Check Please: The Reality Home Buying as a Tipped Employee

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc 10307

There can sometimes be a stigma when it comes to home buying, many people believe it is just for desk jobs or salaried positions. However millions of people earn some if not all their income based on tips and become home owners everyday! 

While it can seem overwhelming buying a home it can be an easy process especially when working with an agent  but the biggest step starts at home. Before the 2008 housing crisis many lenders actually took your word for it when stating your income but due to that leading to the crisis its self lenders rely on everything to have documentation to back it up. In order to have a accurate paystub its time to make sure you're declaring all tips received down to the cent (not that you wouldn't already 😉). In addition try to deposit all your cash tips into your bank account while it can be tempting to spend your cash here your bank statements matching your paystub helps out big time! 

From there finding the right agent and getting prequalified can be a big step in the right direction! Knowing your budget limits is very important because you don't want a home you can't afford.  For first time home buyers there are all sorts of offers available for down payment assistance but all in all you may only need 3% down to get the ball rolling giving the average server a budget of around 300k. 

There is never a reason to let your job title hold you back from being a home owner where there's a will there is a way! 

Posted by


Gwen Fowler-Brown

Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc
317 South Highway 11
West Union SC 29696
Serving Oconee County, from the banks of the Chattooga River to the shores of Jocassee, Hartwell & Keowee Lakes.


Contact me about property in Oconee County, Seneca, Walhalla, Westminster, Long Creek, Salem, Mountain Rest, Richland, Sunset and Six Mile, SC.  2nd homes are our expertise. 

The best number to reach me at is 1-800-248-8950.

View our listings at

Gwen Fowler Real Estate, reasons for going to work each dayBlue Ridge MountainsOC Spot Monday Holstein



Comments (12)

Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Feb 24, 2023 04:19 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Right, and as you mention, there needs to be proof of the tips! I remember someone once who was paid a good income, but it was all off the books. I don't remember whether he was able to figure out a way to purchase a home but I think at the time he wasn't able to.

Feb 24, 2023 05:02 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Amen to that, Gwen. Where there's a will there's a way. And buyers who are not in "normal" salaried positions need to plan to find that way.

Feb 24, 2023 05:25 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

This is really a double edged sword when it comes to income taxes . Most servers are receiving rather small hourly income from their employers 

Feb 24, 2023 06:14 AM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518

Now the employers are charging them with tips based on the sale...whether they get it or not.

Mar 14, 2023 09:41 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Gwen- I'd never given much thought to how a non-salaried employee can show proof when trying to buy a home. Thank you for writing about this. 

Feb 25, 2023 06:09 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Feb 25, 2023 06:50 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Sound advise, keeping track of financial records is important regardless of position.

Feb 26, 2023 08:31 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Gwen great to see you and I'm so glad Kathy Streib featured you today!  It never occurred to me to mention claiming tips' to home buyers.  That makes total sense.

Feb 26, 2023 11:58 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I would have missed this one as well. The key of course, is recording the tips which sadly, many do not.

Feb 26, 2023 12:56 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

This makes lots of sense, Gwen, and is great advice for those who have income from tips.


Feb 26, 2023 05:04 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

thanks for highlighting this. I think it's definitely an under discussed topic - I hadn't thought about it much myself 

Feb 28, 2023 07:46 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post!  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

May 14, 2023 07:54 AM