Gig work isn’t going away anytime soon, and people who work outside of a 9 to 5 don’t have to give up on the dream of homeownership. To make the process smoother, self-employed homeowners should look for a real estate agent or mortgage broker who understands the unique circumstances of an entrepreneur.
What sets self-employed borrowers apart from traditional borrowers is how they show income. Lenders will require two, sometimes three, years of tax returns instead of W’s and pay stubs. So make sure you’re filing your taxes.
If you’re self-employed, work on paying off debt, increasing your credit score, and working hard to show two years of self-employment income. Start saving all your documents — employment information, tax returns, any income verification.
A budget is a major step in any home purchase. I would never want my clients to rush into this process without having some idea of their spending habits. Sit down, make an expense report, evaluate where you can make adjustments, create a future income goal, and start setting a certain amount or percentage of your income away. It’s not only for your down payment and closing costs, but it’s to see what monthly payment you can comfortably make as a mortgage. It’s not about how much you get approved for, but it’s how much you can afford. Buying a home is one of the largest purchases someone will make and needs to come with realistic and attainable goals.
Getting creative about owning a home may also mean doing some research and reaching out for help. Buyers can look into first-time homebuyer programs in their state that may include help specifically for entrepreneurs.
The great news is there are many options for self-employed borrowers. There are options with 5 percent to no money down and No Document Loan programs, providing you meet the requirements. Depending on the reason for your purchase, some mortgage programs may not apply. The best advice is to sit down with your real estate agent and mortgage specialist to discuss the options that best fit your needs.
My Fiscal Office LLC
77 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012