Remember George Bailey, the hapless protagonist in Frank Capra’s Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)? For those unfamiliar, it’s essentially a tale of conflict and redemption, centered on the Bailey Building and Loan Association, the only small-town institution strong enough to withstand the pressure of powerful banking interests. Bailey (brilliantly played by Jimmy Stewart) has sacrificed his entire adult life to keep the company afloat because he believes in a vision of ordinary people fleeing the Depression-era slums to fund and own their homes , beyond the clutches of the ruthless banker Mr. Potter.
Can you see where we are going with this story?
Aside from the “Hollywood” ending, “It’s a Wonderful Life” has been called “the greatest financial services movie in history” because it shows how people can overcome great obstacles if they are ready, willing, and able to work at it. Don’t crawl to a bank or be trapped by a heartless landlord – get the housing you deserve!
Now back to reality…
Many years ago, in response to the banks’ iron grip on the Canadian housing market, some people boldly introduced the “Lease to Own” home financing concept. Also known as “Rent to Own”, this alternative offers prospective homeowners who are deemed too risky by traditional lenders (e.g. banks, credit unions, etc.) the opportunity to build equity in a short period of time. Lease to Own allows people to move into their own home right away, improve their credit score and prove they are responsible enough to pay a regular mortgage through reasonable monthly payments.
Lease to Own can be viewed as short-term (i.e. 1-3 years) bridging financing that makes you a better candidate for traditional lending options later on. Some unique Lease to Own features include:
• Dealing directly with the company/person who owns the house.
• Creative but realistic financing arrangements not offered by established mortgage lenders or banks.
• You are the owner from day one immediately after moving in; move in immediately and make improvements to your home without asking outside permission (under standard rules).
• Simultaneously restore creditworthiness and increase home equity over the life of your lease so you can get your own financing as quickly as possible.
• Flexible options at the end of your initial rental, including the right to cancel if circumstances take a different direction for you and your family.
Reasons to choose Lease to Own.
Tenants have so much to gain by entering into a lease-to-own arrangement that we could probably write a book on the subject alone! For now, we’ll limit ourselves to the best reasons to stop putting your hard-earned income into the landlord’s pockets:
1. Earn monthly credits.
Why use your monthly rental money to build your landlord’s equity when you can use it to build your own? By partnering with qualified lease-to-own or rent-to-own companies, you can start building up a down payment right away that will be used towards the eventual purchase of your home.
2. Enjoy instant appreciation of your home.
Any improvements you make to your home will increase its value beyond its final price. You can keep this increase in the value of your home, since most leases fix the price of your home from the start.
3. Move in immediately.
Why put your home dreams on hold because you didn’t qualify for a mortgage? With the right innovative lease-to-own program, you move into your own home first and then negotiate with the bank.
4. Improve your credit score.
Partnering with an established lease-to-own company today means working with real estate professionals to instantly boost your credit score so you can get traditional financing at the end of your lease.
Who Can Benefit from Lease-to-Own?
• Workers on probation.
• Seasonal workers.
• New immigrants to Canada.
• Anyone who wants to buy a home but needs a credit repair.
Banking monopolies are just not fair to ordinary people. Because of this, advanced home buying solutions such as hire-purchase are growing in popularity across Canada. And while we may not be in Bedford Falls, we’re still living in the Depression, but you can’t help but be inspired by George Bailey and his willingness to take a stand against bankers and landlords on behalf of people who own their homes want to own .
“… what were you saying a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before even thinking about a decent home.
Wait? Waiting for what? Until her children grow up and leave her? Until they’re so old and broken they… Do you know how long it takes a worker to save five thousand dollars? [in the Depression Era]?
Remember, Mr. Potter, this bunch you speak of does, works and pays, lives and dies most of this community. Well, is it too much to let them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bathroom?”
– George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) confronts Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) at the Bailey Building and Loan, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (1946).
If you find the same spirit running through your body coupled with a desire to own your own home, but traditional lenders aren’t your best solution in your circumstances, you should simply consider taking on a lease-to-own -Contact companies in your area to ask some questions.