Q: We went through foreclosure last year. With the abundance of houses on the market, we were hoping to find a lease purchase deal while our credit recovers. We haven’t had any luck in finding one. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

A: You may not be able to qualify for a loan for up to 5 years, so a lease/purchase (also known as a “lease with an option to buy”) might make some sense if you find a seller who is willing to do that kind of deal.

If you want to find a lease/purchase, you’ll need to find someone who is renting a property you’d want to buy and then make an offer. Often, you’ll find lease/purchases advertised in the “properties for rent” section of the local newspaper or online at a website like Craig’s List.

If you’re going to work with a real estate agent, you might want to hire based on the agent’s ability to find a lease/purchase arrangement for you. The ideal candidate will be a seller who has already moved from the property and has paid off the mortgage.

But since you will have to wait another 4 years to get a loan, it may be tough to find someone who wants to wait that long to get his or her money. Most sellers are willing to hang in there for a while but want to know that if they are trying to sell their property, the sale actually occurs within a couple of years after the documents are signed.

If you aren’t lucky finding an owner willing to lease you a property with an option to buy it, you might just want to rent for a while until your credit improves and you have the money to put down towards a down payment and can get financing in a traditional way.