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Can I use roommate rents to reduce my DTI?

My primary residence is nearly 4,000 sg ft. I have two roommates who share main level with me. The basement is a mother-in law apartment. It has its own kitchen, its own laundry room, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and large living room. It is about 1300 sq ft. It does not, however, have its own entrance. A couple rents the basement as a separate living area not shared with the rest of the house.
I want to buy a house across the street as an investment property.
QUESTION: In qualifying for the loan on the investment property, can I use any of the rents I collect in my primary residence either as income or to offset my housing expenses? (I have written leases with all my tenants.) If not, would it help if the basement had a separate entrance, thus making the house a proper duplex (the neighborhood is zoned for duplexes)? I could easily add such an entrance to the basement as it is garden-level, but I would prefer not to have to do that.

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March 10 2012 - Denver
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Is your primary residence a 1 unit or a 2 unit. You cannot collect rents on a single unit primary residence, that's called boarder income and cannot be used.

From Fannie Mae
"Boarder Income
Rental income from boarders in a one-unit property that is also the borrower's principal residence or second home is not generally considered acceptable stable income with the exception of the following:

• When a borrower with disabilities receives rental income from a live-in personal assistant, whether or not that individual is a relative of the borrower, the rental payments can be considered as acceptable stable income, in an amount up to 30% of the total gross income
that is used to qualify the borrower for the mortgage. Personal assistants typically are paid by Medicaid Waiver funds and include room and board, from which rental payments are made to the borrower."
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March 10 2012
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No. I just started renting out about 4 months ago.

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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Do you have a history of this rental income on your taxes for at least the last couple of years?

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March 10 2012
 
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