rent to own okotoks
Apr 29, 2022
Publish by Brett Murrell
Category: Buying, First Home

Rent-to-Own in Okotoks: The First Time Homeowner’s Guide

The housing market offers a lot of property types and options for all kinds of buyers to choose from. Most homes on the market are for sale, meaning you’ll have to pay the down payment and qualify for a mortgage before getting your hands on the home.

There are rental properties on the market, too. These are usually much cheaper since you’ll only be paying monthly rent throughout the duration of your lease. You’ll have somewhere to stay, but you don’t get to own the property at any point.

So, what is rent-to-own? Rent-to-own homes basically give you the option to lock in their current market prices without requiring you to pay for these homes in full right away. You’ll be given around 1–5 years to rent the home, at the end of which you’ll get the option to buy the home eventually.

Rent-to-own homes are perfect for people who want to secure the property but can’t qualify for a mortgage—for whatever reason—at the moment. A rent-to-own property allows you to live in the home while you save up to buy it or while you fix your credit score to qualify for a mortgage.

Header image source: Pexels

Types of Rent-to-Own Contracts

There are two types of rent-to-own contracts. The first one is the lease-purchase agreement. This simply means that by the end of your lease, you are obliged to buy the property from the seller. And yes, that does mean you’ll have to secure financing for the home even before your lease expires. Failure to secure financing or refusal to buy the home will result in fines.

The second type of rent-to-own contracts is the lease-option agreement. This is a more flexible arrangement since it means that you can decide whether or not you’ll buy the property after the lease ends. If you choose not to buy the home, you can freely walk away without any obligations.

Down Payments for Rent-to-Own

Rent-to-own homes still require down payments, although they’re usually much lower than when you apply for a mortgage to purchase a home. It’s rare to find a seller or a rent-to-own company that doesn’t require a down payment. Most companies and sellers require at least around 1–5% of the current market price of the home before you can start renting the property.

These down payments are also sometimes called the option fee. This is what lets you secure the option to buy the property in the future. The option fee is usually non-refundable and paid upfront.

This could build into your rent credit. Should you eventually decide to buy the home, the option fee and a portion of your monthly rent go into the rent credit. Rent credit is usually subtracted from the locked-in purchase price of the home.

If you decide not to buy the property when your lease expires, you can just walk away—if you had a lease-option agreement with your landlord. But remember that once you walk away from the home, you can’t get back the option fee and the rent credit you’ve been paying for throughout the lifespan of your rent.

Okotoks Communities to Consider

okotoks communities

Image source: Town of Okotoks Instagram

Okotoks is a small town just outside of Calgary. The community is warm and welcoming to all kinds of people. It might only have a population of around 30,000 people, but it has a lot to offer. You can find a lot of places to visit and things to do around town. And you’ll surely find yourself enjoying the company of friendly Okotokians.

There are a lot of beautiful communities to live in Okotoks. If your lifestyle consists of luxury, try looking at properties in Air Ranch. The community has private planes and a runway that residents have full access to.

If you love the outdoors, a community like Crystal Shores might be for you. It houses a private beach, a beach house, and a lake that’s open to all residents. You can go ice skating in winter or swimming in summer.

If you’re all for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle, try Drake Landing. It’s a community that uses solar energy for heating and power. This lets you cut back on both your carbon footprint and energy bills.

Who wouldn’t love coming home to a peaceful neighbourhood with beautiful views of nature? It’s for this very reason that the communities of Sandstone and Mountain View are worth considering.

Westridge is one of the most popular communities in Okotoks. It has a combination of old and new styles of homes which buyers can choose from. Cimarron, one of the largest communities in Okotoks, also offers a wide range of homes. From condos to executive townhomes, you’ll surely find a property that suits your taste.

If you’re looking for a newer community, try Sheep River or Hunters Glen. These neighbourhoods are under development with different home styles and property types. They’re also near Sheep River, giving you a majestic view to wake up to every morning.

How to Find a Rent-to-Own Property in Okotoks

Now that you have an idea of what kinds of communities are in Okotoks, how do you find a rent-to-own property in this humble town?

The key is research. Browse through all the listings of Okotoks properties you can find. This yields better chances of finding the perfect home for you. You’ll also be able to get an idea of the property types you can afford with your budget.

Once you’ve found some properties you’re interested in, try messaging the sellers. Ask them if they’re open to entering a rent-to-own agreement with you. Just keep in mind that in a competitive market, sellers are more likely to turn your request down.

You can also try seeking assistance from a rent-to-own company. They will assess your financial situation and give you a price range for homes you’re allowed to rent to own. After choosing a property, the company will buy it for you and you can then go on with the rent-to-own process as usual. There will be additional fees, though.

If you don’t have enough budget to get in touch with a rent-to-own company, there is a simpler choice. Get in touch with reliable real estate agents in Okotoks. They know the ins and outs of the local housing market and can therefore lead you to the right properties.

A company like Griffin Real Estate is sure to assist you every step of the way as you look for rent-to-own properties. Their outstanding client reviews should tell you about their skills and expertise in the industry.

Investing in a Rent-to-Own Property

rent to own investment

Image source: Griffin Real Estate

Rent-to-own is a great way to lock in the current selling price of a home. Especially now that house prices are starting to go up again, investing in a rent-to-own property proves to be a wise move.

Just don’t forget to save up and polish your financial standing while you’re renting so that you can qualify for a mortgage once your lease ends. Don’t let your option fee and rent credits go to waste.

To recap, here are some important things you need to know about rent-to-own properties in Okotoks:

  • Lease-option agreements are preferable to lease-purchase agreements. Even though you’re confident that you can secure financing by the end of your lease, it’s always still better to have an option to walk away from the deal without penalties.
  • Down payments for rent-to-own properties are smaller than when you’re buying a home from the get-go. This lets you secure the home while you save up to buy it. The option fee and rent credit also build into your down payment. Your investment won’t go to waste as long as you push through with buying the home.
  • There are a lot of beautiful communities in Okotoks where you can settle. You just have to invest time and effort into finding the perfect home for you.
  • If you don’t have enough time to browse through listings, ask for help from a real estate agency like Griffin Real Estate. We’ll help you find the right property and guide you through the process of rent-to-own from start to finish.
Written By
Okotoks Realtor | Griffin Real Estate | Brett Murrell

Founder/Realtor® Team Lead/CIR REALTY Okotoks Owner

Brett Murrell

I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, where I’ve brought dedication, hard work, trustworthiness, and loyalty with me into life and work. Farms and acreages have always been a big part of my life, and I bring those values and knowledge to my clients who seek my help. I care about what’s best for my clients, and I don’t stop until they’re happy.

Helping others goes beyond assisting them in viewings or paperwork, sometimes it’s lending an extra pair of hands unloading a U-Haul, helping with home repairs, or watching their pets.

My background in construction along with first-hand acreage living gives me an advantage over other REALTORS®. Whatever your acreage concerns are, I’m the expert on it.

There’s nothing more satisfying than helping people and teaching them along the way in their real estate journey. It’s satisfying to help them find a place they’re truly happy with.