An immigrant couple who both work in low-income jobs came to me for help buying a second home. Both of the borrowers work in the restaurant/food service industry, and their hours and income were somewhat variable. Only one of them had a social security number, so we could only use one of the borrower’s names on the loan application.

They owned a single family residence property in San Francisco that they purchased years ago and were occupying as their primary residence. The property had appreciated nicely over the years and I helped them take cash out to put them in position to purchase another primary residence outside of the Bay Area. This allowed them to rent out the San Francisco property and move to a more affordable part of the country. The rent on the San Francisco property was enough to create positive cash flow for them on that property and the $100K cash they took out on the equity of that property allowed them to move to Texas and buy a new home for cash.

The borrower without a social security number has since gotten his green card and has a social security number now.  I am working with them to purchase another home in Texas where they are making the same income as in San Francisco but where the cost of housing is dramatically less. They will rent out the home they purchased in Texas for cash and it will also create a nice cash flow vehicle for them. They can now qualify for a purchase of a home in Texas that is twice the cost of the one they currently own, because we can use the second borrower’s income now and they own two properties that cash flow positive.

Part of the way I am able to get the income from their jobs to work for qualifying purposes is that I have been working with their employers to get formal, written verifications of employment that explicitly state that both borrowers are full-time employees despite their slightly variable hours showing on their paystubs, and I don’t submit their paystubs to the lender.