I'm a first time home buyer, four years at the same job but I'm an independent contractor... needs lender

Asked by GKnight, Los Angeles, CA Wed Mar 24, 2010

I'm a first time home buyer looking for a lender who can work with independent contractor beyond being a number in a file. I've been in the same position/job for 4 years but recently had an increase in salary. An average of two/three years of tax returns does not show my income. My wife is a W2 employee. We're looking in Los Angeles (SouthBay) with 10% down. Any recommendations for lenders?

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Richard Schu…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Mar 24, 2010
Congrats on beginning the search for your first home! Give Eli Weinberger at Bank of America a call at 310-927-2467. He does the loans for most of my clients (of all types of income ranges and types) and everyone is always very happy with this rates and services. Tell him I sent you!

If you need any other help beginning your home search, please feel free to get in touch.

Good luck,

Richard Schulman
Keller Williams Realty
#1 Buyers Agent KW Los Angeles Region
(310) 482-0173
1 vote
Randy Rehler, , Austin, TX
Tue Mar 30, 2010
Have you ask your realtor? If you don't have a realtor yet, start interviewing for one and be sure to ask their recommendations on local lenders.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Mar 25, 2010
Lenders have same rules for loan requirements not step outside of the box.

If you have been self employed for over 2 years with tax returns will require you CPA author statement to that fact. Wife W2 employee is excellent

Lender usually base their approval on past 2 years returns.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Loan Officer
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Monique and…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Thu Mar 25, 2010
Hello Gnight,

The leder's I recommend are as follows:

When filing your taxes be sure to discuss with your lender your write offs. As an independant contractor if you write off too much your income will be too low. You might want to discuss this with a lender before you file if you haven't already. Just an FYI as that is what I personally have experienced :

Dana Dukelow
Prospect Mortgage
(310) 461-1893

Craig Van Skaik
Net Financial Group
(310) 890-1432

If you need help looking for a home, I'd be happy to be of assistance also.


Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
0 votes
Mitch Lichte…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Santa Ana, CA
Wed Mar 24, 2010
Obviously for your wife we'd use her salary. For your income i would need to review your tax returns. You say you are an independent contractor but in what field? You say you get a salary so that means you are W-2 but do you work project to project? Most likely we'd have to average income but if you are getting W-2 income now it's possible we can use that. Did you go from self employed to a salaried position?
Web Reference:  http://www.targetrate.com
0 votes
Deborah Brem…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Mar 24, 2010
In my opinion, you want a local lender (not just a voice on the phone or an internet page) who knows the local market, lending practices, and values. If things get bumpy, you want to be able to reach a real person in your time zone who knows you personally and is PERSONALLY vested in your transaction.
I'd like you to read this from Steve Eckhoff, a local mortgage broker. His words tell the story better than I can:

“During the 20 years that I have been financing real estate in the West Los Angeles area, hard work and excellent associations have graced me with a virtually perfect closing ratio. One of the main reasons I have affiliated myself with First Capital Mortgage in Santa Monica is the sheer volume of last year’s more than $1 Billion in local residential loan funding – this makes us one of the preeminent Mortgage brokerage firms in the United States. Our size and the volume of transactions makes us a powerful negotiator and enables us to secure the best rates and terms available.

In navigating the process of purchasing or refinancing your home, where high pressure and short time frames are the rule rather than the exception, the team I have assembled has created a stellar reputation that is supported by technical expertise, sophistication and personalized attention to each client’s transactional needs. My partner, Rochelle, our personal Transaction Manager, Carolyn, our underwriter, Mary and her assistant, Michele, and I specialize in transactions in the range of $500,000 to $5,000,000 and represent an unbeatable variety of lenders that offer extraordinary loan programs with the lowest interest rate and point combinations.

I understand that this investment is one of the most important decisions you will make and my team and I will put in every effort required to provide the best real estate financing program available and to structure and close the loan that is best for you. I would like to assure you that availability; dependability, promptness, competitiveness, total service orientation, efficiency, enthusiasm and appreciation have been the keys to our long-term success.”

My recommendation to you? Interview 3 mortgage brokers FACE TO FACE, ask for references, find one you like and trust, and put them to work finding you the best loan. Make Steve your first call, 310-470-8080.

Good luck,
Deborah Bremner, CRS, SFR, CSP
REALTOR, 00588885
Certified Short Sale Professional
Certified Home Retention Specialist
(D) 818.564.6591
Blogging at: http://TheBremnerGroup.com/blog
0 votes
x, , 10021
Wed Mar 24, 2010
I hope that you have the opportunity to contact a couple of lenders that some of the agents have suggested. I think that not only do you want to work with a lender that will get you the "lowest rate", but you want to work with one that matches you and your wife's personality. Buying your first home is not something you want to do without the right guide. I am obviously partial to the mortgage broker world,in that we (as mortgage brokers) have 20-30 different lenders that we can work with. Most of the products on the market are all the same, and will all have rates that are ultimately the same. If one guy tells you he can get you a 4.875%, the next will say 4.75%. There is no such thing as "the lowest rate". Unless you lock, you are not guaranteed anything. Rates change multiple times a day...and today was awful...rates tanked (went up a couple of times). I go back to what I was sayign about using a broker...there will be unexpected things that come up once you start talking to your mortgage professional that might cause some issues for underwriting. Many of the banks have their own layered underwriting guidelines built in over the standard fannie mae, freddie mac, USDA, VA and FHA guidelines. You could get a loan at one bank and not the other becasue that one bank needs 12 months cancelled rent paym,ent checks while the other didn't...just for an example of course. Using a "bank" such as Bank of America or Wells Fargo, limits you to getting around these types of layered underwriting guidelines. Both of my brothers work in Manhattan for Bank of America as mortgage bankers and I never would knock them and the job that they do along with the other "good" mortgage bankers that work at these banks, I am just telling you as a seasoned mortgage guy, who has worked for both Countrywide in Tampa, FL (now BoA) and JPMorgan Chase in Manhattan, and now back to brokering, that you want options. I would obviously like to gain your business, we are all on here becasue we do this for a living, not becasue we like pecking away at our keyboards in chat rooms...well at least not some of us. Check out my first time home buyer's guide here:
Then click the First Time Home Buyer Guide at the top of the home page. This is an in depth guide that I wrote to help first time home buyers really know what they are getting themselves into when they go to buy a house. It is long and boring, but you will be a much more educated AND dangerous consumer upon completion. If you would like to talk further, please call, enter our chat room on the websitre above, or email me, even if it is to bounce someone else's loan products off of.
Best of luck...and you better get moving here if you want the tax credit...must have an executed sales contract no later than April 30th. WE WRITE LOANS IN CALIFORNIA.

Ryan McPartland
Co-Owner / Licensed Mortgage Broker
Primary Mortgage Group
646.688.2744 Direct
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanmcpartland <--- info on my background
0 votes
Grant Linsco…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Mar 24, 2010
Hi Grahm,

I would definitely recommend going with a direct lender. As an independent contractor I'm assuming you have a lot of write-offs. The downside to this is your taxes may reflect a lower number than what you have made and in my experience, every lender will use the income you filed on your taxes (Ex: If you gross $100k however after expenses you make only $20k, you will be approved based on the $20k).

Send me an email and I have 3 excellent lenders I'd be happy to pass along to you.

Best Regards,

Grant Linscott
Keller Williams Realty
323.333.6222 cell
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Wed Mar 24, 2010
Please try calling Arlene Spellman with Stratis Financial, she's been a mortgage broker for 30yrs. She can check all the major banks to see who has the best program for you & alternatively Stratis Financial also funds loans in house, so you get the best of both worlds.

She works after normal business hours, just like I do, so feel free to call her on her cell right now at 562-552-1191 or email her at ASpellman@StratisFinancial.com

562-430-3053 cell
0 votes
Angela Bond, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Mar 24, 2010
I can highly recommend Mitch Ohlbaum, he is a lender with Bank of America and has been absolutely amazing. mitch.ohlbaum@bankofamerica.com and tel:310.205.6709. Good luck and if you need any other help just let me know - I have an amazing general inspector who works out of the Southbay area too.
0 votes
Charles Fitz…, Agent, Carson, CA
Wed Mar 24, 2010
I have several lenders and programs that I recommend to my buyers. There are programs available for first time home buyers can fit your situation. Give me a call or got to my website.
Web Reference:  http://www.CFButler.com
0 votes
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