Cindi Segna
Coldwell Banker Realty



Are you close to being able to buy a home but aren’t quite ready? Did you just move to Minnesota and aren’t sure where you want to live? Do you need to rent right now but really want to buy a home in a couple years? Maybe you are unsure if you are going to stay in the area long term, but don't want to be stuck in a rental apartment? Our Lease with a Right to Purchase Program may be right for you.




Our program provides responsible households with a clear and transparent path to homeownership through the Lease with a Right to Purchase Program. This program provides five years of rent certainty with only a one-year financial commitment on the lease.


If you want to own a home but cannot currently qualify for a mortgage, or if you would prefer to rent a home now with the goal of purchasing it in the next three to five years, then this program may be for you. The focus isn't exclusively on your credit score. The full credit profile of your entire household is taken into account when they review your application to the program.


As with a standard lease agreement, you are required to sign a lease for a year and make a security deposit. Unlike a standard lease agreement, you will have renewal options providing five years of rent certainty and the right to purchase the home at a price established when you enter the Right to Purchase Agreement, in accordance with the terms of the Agreement. (This means, you can certainly rent the home for up to five years without any obligation of buying it at any time, and you can decide at every year interval, whether you want to commit to another year renting, or buy it, or move on to another home) You can also select the home that you want to live in from those eligible and available for sale in communities we serve – enabling you to live in a neighborhood today where you might not otherwise find a suitable home to rent.


Our client buys homes in specific approved communities, (which are most areas we work in, including the Twin Cities and surrounding areas such as Dakota & Scott counties) We will guide you in finding the right home in the right community in the program. Once you approve the purchase price in your Right to Purchase Agreement, that is the price at which you may purchase the home during the term of the lease, in accordance with the terms of the Agreement, whether the home is later appraised at a higher or lower value. If you do not purchase the home as provided in the Agreement, our client may rent or sell the home to others when your lease ends.


Your initial lease is for one year, so your financial commitment is limited to one year. Your lease is renewable every year for five one-year periods, and you have the right to notify if you don’t want to renew the lease. Your full security deposit will be returned as provided in the lease if you decide to leave the home at the end of a lease period and have been in full compliance with the lease.


Your Right to Purchase Agreement gives you the right to purchase the home you selected at a predetermined price for every year of your lease, as long as you have been in compliance with the lease, Agreement and other documents. You are under no obligation to buy the home.


This works in most suburban communities in the twin cities. 


That is a good question. Most of the time if you can rent an apartment somewhere, then you can qualify here too. If you are concerned about income requirements or credit requirements, we have created quick CHECKLIST BELOW FOR ELIGIBILITY

We have created a list of questions people most frequently ask, feel free to check them out below

  1.  What will happen after I inquire for more information either here on this site or by calling you on the phone?
    • We are local Realtors, and we will answer any questions you may have initially about the program. if you feel you are ready, we will then meet with you in person. When we initially meet with you, we are required by state law to give you a written disclosure that explains our relationship and duties to you as a licensed Realtor. We will then go in depth of the program, show you how to easily apply for the program, and then get your home search requirements put together so we can start showing you homes that are available in the market matching your criteria.
  2. What is the Lease with a Right to Purchase Program?
    • The Lease with a Right to Purchase Program (the “RTP Program”) allows you to find a home that you want to rent initially, but may also like to buy in the next three to five years. We believe that there are many households who may be thinking about buying a home but for whatever reason would like to rent at the current time. You can lease the home for up to five years, and you may purchase the home at any time at a predetermined price.
  3. Who is eligible for the RTP Program?
    • There is a certain minimum criteria for the program. Your household must have an annual income of $50,000. You must have stable employment. We cannot accept you into our program if you or anyone in your household has a history of eviction or a pending (in process) bankruptcy. Everyone in your household will be subject to a criminal background check. 
  4. How do I apply to the RTP Program?
    • Every member of your household who is 18 years of age or older must complete the Pre-Qualification Application and the Full Application. The Full Application requires certain information, including residence and employment history, for each member of the household. You also must provide income and asset verification for each member of the household whose income is to be considered in determining the rent approval amount in order for your application to be considered complete.If you are moving from a different state or starting a new job, we will need confirmation of your new job and income.

      We take several factors into consideration when reviewing an application, which include household income, rent-to-income and debt-to-income ratios, rental and housing history, employment history, criminal history, and FICO® scores.

      We will usually respond to you regarding your application within 1 to 2 business days of receiving all required information.
  5. How much does it cost to participate in the RTP Program?
    • There is a one-time Application Fee of $75 per household that must be paid online as part of the application process. This Application Fee covers all applicants in the household and is nonrefundable.
  6. Why might my application be denied?
    • We take several factors into consideration when reviewing an application, which include household income, rent-to-income, and debt-to-income ratio, rental and housing history, employment history, criminal history, and FICO® score. We consider the profile of the entire household when reviewing an application. If your application is denied, you will receive notification in writing.
  7. How do I find a home once I’m approved?
    • You will work with us as your REALTOR® to search for homes that meet our clients purchasing criteria. Generally, this means that the home should be:
      1. Located in an approved community (based on high schools and not adjacent to features that may negatively impair value);
      2. Listed for between $100,000 and $550,000 in most areas.
      3. Located on a lot no more than three acres with a minimum of two bedrooms;
      4. A single family home or fee-simple townhome; (condo associations, condo interests, commercial and multi-family properties are not eligible for the RTP Program);
      5. A traditional sale; (short sales, auctions, and REOs are not eligible for the RTP Program); and;
      6. No material deficiencies (e.g., major structural issues, pervasive mold, etc.);
      7. No guest houses/ in-law suits with separate entrances;

      Please note we do not allow to purchase homes with pools at this time. 

      Once you have selected a home, we as your REALTOR® will submit it to our client online.
  8. Do you own the homes shown on your website?
    • No. The homes shown on our website are for sale in the markets in which we operate. This list of homes automatically feeds into our website from a listing service and is updated on a regular basis. However, we cannot filter for certain criteria such as whether a townhome is or is not fee-simple so there is a possibility that a home shown on our website does not meet our minimum eligibility criteria. The information on available homes is for informational purposes only and cannot be guaranteed.
  9. My county is listed as approved on your website, but the high school of the home I want is not. Is the home approved?
    • We only consider homes that have default public high school attendance zone for public high schools ranked in the top 50% within each of our approved markets (based on standardized math and verbal test scores). A home must fall within the default attendance zone of an approved public high school, so although the lists on our website are sorted by county, we do not consider homes that do not meet this requirement.
  10. Is there a required deposit?
    • Yes. Generally, we require a deposit equal to two months’ rent. This deposit is not applied towards your rent. If you decide to leave the home at the end of any one-year lease term and you have been in compliance with the terms of the lease and return the home in the same condition it was in when you moved in (normal wear and tear excepted), the full deposit will be returned to you or credited to the purchase price if you buy the home. The full deposit (less any outstanding charges owed) is also returned to you if you exercise your Right to Purchase the home.
  11. How long does it take from when I select a home to when I move in?
    • On average, it takes approximately five to six weeks from the time we enter into a purchase agreement for a home until the day you are able to move in. There are a number of variables that may affect the move-in timeframe, including the length of negotiation with the seller leading up to when we enter into a purchase agreement, what the home inspection reveals with respect to required repairs, and the renovations you request. We will keep you informed throughout the entire purchase and renovation process so that you are aware of this timing.
  12. What happens after I move in?
    • You become the tenant. You have entered into a lease with us for one year and are bound to the terms of that agreement. We will collect your monthly rent and perform any necessary repairs that are our responsibility after you move in.
  13. Are the monthly rent payments that I make applied to the purchase price of the home?
    • No. Monthly rent payments are not applied to the purchase price of the home. If you decide to exercise your Right to Purchase, you must pay the full predetermined price as set forth in the Right to Purchase Agreement.
  14. How do I exercise my Right to Purchase?
    • You may notify us at any time that the Lease is in effect that you would like to exercise your Right to Purchase. However, you must provide us with that notice in writing at least 60 days before you want to complete the purchase. Once you notify us that you want to exercise your Right to Purchase, we will contact you to get the process started.
  15. Can I buy a home in the middle of a lease term or do I have to wait until the end of the year?
    • You can exercise your Right to Purchase at any time during your Lease. However, you must provide us with written notice of your intent to exercise at least 60 days before you want the sale to close. In addition, the closing date must occur before the end of the applicable Lease term.
  16. Do you provide me with a mortgage?
    • We are not a mortgage company. We do not have any obligation to provide or arrange a mortgage loan. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to obtain a mortgage loan if and when you wish to exercise the Right to Purchase
  17. Can I have pets in my home?
    • We do allow up to three pets (cats or dogs) with a max weight limit of 180 pounds total. For dogs, you must not have a Doberman, Pitbull, Rottweiler or Mastiff. We do not allow for large animals (other than cats and dogs) such as pigs, horses, chickens, goats, etc.


Here are the eligibility requirements for potential residents:

- Annual Minimum household income: 50K

- (For Self-employed individuals: You will be asked to provide the most recent years tax returns, and the last 2 Quarters of a Profit & Loss Statement)

- The FICO score: 525 or higher from TransUnion credit bureau (score still does not guarantee approval if other conditions aren't met below)

- No history of evictions or broken leases within past five years

- No pending bankruptcies (If a Chapter 7, has to show discharged or satisfied; if a Chapter 13 is ok, however have to show making on-time payments)

- Anyone 18 or older will be subject to a background check & have acceptable criminal history.

- Must have an acceptable criminal history (no violent felony, no drug distribution/manufacturing, no sexual assault (cannot be listed as a sex offender), no crimes against children or animals).

Foreclosures: We consider a foreclosure or short sale as a factor in our review of the application. It is not in and of itself an automatic disqualifier. Client doesn’t need to wait for any period of time after a foreclosure or short sale before applying to the program. In fact, they can apply to our program while still in the process of going through a foreclosure or short sale.

3 pet max (total wt for all 3 pets cannot exceed 180 lbs.)

4 restricted breeds: Mastiffs, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Pitbull’s

If one of the restricted breeds is a Service Animal, the client must have them registered and provide documentation to HPA.

If the client(s) can pass the eligibility and pre-qualification questions, then they are able to proceed and apply to seek approval.  Upon application, they will need to show asset and income verification such as 2 recent paycheck stubs, and an asset/bank account to show they have twice the rental amount of rent being requested. (Example: If you want to rent a place for $2,200 a month, you will need to show a minimal of $4,400 available in an account)  Once HPA reviews their data, then they will get an “Approved” with rent amount.  Then you can look at properties within that approved rent amount. 

The minimum rent is $1,350 and the maximum is $5,000.  HPA will purchase homes between $100K - $550K in most states.