Rent to Own: How to Trade Your Rent for a Mortgage Payment and Homeownership

First-time homeowners have opportunities to get financial assistance to help afford to buy a house, condo, or apartment. For instance, rent-to-own housing can be an easier transition for those who want to go from renters to homeowners.

Rent-to-own homes agreements can come from private sellers, but the government also has programs to help low-income individuals afford homeownership. If you are interested in trading your rental agreement for a mortgage, check out how you can take advantage of these homeowning opportunities.

Getting Financial Assistance to Buy a Home
rent to own
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Section 8 is one of the government housing assistance programs that reduce the cost of rent for low-income families. The program provides qualifying households with vouchers that decrease their rent payment. Section 8 rentals direct from the government – known as public housing – have cheaper monthly requirements than units from private owners. 

However, Section 8 houses for rent are not the only way individuals can afford to live in a home. The government also uses the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program to support homeownership for low-income households that may not otherwise be able to purchase a home. 

The vouchers go to the banks and lenders the same way they go to landlords and property managers. Instead of using Section 8 vouchers to pay rent, certain enrollees can use the funds to pay their mortgages. 

Rental payments are often more than mortgage payments since the property owner needs to cover at least their financial requirement and incidentals, like repairs and upgrades. Most owners charge more to earn a profit or income. 

If the landlord’s monthly mortgage requirement is $900, for example, they may charge their tenant $1,350 each month. Renters can expect rent to be about one percent of the purchase price. However, landlords may charge an amount that is comparable to other rentals in the area.

HCV participants may also apply for a single down-payment grant instead of monthly assistance. Likewise, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may provide money for closing costs. 

Housing programs that provide prospective homeowners with financial assistance vary by area. Most states housing departments offer:

  • Homeownership counseling.
  • Information about local homebuying programs.
  • Details about borrowers’ rights.
  • Resources for reducing utility and energy bills.

Not all Section 8 enrollees may qualify for homeowners’ vouchers. Applicants need to meet additional requirements to use vouchers for a home purchase. 

Do you want to own a home and get financial assistance? Discover the requirements for government vouchers.

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