A little backstory: We have been renting the home we live in for 2 years. We have a family of 6, and 3 of our 4 children spend part of the time at their other parent's houses. Our home is a newer 3 bedroom, 2 ba home with a large yard and garage Our toddler (18 mos) currently shares a room with us (our room is big) and my two boys DS1 and DS2 share a room, and DSS has his own room.
The past several months we have been hemming and hawing over what to do- DH and I both have bad credit (though fairly minimal debt, a few thousand- along with some student loans that are getting regular payments- it just needs paid off and credit rebuilt- it's just taking a long time because I am currently a SAHM etc). We *think* we need a bigger house considering our family size, but any home with an additional room (4 bedroom+) in our area is a few hundred more than where we live already, and we are already just getting by. Of course the seemingly better option is to buy because we could afford a larger house for a mortgage payment that is probably less than where we are now! However, the reality is that our credit needs work and that will take a few years, and I plan on slowly taking on more work over the next year too. Our original goal was to move this summer (when lease is up), to a new rental or to buy, but obviously the buying option is out so we have been looking at what the going rate on rentals is. This will require a hefty deposit and the stress of moving, and I've been anxious about it because I typically plant a garden in the spring and don't want to invest in it if we are going to be moving.
Presently: We used to rent from a rental agency that went under about 6 months ago. The homeowners took over as our landlords- we were used to dealing with them already because they took care of all the maintenance and repairs etc. They are probably in their 60's and are pretty well off, and have been great- They replaced both the dishwasher and fridge since we moved in, had the furnace worked on, hired seasonal landscapers, etc. We pay rent on time, and there's never been any conflict. Recently, out of the blue, They were corresponding with DH about some stuff and asked DH if we were interested in leasing to own the house! They kind of have an idea of where we're coming from and what our goals are... The only time I've know people to do this was with buying land around where I live (happens a lot), but not a house. I've researched it some, so I think I have an idea of how it works.
SO here's my questions: Does anyone have experience or opinions about this? It seems like it's one of those "could be amazing, could be a nightmare" scenarios. The reason I'm even considering it is that they are very dependable, financially sound people and they have been on the up and up about everything since we started renting, and having lived here I know that the house is in really good condition. Our other big issue is size- We kept discussing getting a larger house (with one more room, which once you upgrade to a 4 bedroom there is often a family room too). Our house feels crowded at times, we have 4 boys! but they are all 7 & under, and as I said reside with their other parents part of the time. Our yard is pretty large so if we owned the house (by repairing credit, getting financed and buying from LLs in 3 or so years) we could potentially add on to it eventually. This also might be a good "starter house" and not necessarily a "forever" house. Just trying to consider it from all the angles- IF this is a legit situation (landlords are reliable, contract is good), and w efollow through, will this potentially help our credit and history, not to mention allow us to be home owners sooner & easier? Is it worth forgoing a larger house (which we may or may not be able to afford anyway) to commit to this home, make it ours, and eventually move on when we know for sure we can afford an upgrade? I know for many a 3 bedroom house for 4 (same gender) children is the norm. I think DS3 will eventually be able to share a room with another brother, for the time being.