Coastal Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are home to large shipping ports which, like the military, are a cornerstone to the local economy. As ships enter and leave the local ports, there are many people needed to support this industry. A longshoreman is one of the primary careers in ports like Wilmington NC, Norfolk VA, and Charleston SC.
Longshoremen are responsible for loading and unloading cargo from ships. Because this job plays such an integral role in the success of shipping companies as well as the ports, these positions pay very well. However, longshoremen may face challenges when buying a home due to the way they are paid. Fortunately, we have homeownership solutions which understand this often complicated income.
Longshoreman Income Challenges Explained
Longshoremen jobs are in demand and experienced east coast employees commonly earn $25 per hour or more. Payscale.com has a Norfolk, VA longshoreman averaging $24.49 per hour. Of course, that does not count overtime.
Along with the job comes International Longshoremen’s Association member benefits. As stated on the ILA website, “The International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO is the largest union of maritime workers in North America, representing upwards of 65,000 longshoremen…”
So, if the income is significant and there are great union benefits, what is the big problem here? Well, the issue is that a longshoreman commonly works for several companies during a calendar year, which means multiple W-2s and pay stubs from different companies. Therefore, it is not the more traditional single source of income.
In addition to multiple W-2s, many longshoremen work a significant amount of overtime. Typically, mortgage programs look for a consistent history of overtime on a job, plus expect a good probability of continuance. With a constant change of employment, many lenders find it difficult to count overtime towards mortgage qualification.
Longshoreman Labor Union Income Solutions
If you are a longshoreman, you are probably familiar with the challenges above, but with our history of supporting the Mid Atlantic Coast, OVM Financial understands this form of income. In these scenarios, the correct income calculation is usually averaging the income of all jobs. Lenders should not be concerned with constant employment changes because it is customary for the industry.
So, what do longshoremen need to provide for the best chance of loan approval?
Buying a Home as a Longshoreman
We highly recommend that a longshoreman provide necessary documentation, in the beginning, to have the best chance of solid, up-front loan approval.
That way, the buyer is not just prequalified, but they have an accurate approval. Fortunately, OVM Financial offers a true up-front underwrite which enables a buyer to shop confidently for a home. This is extremely beneficial to this coastal employment sector.
Longshoreman Income Documentation
Cut time and uncertainty out of your mortgage process by gathering and providing the following items:
- Complete a mortgage loan application
- Two most recent federal tax returns (all schedules)
- W-2s from all jobs for the most recent two years
- Most recent pay stub from each job in the current year
Once we discuss goals, the buyer provides the items above, and we pull a credit report, the loan goes straight to underwriting review. The obvious benefits are that a buyer and the buyer’s agent can shop with confidence.
There’s not a situation where everyone hopes the income will work, and that the Realtor is showing homes that may be out of the qualified range. Quite the contrary, because the income is figured and the final decision makers have reviewed the file.
Ready to begin your home buying journey? Contact an OVM Financial loan officer, or begin your online application by using the button below.