Rent-to-own arrangements are rare here in Canada, but not unheard of. They offer a valid alternative to homeownership when it would otherwise remain a dream far out of reach for many young Canadians. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering this option.
Benefit: It‘s an option for anyone who can‘t qualify for a mortgage.
If you can’t acquire financing at this point, rent-to-own agreements are a silver lining that makes eventual homeownership less of a pipe dream. With the number of self-employed Canadians continuously on the rise, combined with the uncertainty of the gig economy, fewer people are qualifying for mortgages. Rent-to-own agreements are a viable loophole.
Drawback: The future price of the home may be uncertain.
Most rent-to-own contracts lock in the future price of the property, and those that do provide renters with peace of mind. After all, you know exactly what you’re working toward. Not all landlords take this approach, though—some contracts are written based on the future appraised value of the home instead, and by the end of your lease, it might be quite high.
Benefit: It‘s a goal to aspire toward.
The drudgery of renting for years on end can be demoralizing to even the most hardworking Canadian. Having a goal to work toward enhances happiness and encourages a more positive attitude in life. Entrepreneurial people with a good work ethic often feel empowered by rent-to-own arrangements, which provide an end-goal and motivation to keep moving forward.
Drawback: You‘ll have to make additional payments.
If your rental home is already costly, this might not be the best news to hear. On top of your rent, your landlord will likely expect you to put money down upfront in order to reduce the price of the home. Essentially, landlords do this as a “discount” to serious rent-to-owners, but if you’re strapped for cash right now, you might not be able to justify it. You’re unlikely to find a landlord willing to lower your rent just because you’re on a rent-to-own agreement, and you’ll be paying more money on top of your monthly rent.