Understanding Rent-to-Own

A portable building is much more than a handy place to store tools or equipment. Increasingly, it’s an extension of the main living space, commonly used as an office, a barn, or a hangout to get away from it all.

There’s an obvious appeal to the idea of a private leisure and storage space right on your property. But if the cost of a shed is holding you back, there are flexible ways to pay depending on your needs.

Cash payment offers the best price, of course, but buying with credit or using a rent-to-own program are also viable options for purchasing your new portable building. We break down the pros and cons of each payment method in our handy guide below.

Buying a Portable Building with Cash

If you have the cash on hand, paying full price on the spot is the most cost-effective option. This means you don’t have to pay interest or rent for the structure—you get full ownership right away.

Of course, the downside is just that: the shed or other accessory building is now yours. If your building is not the size or model you need, the only option is to sell it for cash which limits the potential customers and then delivery will need to be figured out as well. Any repairs or maintenance not covered by the manufacturer warranty are also now of your responsibility.

Buying a Portable Building with Credit

Credit cards are a mixed blessing or necessary evil, depending on how you look at them. If you pay the balance off right away, credit cards are as cost-effective as cash. If you don’t, interest fees can add up quickly.

If a personal loan is an option, you can often beat the interest rate on a credit card. If you’re more than 30 days late on your monthly payment, though, the loan could go into default, and the bank will hire a collection agency to recover the funds.

One benefit of using credit over cash is that the bank can act as an intermediary if your shed doesn’t arrive as advertised.

A pre-built shed is a major purchase, so consider your interest rates carefully before investing in one with credit. If you’re racking up significant interest charges on your credit card, you might want to look at other options.

Buying a Portable Building with Rent-to-Own

If you want a portable building right away and your credit isn’t robust, rent-to-own is a solid option. You can get the immediate satisfaction of receiving your new shed without the financial strain that might otherwise come along with it.


With rent-to-own, you’re typically only required to put down a small deposit of one month’s rent, usually without even having to undergo a credit check.

There are, however, a few extra hoops you have to jump through for this option when compared to cash or credit. You must fill out an application, and references are usually required. The rent-to-own company will need to confirm your identity and verify your address as well.

When Is Rent-to-Own a Good Deal?

If you’ve been paying a monthly fee for public storage, rent-to-own is a great alternative. With a portable storage building, you’ll have easy access to all your belongings right in your own backyard. Plus, you’ll eventually own the shed free and clear, so you’re not just pouring money down the drain.

Rent-to-own is also a good choice if you need short-term storage because your life’s in flux. If you suddenly have to move across the country, you can return the shed and terminate the agreement with no strings attached. You aren’t stuck with the debt you’d accrue if you charged it on a credit card. Additionally, if you get some unexpected cash, there’s usually no penalty for paying off the, and there’s often a monetary benefit.

What Is the Cost of Ownership on Rent-to-Own?

These benefits aside, there are some drawbacks to the rent-to-own process—primarily the cost of ownership you pay.

Rent-to-own plans vary depending on the company. One thing is standard though: the more you pay monthly on a short-term plan, the less you’ll pay in the long run. That also means that the reverse is true.

Our Rent to Own partners currently offer a 36 month contract that will cost around 66% more than the original sale price. They also have a NO Penalty Early Payoff Policy which means that at any time during the contract you can payoff your contract and the only thing you will be billed for is the balance on the payoff of the building and any rent that is currently due.

What Else Should You Know about Rent-to-Own?

There are a few other things you should keep in mind before taking the plunge with rent-to-own.


Because rent-to-own companies don’t perform credit checks, they shoulder the financial risk for your purchase. This can be great for you, but it also means that they’re usually more reluctant to approve more expensive items. Also, you need to make sure you have the income to cover a rent-to-own plan. If you stop making monthly payments, the building will be picked up and you’ll lose the money you invested.


All that said, while some might be wondering, “Is rent-to-own a hoax?” it’s actually a well-established financing practice. Depending on your situation, rent-to-own may be able to help you more easily afford the storage solution you need at a price you can pay.

Which Option Is Right for You?


While paying in cash or by credit are viable options, rent-to-own is a practical solution, with easy payments and low financial risk for you. And if you’ve been paying a monthly fee to a public storage company, it’ll be a great feeling to put that same money toward a portable building you’ll one day call your own.