For many, that is a question that doesn’t have a simple answer. While cheap mortgages swung it firmly in favor of buying in the past, those days are mainly gone, with many finding mortgages hard to come by.

There are pros and cons to both, but with timing and market conditions a big factor, it can be hard to know whether to take the plunge. The current market can also be an uncertain place for sellers, unsure of their next move.

But what about rent to own? This system can combine the best of both worlds, and just may be the right option for you.

Here’s our guide on renting to own, and the pros and cons of this option.

What is Rent to Own?

The concept of rent to own is similar to vehicle leasing.

With a car, you make monthly repayments, with the option to buy the car outright at the end of a specified period, or return it to the dealer.

With rent to own, you basically do the same thing, but with a house. You agree to rent the property at a higher than average market rate. Then you sign an agreement setting a purchase date and price for the property.

The terms of the contract are agreed between yourself and the owner. The contract gives you the right to purchase the property, and have credited back to you the overpayment you made by paying rent at a higher rate.

However, if you choose not to take up the purchase option, you will not receive a refund of the rent.

This can be a complicated option. If you choose to go down this route, make sure that you work with someone who thoroughly understands it, like this rent to own Raleigh NCcompany.

Intrigued? Read on for the pros and cons.

Pros of Rent to Own

There are two parties involved in rent to own – let’s look at the pros for both.

For Sellers

If you’re struggling to sell your home, or are not in desperate need of the cash, then rent to own could be a great option.

You get the assurance that one of two things will happen. You will receive a higher than average rent for the property until it is returned to you, or you will receive a rental income and still cash in on the property sale down the line.

Your mortgage, taxes, and maintenance may be covered by the rent for the duration of the lease, meaning a lower mortgage settlement figure when the sale goes through.

The renter/buyer is also incentivized to keep the property in good repair, as it may become theirs shortly.

One of the big advantages could be setting the purchase price at the outset. This gives security to both buyer and seller, as whatever the market does, you both know where you stand.

Should the market dip, the seller will benefit from an above market value for the home. Also, it may be possible to add in a clause to deal with the event of a market in which prices are rising rapidly.

For Buyers

The main pro for buyers is that it gives a home-buying option to those who could not currently qualify for a mortgage.

If you feel confident that you will have a large enough down payment a few years down the line, or the income to achieve the mortgage you need, then this allows you to begin to enjoy the home and get your finances ready.

You also know that the premium you pay in rent will be returned to you if you choose to activate the purchase clause of the lease.

Also, if things don’t work out as planned, you have the option to simply walk away at the end of the set term. Although this would mean the loss of the premium you have paid on rent, you would have no outstanding debt to settle.

Maybe the biggest incentive – if you find you dislike the property, the neighbors, the area or anything, you can simply walk away. It’s the ultimate try before you buy.

The Cons of Rent to Own

This brief rundown of the pros may make this option seem pretty appealing, but there are drawbacks to consider as well.

For Sellers

One of the major drawbacks of this approach is that for the life of the contract, you are not free to market the property and release any equity that you have built up.

This means that if your circumstances change, you may find yourself in financial difficulties.

Also, if a rising market clause is not included, you may find that you sell the home for much less than you would have been able to achieve on the open market.

For Buyers

One of the major pitfalls is that you are at the mercy of the seller’s financial activities.

If the seller is unable to maintain mortgage payments, gets divorced or suffers some other financial reversal, then the contract could be null and void.

The home could be sold from beneath you and you will be left with no home, and no refund of your premium rent payments.

A thorough credit check on the seller is essential before signing up, but this will only reveal current problems.

Before agreeing to the purchase price, make sure you have your own home inspection and appraisal carried out so you know the price is fair. Also, set out in the agreement who pays for what in terms of maintenance.

The Verdict: Should You Rent to Own?

If you have honest and reliable people on both sides, and everything goes according to plan, this can be a genuinely great way to get yourself onto the property ladder.

But be aware that the pitfalls are many and varied. Take your time, do your homework before committing to any deal that you may later regret, or worse, may land you in financial difficulties.

Keep your finger on the pulse of the property market. Check out our guide to 2018 real estate trends to watch out for.

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Do Apps Still Make Money? Here is What 6 Developers Think

The app market is extremely saturated. But the mobile market is still gathering momentum..fast. Mobile apps have changed how we work, live, connect and what we do for entertainment. Mobile apps will continue to shape the thoughts consumers, small businesses, enterprises, and even the government.

Forrester expects that more than 25% of companies will use mobile not as a channel, but as a fully integrated part of their overall strategy. They believe 2016 will be the most consequential year for companies on the path to customer obsession, and that includes adapting empowered customers who expect to get anything they want immediately, in context on their mobile devices.

There is still a lot of demand for apps. Mobile apps have evolved beyond providing just information. Artificial intelligent and voice-based personal assistants are inspiring conversational and smart apps.

But most app developers are struggling to get attention. Majority of app developers don’t get rewarded for their efforts. Most apps don’t generate profits but serve as an extension of an existing business. And he vast majority of apps are free.

In-app purchases and advertising allow app creators to make money off their free apps. There are only few hits though. Here is what some redditors think about the prospects ofaunching an app.

1. kevinbracken

Absolutely, yes they do. I sold my fitness app last year to a larger company, and know many people whose app-based companies are making money.

However, the thing that many people fail to realize is that you are not building “an app,” you are building a business, and mobile is simply the fastest-growing channel in the world. You can do your own research but in the not-so-distant future, mobile will make up the vast majority of all web traffic and online sales.

To answer the second part of your question, if you have limited resources, absolutely target iOS. Notice how when new, serious companies with venture financing and previously successful founders start companies, they launch iOS apps first. Reasons:

  • iOS users download more apps
  • iOS users spend considerably more through their phones
  • iOS users know they are iOS users. Don’t underestimate the importance of this: many Android users simply buy the cheapest phone and don’t spend much time thinking about downloading apps, would never put their credit card number in a phone, etc.

2. austincha

I created some apps for both the App Store and the Google Play store. The App Store is strict on the quality of apps they allow to be uploaded, so I then just focused on Android apps. I made simple games and even some Live Wallpaper apps. My best games only made a couple hundred dollars and the LWPs made about a hundred.

I’ve stopped creating apps because the payout wasn’t worth the time and effort I put into coding the apps. I’ll have to say 99% of the app developers out there are not making money for the time and effort they put into the apps.

3. ZeikCallaway

Android developer here. As others have pointed out, apps can still make money, but the days of just having an app for money are pretty much over. Apps become exponentially more powerful, and likely to be used if they’re complimentary to a bigger software or service.

Also when deciding Android vs iOS, if you can, you should target both because they’re pretty even as far as market share. If you had to pick just one to start, I can’t tell you which is better but from my perspective and experience, Android seems to be gaining more market share albeit very slowly but, iOS will have a more consistent experience.

In other words, some Android devices may not work with your app the way you expect, so even they do take a strong lead over iOS devices there will still be a number of them that have problems.

4. RPN

Of course they still make money. Actually now more than ever as every year the worldwide app revenue grows exponentially. AppAnnie predicts that gross revenue across all app stores will eclipse $100 Billion in 2020.

The problem is that it’s now more competitive than ever. For an independent developer it is getting increasingly difficult to make a living building apps.

5. EatSafeUK

A lot of people have a weird view on apps as if they are magical no effort cash cows. But you have to see it for what it is, simply a distribution platform.

Can you build an app, throw it out there and effortlessly get millions of downloads and rake on money? No.

But if you are developing a solution to a problem that is best served with mobile then an app is appropriate. My research for my current project showed that the problem was biggest when people were out and about, so a mobile app works best.

But it’s just the distribution method. The rest of the business is the same as before; you need to identify customers, you need to effectively promote, you need to push yourself in front of people.

The app store is too saturated to expect to be discovered there. But just like a real store, the brands on the shelves do everything they can to get you to want to buy their products before you ever get through the door. Its the same in the app world.

iOS does seem to have a less price sensitive user base though, so if you want to charge for the app they’re the best people to target.

6. the_brizzler

They haven’t died down. It is just harder for the average guy or gal to make sure it is discovered. Sort of like websites…anyone can build a website…but how do you get visitors?…well that takes some marketing and strategy.

There are plenty of people making a decent living making niche apps that serve a specific purpose. But if you are trying to make a flashlight app…forget about it…apple won’t even let you publish it since there are already too many. So you just have to be smart about what you make and how you get people to find your app.

Related: 6 Easy Steps to Get Funding for Your App Startup

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