employment history, criminal history, and FICO® scores. We will usually respond to you regarding your application within 1 to 2 business days of receiving all required information.
4. How much does it cost to participate in the RTP Program?
We have a one-time Application Fee of $75 per household that must be paid online as part of the application process. This Application Fee covers all applicants in the household and is nonrefundable. Please note that in California, the Application Fee is $45 if there is only one applicant in the household and $75 if there are two or more applicants in the household.
5. Why might my application be denied?
We take several factors into consideration when reviewing an application, which include household income, rent-to-income, and debt-to-income ratio, rental and housing history, employment history, criminal history, and FICO® score. We consider the profile of the entire household when reviewing an application. If your application is denied, you will receive notification in writing.
6. How do I find a home once I’m approved?
Your contact will help you to search for homes that meet our purchasing criteria. Generally, this means that the home should be:
1. Located in an approved community (based on high schools and not adjacent to features that may negatively impair value);
2. Listed for between $100,000 and $550,000 in most states, though exceptions apply in California, Virginia and Washington;
3. Located on a lot no more than three acres with a minimum of two bedrooms;
4. A single family home or fee-simple townhome; condo associations, condo interests, commercial and multi-family properties are not eligible for the RTP Program;
5. A traditional sale; short sales, auctions, and REOs are not eligible for the RTP Program; and;
6. No material deficiencies (e.g., major structural issues, pervasive mold, etc.);
7. Please note we only purchase homes with pools in certain states. At the current time, we purchase homes with pools only in the following states: California, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas.
8. My county is listed as approved on your website, but the high school of the home I want is not. Is the home approved?
We only consider homes that have default public high school attendance zone for public high schools ranked in the top 50% within each of our approved markets (based on standardized math and verbal test scores). A home must fall within the default attendance zone of an approved public high school, so although the lists on our website are sorted by county, we do not consider homes that do not meet this requirement.
9. Is there a required deposit?
Yes. Generally, we require a deposit equal to two months’ rent. This deposit is not applied towards your rent. If you decide to leave the home at the end of any one-year lease term and you have been in compliance with the terms of the lease and return the home in the same condition it was in when you moved in (normal wear and tear excepted), the full deposit will be returned to you or credited to the purchase price if you buy the home. The full deposit (less any outstanding charges owed) is also returned to you if you exercise your Right to Purchase the home.
10. How long does it take from when I select a home to when I move in?
On average, it takes approximately 2 to 6 weeks from the time we enter into a purchase agreement for a home until the day you are able to move in. There are a number of variables that may affect the move-in timeframe, including the length of negotiation with the seller leading up to when we enter into a purchase agreement, what the home inspection reveals with respect to required repairs, and the renovations you request. We will keep you informed throughout the entire purchase and renovation process so that you are aware of this timing.
11. What happens after I move in?
You are our tenant, and we are your landlord. You have entered into a lease with us for one year and are bound to the terms of that agreement. We will collect your monthly rent and perform any necessary repairs that are our responsibility after you move in.
12. Are the monthly rent payments that I make applied to the purchase price of the home?
No. Monthly rent payments are not applied to the purchase price of the home. If you decide to exercise your Right to Purchase, you must pay the full predetermined price as set forth in the Right to Purchase Agreement.
13. How do I exercise my Right to Purchase?
You may notify us at any time that the Lease is in effect that you would like to exercise your Right to Purchase. However, you must provide us with that notice in writing at least 60 days before you want to complete the purchase. Once you notify us that you want to exercise your Right to Purchase, we will contact you to get the process started.
14. Can I buy a home in the middle of a lease term or do I have to wait until the end of the year?
You can exercise your Right to Purchase at any time during your Lease. However, you must provide us with written notice of your intent to exercise at least 60 days before you want the sale to close. In addition, the closing date must occur before the end of the applicable Lease term.
15. Do you provide me with a mortgage?
We are not a mortgage company. We do not have any obligation to provide or arrange a mortgage loan. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to obtain a mortgage loan if and when you wish to exercise the Right to Purchase, you have to take care of your credit.
16. How do Lease-Purchase options work in Atlanta?
When home buyers in the Greater Atlanta Area are researching different ways to purchase a home, they may come across the option of rent-to-own houses. Sometimes referred to as a "lease option" or "lease-to-own agreement", this may come across as an attractive option for those who do not have the means to provide a significant down payment on a home. While there is no official standard rate or process for rent-to-own options in Atlanta, typically, the potential buyer pays an option fee (sometimes referred to as "option consideration") which gives them the opportunity to purchase the home in the future. This fee is usually non-refundable and typically ranges between 1.5% - 7% of the house sales price.