Should You Buy A House With Roommates?

Certified Mortgage Advisor
NMLS 1701021
April 29, 2020

Q&A: Should you buy a house with your roommates?

The question is, I'm interested in getting a mortgage soon. I plan on paying the monthly cost with two other people that would be living with me. I have a credit score above 770 and could put 8% down as a down payment on a $160,000 FHA loan. Would the lender have any issues with me not being able to cover all the costs by myself? And do you think it's a good idea?

Are you comfortable

So having people help you pay a mortgage is fantastic. Having roommates is great. As long as you're comfortable with that lifestyle. So having other people help you pay down the mortgage is fantastic. What I would wanna make sure is that you're comfortable paying that. On your own though, because you can't control a roommate situation. If somebody decides to go leave or they decide to not pay, or they lose their job and not pay, you need to make sure that you're comfortable paying that on your own.

What lender requires

Also, a lender isn't really concerned about who's going to be living there in the future. What they're going to look at is making sure that you can qualify with that mortgage payment on your own. If you need to, you could bring on somebody as a co-borrower who would be living with you. I wouldn't recommend it. Being a co-borrower with somebody like a friend, that's just gonna put a lot of awkward strain on the relationship if things go south. So I wouldn't recommend doing that.

Check if you can buy a house on your own

But a lender's mainly going to want to look at whether can you qualify for this mortgage payment on your own. And I would wanna make sure that you yourself are comfortable in your budget, making that mortgage payment on your own in case you ever have to.

Use that 8% as reserve

Also with FHA, I wouldn't put 8% down. I would stick with the minimum of 3.5%. And then use the remainder of that 8% as kind of a reserve. So use it for maintenance, use it for furniture. If you need to pay down debt, create emergency savings. I would not put all of that money in right now, especially if this is the first home that you're going to purchase. I would want to have that as kind of a cash reserve to make sure that if you ever have any trouble with a payment or something like that happens, or a furnace breaks down or something goes wrong, maintenance-wise, you have that cash saved up.

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