Housing: Rent to Own

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There is middle ground between renting and buying a home. Every now and then, developers or builders offer a rent-to-own option.

As with any home you decide to buy, you should always look at the fine print, run the numbers and get a second opinion – but this can be a very tempting offer that can work in your favour.

Chateau Royale condominiums in Hamilton are offering just such a deal. Peter Kuzer of Vauderlac, the developer of the Chateau Royale project explains how it works, “You sign a lease for 12 months. And we give you 4 months to make up your mind whether you want to buy.” He says, “It’s a one-sided option to buy in favour of the renter. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, we’ll credit you double what you paid in rent toward the purchase price.”

In effect, you get a chance to “try out” the condo before making a serious investment. If you decide that the commute to work is too long or that you don’t like the suite or the building for any reason, there is no obligation to buy. You can either continue to rent your suite indefinitely or stay until the lease expires and find another place to live.

There are very few down-sides to this arrangement. Given the “low” down payment, you’ll probably be facing a fairly hefty mortgage – but how many houses and condos give you an opportunity to see if you like living there before you decide to buy?

If you do decide to purchase, your down-payment is already paid. Chateau Royale works with mortgage brokers who will do their utmost to make sure you qualify and to facilitate the purchase of your new home.

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