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The truth about

Updated on June 12, 2012

RTO (Rent To Own) as an alternative to conventional homebuying

The days of everyone being able to secure a home loan regardless of their credit or income have now crashed into the days of only the lucky few being able to secure a home loan. You need well established, clean credit, a substantial down payment, and a very steady job to be seriously considered for a mortgage today.

This has led many people to search for alternative forms of home financing, such as rent to own agreements or working out agreements with homeowners willing to sell without a realtor and bank loan.

GetRentToOwn is a subscription-based database of bargain homes and lease options.
GetRentToOwn is a subscription-based database of bargain homes and lease options. | Source

Using Online Home Directories

It is common to drive through a community and see for sale signs out in yards, but it isn’t always that easy to find homeowners willing to work with buyers interested in these alternative forms of financing.

That is why sites like Get Rent to Own have surfaced. They collect listings for rent to own homes, foreclosures, and FSBO (for sale by owner) properties.

Site subscribers can search for properties in their local area and find contact information for houses that catch their interest. While there are some claims that scams the public, you will see through those claims as you learn more about how the site works.

Free directories vs. paid database sites

While free real estate direcories such as Zillow, Realtor, Trulia offer MLS listings (those homes for sale that are announced through the Multiple Listings System), these directories fail to display a lot of the better deals, such as the foreclosed homes, the for-sale-by-owner homes, etc.


Sites like GetRentToOwn offer these hidden listings, but they usually charge a monthly membership fee. You can find some complaints over the fact that the site charges a monthly fee. These complaints argue that it is wrong to charge a fee when there are similar sites offering listings for free, and from that they will claim scams its members. Since free sites typically do not list properties being financed by their owners, the comparison is not really accurate. Free sites also rarely note when an owner is open to a rent-to-own agreement.

While the site does charge a monthly fee, saying that scams web users would be unfair as this site offers accurate contact information for all properties listed on their site. This information is typically difficult to find or absent on free sites. You cannot find a new home if you cannot contact someone in charge of the property! The information you need to contact a homeowner is conveniently listed on Get Rent to Own, and you don’t have to dig through pages of advertisements searching for it. Thus, the reality is that complaints miss the main point, that the site does deliver what it promises.


In this article we balance both the complaints and the positive reviews by users. The majority of people who use the site seem to find what they are looking for, and they would never say that scams anyone. Many of these users also state they have browsed the free realty sites, but they don’t find as many valuable listings on those sites.

Some examples from the BBB site:

Hi my name is Yolanda and I'm just calling to let you know that the website was very useful. I've learned a lot of information on, about Rent-To-Own as well as the FSBO where the owner is selling the home without the realtor with the 6% fee. The website is very useful; the RTO Wizard was useful. It is really good on finding the homes I’m looking for so just want to comment that the website is very, very useful. Thank you. - Yolanda R.

I’ve used GetRentToOwn for several months now. I found a house --a foreclosure-- that wasn’t even advertised yet. I got it under contract, and there’s nothing wrong with the house, it’s in perfect shape. I’m excited. Thanks! - Susan D.

Contact and Support

One mark of a legitimate site is that you can reach them by phone. has a toll-free phone line, manned by an in-house customer service team. We called them and asked them about their hours, and learned they're available every day of the week - 10am-7pm PST Mondays through Fridays, a bit shorter on weekend days (10am-5pm).

Not only does Get Rent to Own offer personal customer service by phone to all members, but they reach out through their YouTube channel as well. They regularly put up videos that introduce the concept of rent to own and FSBO, so you know what you are getting into when you come to their site.

Terms of service visible

Those who complain that scams its members often comment on the fact that their credit card is charged when they sign up for the site. These complaints don't hold a lot of water when you actually visit the site and see that the terms of agreement are clearly stated before any financial information is collected:

  • One week free trial period for just $1
  • $50 a month for ongoing membership
  • Cancel at any time

The website has a valid security certificate so your financial information is always protected, and you can check them out with the Better Business Bureau. Also, the site is listed and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.


It is true that paying your membership fee and browsing for homes on Get Rent to Own will not land you a new home automatically, but that does not mean that a site like scams members. By reviewing complaints and testimonials we can see the site is not for everyone, but some do benefit from such paid sites.

Sites like GetRentToOwn do not claim to do all of the legwork for you. They are simply offering information that is difficult to find in most areas. Ultimately, it is the home buyer that has to make the phone calls, do the work, and secure a deal that is a good fit.


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    • Johnathan L Groom profile image

      Johnathan L Groom 5 years ago from Bristol, CT

      save a billion- 89 trillion controllers of playstation/nin's, exempting people's SMILE!