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You pick the home. We buy it. You live in it as a rent-to-own.


Tired of throwing money away on rent?

Are you being rejected because of credit score or self-employed status?

Are you looking to move now – not in two years?

Stop throwing away money each month!
Let Us Help You Purchase Your Dream Home Today!


Complete an Online Application

Answer 6 questions on our FREE Pre-Qualification Questionnaire to see if you meet the basic applicant criteria. If you pre-qualify, you are invited to complete the paid full application. This step includes verifying your identity and income, a soft credit pull, and background check on household members over 18 years of age.

We will notify you of a decision within 1-3 business days.


Obtain Shopping Budget

After approval, we give you a maximum monthly rent amount. We’ll connect you with one of our real estate agents to tour eligible homes listed for sale.


Pick Your Perfect Home

Once you find a home you love, then the agent submits the home to us for review.


J Bennett Realty LLC Buys the Home

We show you our Anticipated Terms with 5 years of locked-in monthly rent amounts and Right to Purchase prices and estimated repair costs. After you approve our terms, we submit a competitive cash offer to buy the home. If the seller accepts, you sign a 1-year lease and Right to Purchase agreement.

On average, move-in will be 2 weeks after closing to accommodate any necessary repairs found during our home inspection.


You Move-In

You rent the home with the flexibility of a 1-year lease and the option to buy at any time. At the end of each lease term, you can choose to walk away without penalties, or you can renew your lease for another year. In total, you can rent the home for up to 5 years 

Is the Program Right for Me?

I’m not ready for a mortgage.

Get into your dream home now without a mortgage or down payment. Plan ahead with 5 years (3 years in Texas) of locked-in rent amounts and purchase prices.

I’m a first-time home buyer.

We understand that buying your first home is a big decision. Try before you buy! Live in the home you want while deciding if it’s right for you.

I’m relocating to a new area.

Finding a new neighborhood to move to isn’t easy. Test drive a community and home you want without the long-term commitment.

I’m looking to rent a great home.

More options! Unlock access to dozens of homes listed for sale. Expand your options to find a high-quality single-family home that may not be available on the rental market.

Top Questions and Answers

What’s The Difference Between Prequalification & Pre-Approval? 

In any process there is a starting point, and in ours it’s the Prequalification. This allows us to gather some basic information so that we can estimate what your approval terms will be. It’s imperative that this conversation is transparent from everyone so that we know whether or not this would be a good fit.

Pre-Approval typically comes after the above and serves as the next step towards getting your new home. This is also where numbers become official and you are free to home shop.

What Happens After I Submit An Application? 

Completing our $60 application is a huge and necessary step towards getting a home with our program. If you do this we know you’re serious.

Once submitted, the underwriting process works to approve you while you collaborate with your assigned agent to select a home.

I’m Approved, Now What? 

You’ve completed the application and have your approval terms. Congratulations! Now we’re ready to begin placing offers on homes for you. At this point, you should begin getting funds together if necessary for your down payment and determining which properties stand out most.

How Do I Place An Offer? 

Aim, ready, fire. You found the home and want us to buy it. Your assigned we’ll get terms sent over for that exact property.

IMPORTANT: you must then approve of these terms before we can formally sign documents and submit. This can be done in reply to the email.

How much does it cost?

The estimated monthly payment is about 1.8% of the purchase price. (e.g. a $100,000 would be $1,440/month). with a down payment of 20%.

When will I need money – and how much?

  1. $60/person for the application
  2. $1,000 deposit (or 1%) upon an accepted offer
  3. You pay for an inspection
  4. $1,000 to cover appraisal
  5. The remaining down payment due at closing (typically 45 days after accepted offer).*Note – any deposit and appraisal costs will be credited towards your down payment. You may also elect to walk away after the inspection and receive your deposit back.

How do I get started to find my pre-approval home price amount?

We use a trusted 3rd party Tenant Screening Service called Landlord Tenant-Services to keep the information confidential. They will pull credit but should not impact your score by more than 4-6 points.

Is getting a home through J Bennett Realty LLC right for me?

Who is this for? People who don’t qualify for a traditional bank loan, have a down payment, are tired of renting, and want to own their own home.

Who is this NOT for? People that can obtain traditional bank financing (we encourage you try this first), individuals with zero down payment. or individuals who need to move in less than 30 days.

Can I talk to someone?

Call/text us now at 815-596-9109

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Do you serve my area?

We serve all 50 states. The only limitations are for qualifying homes (no manufactured homes, some condos are OK, no major rehab needed w/o significant down payment). 
How does Home Equity Partner make money?

One of two options: 
Option A is we find an investor for your home and the investor pays us a fee. 
Option B is J Bennett Realty LLC buys the home for you directly. We make money from your monthly payments and from some of the home’s appreciation over time. Any appreciation above the buy-back price is your extra equity (in addition to your monthly savings and initial down payment).
Will I qualify?

Five things we look at:
Do you have a sizable down payment?
Can you afford the home?
What is your past rental/criminal history
Where is the property located
Credit score (less important)
Do I get my deposit back?

Any down payment or deposit you put down on the home goes towards the final purchase of the home. All the money is applied to the agreed upon sale price of the home. There is the rare situation in the event you no longer wish to purchase the home, your deposit is forfeited. The deposit is a key piece in being able to successfully own a home. We also stand buy our guarantee that we will not keep any deposit unless you get a home.
What does rent to own all cover?

Our definition of rent to own covers two major categories: 
     1) Lease with an option to buy (lease option) 
     2) Contract for Deed 
What’s the difference between Lease-Option vs. Lease-Purchase?

Lease Option gives you the “option” to buy the home whereas a Lease-Purchase is a contract to purchase home at an agreed upon later date.  One has more flexibility while the other is more concrete.
What does an example look like?

Purchase Price: $100,000
Duration of Lease: 3 years
Monthly Lease Payments: $1,440
Option Purchase Price: $108,000 (9% increase over purchase price)
Rent-to-Buy Down Payment: $20,000 (20%)
Duration to Exercise Option: 3 years (same as lease)
Who is Responsible for Repairs & Maintenance: Tenant
Who Pays Taxes and Insurance: J Bennett Realty LLC
Approximate Amount of Rent Going Towards Principal: $50/month for each month that rent is paid

Estimated Equity After 3 Years: $20,000 – $25,000
How much of rent goes towards the purchase of the house?

This varies by property but typically 3-5% of payments are received back as principal pay-down or credits on final purchase.
Can you rent to own a house without a down payment?

It is possible but not very likely. Some other companies may be able to do 1-2% if you want to live in a major metro. With us you will need 20% down.
How long can I rent before I can buy the house?

We usually set 1-5 years as the standard but have gone up to 30 years.
What happens if I can’t purchase the house at the end of the lease?

You have a couple options
Extend your terms. Most contracts have an option to extend for 12 months although we highly anticipate and encourage you to stick to the original schedule.
Walk away and lose deposit and credits built up.
Sell the home and option to someone else.  This is recommended over “walking away” as you could possibly recoup the equity you have built in the property over the years (or even make a profit).
Who is responsible for maintenance?

You are. You act the homeowner.
What is a lease-option-to-buy?

You rent the home with the exclusive option to buy it. You are not obligated to purchase the home but have until the end of the contract term to decide. This is called the lease expiration date. The owner cannot sell it to anyone else as you have control over the decision to buy or sell the home first unless a party breaks the lease agreements.
Do I need homeowners or renters insurance?

If you are doing a lease option, it is highly recommended that you carry renters insurance.

If you are doing a contract for deed, you will be required to carry homeowners insurance.
How is the deal structured?

Lease Option – sometime called rent-to-own, lease to buy, lease to own, lease purchase, rent to buy, or L/O. In this case, two agreements will be signed (lease agreement and option agreement)
Are rent to own homes more expensive?

In general yes. You are paying a premium so that part of your rent goes towards building equity.
What’s my plan to prepare for the purchase?

We always recommend trying to exhaust all resources to get a bank loan first. If you have been denied or just can’t quite pull it off in time, that is where J Bennett Realty LLC can help.
If you are currently renting or looking for a rent to own home, the biggest factors will be getting your financial house in order via saving for a down payment and ensuring you make at least 2.5 times your expected monthly payment. 
Who’s responsible for what?

In most cases you act as the homeowner. Just like if you got a loan from a bank, the bank would not fix a toilet or a door knob. You have the pros/cons that go with home ownership. You get to fix things your way, make improvements that you want, and address any home issues as they come up. This is why we recommend an inspection be done on all properties prior to moving in so you are fully aware of age, condition, and likely future repairs for the home you choose.
Do I need a home inspection?

Yes. An inspection is the safest way to ensure you will be protected and understand exactly what kind of home you are buying. Similar to a regular bank financed property and purchase agreement, an inspection is a choice but is always recommended.

Don’t Wait Any Longer.
Let Us Help You Purchase Your Dream Home Today!


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Are you ready to speak with a real estate agent?*
In order to bid and purchase the home that you choose, we will pair you with one of our trusted agents. Once you are ready to take the first step and start your home search, they will reach out to you to help you get started!
(Household refers to the adults who will live in your leased home)
Does any household member have an open or unsatisfied Chapter 7 bankruptcy?*
Has any household member that will contribute to monthly rent had an order of eviction granted against them within the last 5 years?*
Are you or any household member on any OFAC sanctions lists, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons lists, or a registered sex offender or sexual predator or otherwise subject to reporting requirements of any state, territorial, or tribal sex offender registry?*
Has any household member had a felony conviction within the last 6 years (lesser time may be considered if required by applicable law)?*
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