I have had several clients call me lately interested in a rent with option to buy. I must admit I am not as familiar with these as I would like. However, my initial reaction is that as a buyer I would be wary of them.
So many times renters get into houses that they think they will want to buy but after 6 months realize it is not ideal. If they had a rental option then they would lose any deposit they initially put down as well as any extra money they had paying each month.
In this market, especially where rental prices have remained pretty high I think most people could buy a much nicer house than they can rent (meaning for the same rental payment). It would seem to me that it would be better to take a one year lease and in that time clean up your credit, save up for the downpayment, etc. IF you still love the house you are living in attempt to negotiate a sale with the landlord. IF NOT you are now free to purchase a home that better suits your needs.
I'm curious what are other people's opinions on lease with option to buy contracts....