On the surface, the words “freelance” and “mortgage” do not go well together. Like hot and cold or good versus evil. But fear not. It is possible to buy a home as a freelancer. It’s even possible to do it fairly easily. But there’s a thing or two to know.  That’s what this article will help you do. Get a mortgage without making you second guess the freelance life.

Make a Lot of Money

Money will wipe away all this stress about home buying as a freelancer. So if earning more money is more of an appealing process than spending months acquiring a mortgage – definitely go for that option. A large down payment will make getting your loan much easier. Who knows – you may even want to buy all-cash. When doing that, no one cares if you’re a freelancer or a Supreme Court Justice.

Provide at Least Two Years’ Worth of High Income

To get a good mortgage, you must provide at least two years’ worth of the income you want used when determining the size of mortgage you can get. What’s smart to do is plan years in advance. See how spectacular of a house you’d like. See what the mortgage would be like. Then make sure your Schedule C income is appropriate.

One thing that’s nice about this step is that paying Uncle Sam is actually pretty fun. Because you know the more you pay in taxes, the higher your Schedule C income. This means you can get a nicer house.

Pay Attention to Your Credit Score

Your credit score has a lot to do with home buying. Yes, you can buy a house with a low credit score or even no credit score but if you want the best chance of securing your dream home, pay attention to your credit score. Your score needn’t be 800 but up to a certain point, the higher, the better.

The higher, the better… yes to a certain point. That’s because once you get your score in the mid-700s you qualify for the best rates. The people who get the best rates have a 746 FICO score or above. But this is not an exact science. There are many formulas a mortgage lender can use to come up with your own score. So while your FICO score may be 746, the formula your preferred lender uses may display a lower or higher score. As with any time you’re looking to get money, it’s best to keep your credit score as high as possible.

Location, Location, Location – NOT

Here’s the beautiful thing about buying a home as a freelancer. You don’t need to live to close to work or suffer a long commute. You can buy your home based on other criteria. You will probably still want to live in a desireable neighborhood. But what you desire in a neighborhood is up to you. No more focusing on ‘easy freeway access.’

Freelancers often choose a home based on a variety of the following factors:

  • Close to a good school system for their children
  • A house that can be had for a screaming deal
  • A house close to other services such as shopping centers, family or friends

Think like the Lender

The lender wants to know within a high degree of certainty that you’ll be able to repay. So you can understand why the above factors are important to them. Once you know how to think like a lender, it’ll be far easier to get a loan. Just make sure you make a good income, make sure your Schedule C income is high enough to get the size of mortgage you’d like and pay attention to your credit score.

Enjoy your new home!

William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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