|Why trust us: To create this comprehensive guide, we researched the available housing options in Las Vegas, consulted with local housing experts, and had the guide reviewed by a real estate professional with rent-to-own experience. Learn more.|
Rent-to-own homes in Las Vegas allow potential homeowners with low credit or limited funds to rent a property, with an option to buy it in the future. It's often advertised as an option for buyers who face financial barriers, such as poor credit or limited savings.
What to know about rent-to-own homes in Las Vegas
Rent-to-own homes are uncommon in Las Vegas. Your realtor likely won't find any listings on the multiple listing service (MLS), and you may have trouble spotting listings on popular real estate websites like Zillow. Only two national RTO companies – Home Partners of America and Trio Homes – currently operate in the area.
"I've been licensed since 2006, and it's never been common here," says DeShawna Whitmore, a realtor with Realty One Group. "People tend to be uncomfortable with the contracts and have had negative experiences with lease-to-own agreements."
Negative experiences include not being able to qualify for a loan and purchase the home before the lease expires, resulting in costly termination fees and the loss of savings meant for the down payment.
"[Rent-to-own] can lead to people feeling duped if the home doesn't appreciate fast enough," adds Whitmore.
Not a good fit for the current Vegas market
From May 2022 to March 2023, single-family home prices in Las Vegas fell by $57,000. "This is the first time in 11 years we're seeing a decline in prices, and that impacts your ability to purchase a home that's supposed to appreciate every year," says Whitmore.
Why that's a problem: Your cost to purchase a home in a rent-to-own program rises every year. If the home appraises for less than your purchase price, you'd likely have to cover the difference or end your contract.
It's a business model that works much better in a market where home prices are rising 10–20% or more every year — but not in the current market, Whitmore explains.
Compare rent-to-own options in Las Vegas
Home Partners of America is one of the easiest rent-to-own programs to qualify for and has over 1,000 active listings in Las Vegas. It offers flexible renting options for single-family homes and townhouses up to $650,000.
Unlike popular rent-to-own companies like Divvy, a portion of your rent does NOT go toward your down payment savings. You simply have the option to buy the house during your lease.
However, Home Partners is an expensive option over the long run. Your cost to purchase the home rises by 3% to 5.5% every year, regardless of market conditions. So a Las Vegas home initially valued at $490,000 could cost you up to $670,000 if you rent the house for five years, even if home prices fall during that time.
Local landlord listings
Landlords who offer rent-to-own homes in Las Vegas can set their own eligibility criteria and requirements. The payment structure, lease length, purchase price, and other conditions often vary among landlords.
"Often, these agreements don't work out as expected because the price and rent credits don't align with what was initially agreed upon," Whitmore says. "Without an agent to guide the transaction, these agreements can be problematic."
🔎 Pro tip
Your credit score affects your ability to qualify for a mortgage. Check your credit score now, and you can take work to improve it and correct any mistakes in your credit report.
Not sure where your credit stands? Get your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. This free resource gives you access to your scores from all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year.
Rent-to-own home alternatives in Las Vegas
"Between down payment assistance and seller concessions, I've seen a lot of people close on their home while only bringing $500 or less to closing," says Janese Williams, a mortgage loan originator with Champions Mortgage, based in Sugar Land.
Down payment and closing cost assistance programs
Home is Possible Nevada provides a 30-year fixed-rate loan of up to 4% of your total loan amount, which can be used to cover your down payment or closing costs. This loan is forgivable if you stay in the home for at least three years.
Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) offers eligible first-time home buyers up to $22,000 in down payment assistance. Offered by Greater Nevada Mortgage in partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.
Home Means Nevada Rural Down Payment Assistance offers eligible first-time, rural home buyers $15,000 in forgivable down payment assistance and competitive rates on 30-year fixed mortgage loans.
Local affordable housing options
Affordable Housing Trust Fund distributes funds to support affordable housing for qualifying families, who earn up to 60% of the area's median household income. It provides emergency rent assistance, homeowner renovation support, and down payment assistance.
Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority provides affordable housing for low-and-moderate income individuals and families. It offers homes with fixed rents that are typically 30-40% below market rates.
Nevada Hand is a nonprofit that develops and manages affordable housing for more than 4,600 homes across 34 communities in Southern Nevada for seniors and working families.
First-time home buyer loans
|Loan type||Min. down payment||Min. credit score||Max. debt-to-income level|
|FHA||3.5% | 10%||580 | 500–79||43%|
|USDA||None||Varies by lender||41%|
|Rental||1–2 months rent||680||33%|
FHA loans attract a lot of interest from first-time home buyers due to their lower down payment and low credit score requirements. However, be aware that FHA mortgages have strict requirements and fees, including mortgage insurance premiums.
FHA loans also have specific maximum loan limits, determined by the average home sales value within each county. For example, in Clark County, the 2022 FHA loan limit for single-family homes is $494,500.
USDA loans can provide zero down financing for home purchases in rural areas and down payment and closing cost assistance. Properties located in towns just outside Las Vegas, such as Boulder City and Jean, may qualify for USDA financing.
This government-backed mortgage option is provided by private lenders, including banks and mortgage companies, and offers 0% down financing for veterans, active service members, and surviving spouses.
Free resources in Las Vegas
Local housing counselors
Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada (NHSSN) offers one-on-one pre-purchase counseling to help you make well-informed choices and point you to valuable resources to help you accomplish your homeownership goals.
Housing education programs
The Nevada Housing Division and Freddie Mac offer a free online course that covers credit scores, budgeting, and the home buying process.
The NHSSN's home buyer education course, offered through eHome America, helps you determine if homeownership is the best option for you.
Why you should trust us
Our team at Clever spent several weeks learning the ins and outs of rent-to-own homes to create this comprehensive guide. We identified legitimate companies that operate in your area, consulted with local realtors, and researched government housing resources.
- DeShawna Whitmore, a Las Vegas realtor with Realty One Group. Whitmore has 17 years of experience and her team specializes in helping home buyers, including clients who want to pursue rent-to-own options.
- Steve Nicastro, a real estate professional who has advised numerous clients on whether rent-to-own housing is a good option for them. His expertise helped us provide a more in-depth understanding of the rent-to-own process.