Home for Rent by OwnerThe first home we ever bought, in Boca Raton, Florida, started out as a lease agreement from the owners. We paid a regular monthly rent and a portion was credited to our down payment should we decide to exercise the option to buy the home after one year, which we did. Since that first, three-bedroom home in 1992, we've come a long way.

If you're looking for a great place to rent — and maybe even to live permanently, try searching Homes For Rent By Owner. This is one more easy-to-navigate website that can get you started toward the home of your dreams. There are a bunch in my area, probably in yours, too.

When looking to sign a rental agreement, make sure you do your research. Read your contract and know your rights. Check out the Fair Housing Initiatives web site, as well as your state and local public information.