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How long after starting a new job can I buy a house?

Updated March 23, 2017

People who have new jobs may not have to wait to buy a home because other factors can help them qualify for a mortgage. For example, lenders consider mortgage applicants' entire employment history. People who have maintained steady employment prior to getting a new job may still be able to qualify for a mortgage without a waiting period.

Steady Employment

Potential homebuyers who show a mortgage lender that they have a steady employment history bolster their chances for getting a mortgage approved. A 2011 Home Buying Institute article by Brandon Cornett indicates that lenders usually require borrowers to show that their employment has been continuous for at least two years before they will approve a mortgage. Therefore, borrowers who have gaps in their employment history within the last two years may have a difficult time getting a mortgage.

Employment Documentation

People who have recently started a new job should gather documentation to show a lender they've had no periods of unemployment over the last two years. Cornett notes that a lender may ask a mortgage applicant to supply old pay stubs that show the borrower has had steady employment over two years. Lenders usually check job references as well to determine how long potential borrowers have worked with present and past employers.

Second Jobs

Don't count on using a new job as a second source of income to bolster your overall earnings to help you qualify for a mortgage. Cornett notes that mortgage lenders usually won't consider wages from a second job as part of an applicant's income unless the applicant has worked at that job for at least two years. Lenders may apply this two-year requirement to avoid attracting applicants who get second jobs just to meet income qualifications for a mortgage. A borrower may promptly quit a short-term job after qualifying for a mortgage and then default on the loan due to an income shortfall.

Considerations

People who have a new job along with gaps in their employment history may still be able to qualify for a mortgage if they can provide a good reason for those employment gaps. For example, someone who has a new job because he was laid off after working for a company for five years may still be able to get a mortgage. A lender may consider that the person had a steady employment history before losing a job due to circumstances beyond his control. Mortgage applicants also may be able to overcome gaps in their employment history if they have a good credit history and the down payment required for the home they want to purchase.

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About the Author

Frances Burks has more than 15 years experience in writing positions, including work as a news analyst for executive briefings and as an Associated Press journalist. Burks has banking and business development experience, and she has written numerous articles on consumer issues and home improvement. Burks holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan.