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I wanted to start a new thread based on something ptheland mentioned in his or her last post that got my attention. My wife and I are looking to move into a bigger house in the next few months. My employment has been a little non-standard for the past 12 months and I'm wondering if it will impact our ability to get approved for a mortgage, and if so if there's anything I should do to make the process smoother.

Last year everyone at my job was reduced to 4-day work weeks. I used my saved up vacation time to make up the shortfall for a while and eventually started doing some contract work on the side. So for 2012 my income was something like 80% W-2 wages and 20% self-employment income.

At the beginning of this year a lot of people at my job got laid off. Those who didn't were kept on at greatly reduced time, 50% for me. I picked up more contracting work right away, so my income's been about 50% of each for the first half of 2013.

I've accepted a full-time job offer from the company I've been contracting for. I start in 2 weeks, so my income will return to 100% W-2 wages for the remainder of the year.

ptheland's post mentioned that self-employment income requires special documentation during the loan approval process. I'll have been at my new job for about 2-3 months when we expect to be buying a new house (this new baby keeps getting bigger for some reason). Will the SE income from last year and the first part of this year make things more difficult for us? We'll probably be putting about 10% down with a mortgage somewhere around 3-3.5 times my gross income (my wife is a stay-at-home mom). Credit score is good but not great, but should improve after paying off all of our CC debt with the proceeds from the sale of our current house (that's a separate question I had: how long between paying off all CC debt and seeing your FICO score rise?). The current plan is to apply for a mortgage at the local credit union that I've been using for my contract business.

Thanks for any advice that might help to make this go smoother.

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