Should I charge my girlfriend rent?

5 Replies

I am currently renting a SFH, and had planned to for another year and then house hack a 3-4 unit multifamily next spring. The opportunity has come up to buy the house I'm currently renting for a good deal. I would just live in it for the year and then rent it out and stay with the plan to house hack the multifamily.

I wonder how the house will effect my lending limit on the multifamily. So, would it be a good idea to have my girlfriend pay me rent through a lease and everything? Then the bank sees the house as having an income to me and actually helping my DTI.

I've also read a little on here that while using the FHA loan the lender may add the future income from the multifamily into my DTI but only if I have a record of rental income in the past?

The other thought is to just have my girlfriend buy the SFH in her name and then the multifamily in my name, then the when we move out and rent the SFH it will help her income since I earn a considerable about more than her. (I know what you're all thinking but worst case, she keeps the house, I'm out the 2,500 I give her to put down on it but I'll save twice that in rent in the next year)

I hate to pass up the opportunity to buy the house for a good deal but I'm more focused on getting into a multifamily in a better area if it would effect me. The multifamily I'm looking at building is around 300k and the SFH around 65k. I haven't spoke with the bank but according to the calculator on the FHA web page I would be approved for around 325k before I bought the SFH. I plan to discuss with bank but many of you seem to know more than the lender I've been talking with.

Girlfriend = not married. Proceed with caution. Lots of broken hearts and destroyed finances over situations you describe. If you love her enough to buy real estate with her- marry her- then buy the real estate. 

Pretty sure he didn’t ask for marriage advice. The least thread offering marriage advice wasn’t well received.

( For what it’s worth I bought a property with my ex, then married him, and I’m now divorced).

The OP stated he’s prepared to walk away if things went south and give her he property.

I would have her buy the SFR. You can protect your interest with a second, owner financed mortgage or a lien. Or just chalk it up to helping out someone you love.

Renting out rooms is considered boarder income which is generally not able to be used in your DTI ratio. In essence, you would have to claim the income on your taxes and pay uncle Sam, for no real benefit to your situation. That is at least what I have been told in the past. You may be able to find a lender that would consider that income, but I would verify that first.