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Lease Purchase Program Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the VHCDC Lease Purchase Program?

The Program enables you to shop for a single-family home and lease it for up to five (5) years, with the exclusive Right to Purchase. The lease amount and purchase price are presented in writing in advance of your lease. You must purchase the property or move out of the property at the end of the Exclusive Right to Purchase period (5 years).

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2. How does the Lease Purchase Program work?

Our Housing Services Office will send you an invitation to fill-out a Pre-Qualification Application. If the Pre-Qualification Application is approved, you will be eligble to submit a Full Application for a full credit and background check. If the Full Application is approved, you will be provided the Maximum Monthly Lease for which you qualify. You will then be assigned a certified Lease Purchase Program Agent to work with you to find a home in an approved community (Northern Virginia / Washington, DC and Richmond Metropolitan Areas). Once you've located a home, our leasing company buys the home (if approved for purchase) and prepares it for occupancy. Once purchased, you will be required to sign a one year lease for the home, pay your security deposit (up to 2 months rent), and sign the Right to Purchase Agreement. After securing the purchase, you can move in after the home has been cleaned and prepared for occupancy. You lease the home and have the right to buy it later, should you wish, and that's it!

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3. Where are the properties located?

Our LPP Agents (certified realtors) will search the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other listings for new and previously-owned, single-family homes listed for sale in select communities in Richmond (metro area), and Northern Virginia / Washington, DC (metro area). Please see the list of Approved Communities to conduct your search.

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4. Can I renovate or make changes to the property?

No. You cannot make any alterations other than what is typical when renting an apartment - painting the walls, installing window dressings and shelving, hanging pictures, etc. You can, however, make any alterations you would like when you purchase the property.

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5. Can I sublet the property?

No. You cannot rent any part of the property to anyone else, including temporary boarders, etc. The property can only be leased to you and occupied by you and your immediate family.

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6. What is the minimum FICO score?

The minimum FICO score for this program is 620 (TransUnion).

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7. Can I participate in this program if I have filed bankruptcy?

Yes. You may apply one day after your bankruptcyy has been discharged. You may not apply while you are in a reorganization plan (Chapter 13) or your bankruptcy has not yet been discharged.

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8. Is any part of my lease payment applied to the downpayment?

No. No part of your lease payments can be applied towards the down-payment because you are only leasing the property. If you decide to purchase the property you can assign or pledge your security deposit as down-payment on the purchase. If you decide not to exercise your Exclusive Right to Purchase, you are free to move out and receive a refund your security deposit - provided you are not delinquent on your lease and have not damaged the property beyond normal wear and tear.

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9. How long does my approval last?

You approval will expire in 180 days.

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10. How do student loans affect my lease approval?

Student loans do not impact your lease application, except to the extent they lower your FICO score. Student loans may be a factor when your apply for a mortgage loan to purchase the property. Please discuss your situation with our Housing Services Office.

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11. How much does it cost to apply to the Program?

The Fee is $75 for Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Washington, DC, and $99 for Hampton Roads.

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12. How much is the security deposit?

The security deposit for Virginia is up to two (2) months rent.

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13. Are pets allowed?

Up to 3 pets (cats or dogs) weighing less than 180 pounds in total combined weight are allowed. All dog breeds are allowed. However, certain dog breeds may be restricted by local regulations and Homeowner’s Association rules. Further, livestock/farm animal pets such as pigs, horses, chickens, and goats, aquariums over 20 gallons, and exotic, venomous, and verminous pets, are not allowed.

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14. Is there a Pet fee?

Yes. There is a one-time $300 non-refundable per pet fee, and $30 monthly rent for up to 3 pets.

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15. Will my rent ever increase?

The lease amounts and sale prices are provided up front, so you will know in advance how much your lease will be each year you remain in the property. If you choose not to renew your lease or purchase the property you are free to move out and lease or buy another property. You may not, however, enter into another lease agreement under this program.

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16. Are the homes new or previously owned?

Both. You have the opportunity to lease new construction, if more than 50% of the houses in the development are complete. You may also lease a previously-owned home. The choice is yours...

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17. I have a Section 8 voucher. Can I participate in this program?

No. The Program does not accept the Housing Choice (Section 8) Voucher, nor the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Voucher.

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18. I meet all of the qualifications. How do I apply?

Click here to contact us. Provide your full name, current address, telephone number and email address. A representative will contact you to start your application for the Lease Purchase Program (Northern Virginia / Washington, DC and Richmond Metropolitan Areas only).

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This page last updated: 05/15/2023

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