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From renter to owner of residential real estate

Many people in Massachusetts choose to rent houses, condos and apartments instead of buying for a variety of reasons. Some people like the freedom of monthly rental contracts, while others may not be able to afford all of the costs associated with buying a home. While renting is a viable option to keep a roof over one's head, it may also be a good way to get into the residential real estate market.

Renters who truly love their rented properties and who foresee themselves staying in the properties for a long time may consider offering to buy the residential properties from their landlords. Buying one's rental can help the owner and purchaser avoid many hassles usually associated with real estate transactions and create contract terms that are beneficial to both parties.

First, the parties can avoid using listing and real estate agents, which add costs to the overall financial commitments buyers and sellers making when transacting to sell a home. Second, buyers can negotiate contract terms that involve them staying in the properties as renters until such time as the purchase contracts are complete. Finally, buyers can make offers based upon their best beliefs of the properties' market values rather than based upon the sellers' pre-set listing prices and can avoid being outbid by other interested parties.

Though not all landlords are interested in selling their rental properties, some are willing to let go of their properties for a fair price. Renters who are considering making offers on their rentals can take steps to facilitate the purchase process should their landlords be interested in selling by getting pre-approved for home loans, understanding the local housing market to offer fair prices and researching the home appraisal process for completing the purchase contracts.

Source: ABC News, "Think You Can't Buy a House? Try the One You Rent," Scott Sheldon, July 13, 2013

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