Buying a Home: How to Buy More House Than You Can Afford

Posted on: May 3, 2019

When you decide you are ready to buy a home, the first thing you will do is go to your bank to get a pre-approval letter. This is where your bank will look at all of your past payments, debt, loans, and your current income to calculate what they think you can afford*. Most people find that the amount their bank approves them for often feels like more than they are willing to spend. This is because the bank doesn’t take into account your other savings goals.

If you are looking to buy a house in the higher portion of your pre-approval value, but you don’t want to pay a mortgage above what you think you could comfortably afford, look for a house with a rent-able space. This can come in many different types of rentals and spaces. Some of these include…

Mother-in-Law/ ADU:

A mother-in-law, or an ADU (additional dwelling unit), is a separate space with a kitchen already built in. This is perfect for finding a longer-term tenant to live in the space and give you an additional rental income that will subsidize a higher mortgage.


A fantastic way to rent a space out whenever you want– day by day, on weekends, or for longer term stays if you prefer.  Airbnb’s do have restrictions around them in some cities, so before you consider this option you must check with your local municipalities and your city’s codes and regulations.

Detached Garage or Parking Space:

If you live in a city, chances are someone will be willing to pay for your extra parking space or un-used garage. These are great for people who don’t want to share their home with anyone.

The Bottom Line:

Having a short-term rental in your home is a great way to get your down payment subsidized. There are a few different mortgage companies and startups that are offering this right now if you are short on cash and you are into the idea of having part of your home a short-term rental.


As a real estate agent and an advisor to my clients, I never want the people I help to feel uncomfortable or to be put in a position where they feel financially stressed. I often encourage my clients to do the opposite of what this blog covers.

*Banks will always put a limit on what you can purchase, and they have their own criteria on deciding what you can afford.

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