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How To Avoid Jumbo Loan

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What Are Conventional Loans

How to Avoid a Jumbo Loan?

Conventional loans are loans that conform to the requirements set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy home loans from lenders to provide liquidity.This allows lenders to continue lending to home buyers. Otherwise, banks might not have enough money on hand continue lending.Fannie and Freddie set strict standards for the types of loans they will buy.

Pickens County has high cost limits to compensate for above average housing prices. Limits in Pickens County are above the 2021 national floor.

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How Do Jumbo Mortgage Rates Compare To Conforming Loan Rates

It makes sense that lenders might charge higher interest rates on jumbo loans because, as mentioned before, theres so much risk involved. However, market data suggests that interest rates on jumbo loans are very competitive with market rates.

At todays rates, the difference between conforming and nonconforming loans ranges from just 0.25% to 1%. In fact, some jumbo loans have rates that are lower than other mortgage loans.

Lenders May Require Cash Reserves

Lenders need to know that you can make consistent, regular payments on a jumbo loan. Your lender will ask you for bank statements to prove that you have money in the bank to keep up with payments. Its not uncommon for lenders to ask jumbo borrowers to have up to 12 months worth of expenses in reserve before they can get a loan.

Having cash in your bank account isnt the only way to meet reserve requirements. Lenders may consider up to 70% of your retirement account as well, so you dont need to cash out all of your funds to meet the reserve rule. In some cases, business and gift funds may also go toward your reserve requirements.

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Should You Avoid Jumbo Financing

This page updated and accurate as of November 25, 2021 Jumbo Mortgage Source

Jumbo loans are loan amounts above local conforming loan limits, in most locations this conventional loan limit is currently $548,250. Things have changed somewhat over recent years with Jumbo loans and these changes have made them more attractive, primarily as it relates to jumbo interest rates and structuring loans.

For some lenders not very experienced in the jumbo market, consumers might get the impression the lender doesnt want to issue a jumbo loan. Why? Because one of the first things some loan officers do is to find ways around a jumbo mortgage and get a bit more creative with your purchase. Yet that might very well be a mistake, especially so for those with higher credit scores and greater down payment.

In the past, say pre-2007, fixed jumbo interest rates could be more than 1.0% higher than for a conforming loan under the same circumstances. If a conforming rate was at 3.50% on a $400,000 loan a jumbo rate might be somewhere around 4.50% on a $600,000 mortgage. Using a 30 year fixed rate of 4.50%, the 1.0% difference can mean a lot, especially over the long term. Thats why some loan officers will run different scenarios in order to avoid the perceived pain of a jumbo rate.

Now, instead of a single jumbo loan, keep the first mortgage at $548,250 and follow up with a second lien of $91,750. Using the lower 3.5% conforming rate on $548,250 the principal and interest payment would be $2,461

How Can I Get Around Jumbo Loan Requirements

Jumbo Mortgage: What is a jumbo mortgage?

Jumbo loans are home mortgage for more than the size limit set by the government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The GSEs are limited by law to the maximum mortgage loans they can make. Homeowners or buyers who need a jumbo loan will pay a higher rate of interest than with a “conforming” loan–that is, one that conforms to the Fannie and Freddie limits. For example, in August 2010, Wells Fargo bank was quoting a rate of 4.375 percent for conforming mortgages and 5.125 percent on jumbo loans


Look up the conforming loan limit for the area where you home is located. In 2010, the national limit is $417,000, but some areas of the country have limits as high as $729,750. A link to the Federal Housing Finance Authority where the loan limits can be downloaded is provided in the Resources section.


Calculate the difference between your projected jumbo loan amount and the local conforming limit. For example, if you are planning to finance $750,000 in Paso Robles, Calif. where the limit is $687,500, your projected loan is $62,500 into jumbo loan territory.


Consider a second mortgage loan for the amount over the conforming limit. In the example above, you could get a second mortgage for the $62,500 and get a conforming loan for $687,500. Obtaining a second mortgage loan or paying the difference in cash are your two options to avoid using a jumbo loan.


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Whats Considered A Jumbo Loan In 2021

Lysa Catlin is a senior loan consultant for Caliber Home Loans, Inc. She says the Federal Housing Finance Agency announces new conforming loan limits each year, which dictate the threshold for a conforming loan vs. a jumbo loan.

The conforming limit is now $548,250. Anything above that amount is considered a jumbo mortgage, Catlin explains.Note that there are some high-cost areas where conforming loan limits are a little more generous.

In some real estate markets, the limit for a single-family home goes as high as $822,375.

  • Most markets: Loan amounts greater than $548,250 are considered jumbo loans
  • High-cost markets: Loan amounts greater than $822,375 are considered jumbo loans

Keep in mind that the upper limit for conforming loans is the lower limit for jumbo loans.

But jumbo mortgages also have caps, which can vary by lender.

Some mortgage companies will go up to $2 or $3 million on a jumbo loan. Others will lend as much as $10 to $15 million and beyond.

Of course, you have to be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments on a multi-million-dollar loan to qualify. And thats why lenders have such strict underwriting criteria for jumbo loans.

Who Should Take Out A Jumbo Loan

How much you can ultimately borrow depends, of course, on your assets, your credit score, and the value of the property you’re interested in buying. These mortgages are considered most appropriate for a segment of high-income earners who make between $250,000 and $500,000 a year. This segment is known as HENRY, an acronym for high earners, not rich yet. Basically, these are people who generally make a lot of money but don’t have millions in extra cash or other assets accumulatedyet.

While an individual in the HENRY segment may not have amassed the wealth to purchase an expensive new home with cash, such high-income individuals do usually have better credit scores and more extensively established than the average homebuyer seeking a conventional mortgage loan for a lower amount. They also tend to have more solidly established retirement accounts. They often have been contributing for a longer period of time than lower-income earners.

Don’t expect a big tax break on a jumbo loan. The cap on the mortgage interest deduction is limited to $750,000 for new mortgage debt.

These are just the sorts of individuals that institutions love to sign up for long-term products, partly because they often need additional wealth management services. Plus, it’s more practical for a bank to administer a single $2 million mortgage than 10 loans valued at $200,000 apiece.

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San Francisco Bay Area: $765600

As you might have guessed, the San Francisco Bay Area is another one of those higher-priced real estate markets that gets the highest conforming / jumbo loan limit in 2020. In this region of California, the jumbo loan threshold starts at $765,600. Within the Bay Area, that limit applies to Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

Summary Of Jumbo Vs Conforming Loans

HELOCs and Avoiding Jumbo Loans

Jumbo mortgages are loans issued for amounts over the FHFA loan limit. They are riskier for lenders to issue since they aren’t insured by the government. Jumbo loans:

  • May require high credit scores
  • May require high cash reserves
  • May require a larger down payment
  • May require a lower DTI than conventional mortgages
  • May require an LTV of 80% or lower
  • Are available in both fixed and variable rates
  • Can have competitive interest rates
  • May have higher monthly payments
  • May have higher closing costs

Conforming mortgages are loans that are within the FHFA loan limit. These are less risky for lenders since they are owned by Fannie Mac or Freddie Mac. Conforming mortgages:

  • May require a lower credit score than jumbo mortgages
  • May not require cash reserves
  • May allow a lower down payment
  • May allow a higher DTI than jumbo loans
  • May allow a higher LTV than jumbo loans
  • Are available in both fixed and variable rates
  • Can have competitive interest rates, depending on the lender
  • May have lower monthly payments than jumbo loans
  • May have lower closing costs than jumbo loans

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The Piggyback Jumbo Mortgage

Need a jumbo mortgage but you don’t want to pay a jumbo mortgage rate? You might consider a piggyback loan.

A piggyback loan is an arrangement where you use two mortgages, instead of just one, to finance the purchase of a home. The second, smaller mortgage is said to “piggyback” on top of the primary loan.

With a jumbo piggyback loan, you can take out a low-interest conforming mortgage for part of the loan, then a second piggyback loan for the remainder. In some cases, it may also enable you to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance as well.

Piggyback mortgages, sometimes called blended mortgages, are much less common than they were a few years ago, when they were a popular type of home financing during the boom years of the last decade. But they still can be a very practical way to save money when buying a home.

How Can I Avoid A Jumbo Loan

If you want a high-priced home but youd rather avoid a jumbo loan, there are two options that could help you:

  • Make a down payment big enough to reduce your mortgage amount below local loan limits
  • Consider a piggyback loan, meaning you take out a second mortgage to supplement your down payment and reduce the size of your first mortgage
  • A piggyback loan lets you take out a second mortgage at the same time as your first. The second mortgage is typically a home equity line of credit , and it acts as a down payment to help reduce the amount youre borrowing on the primary mortgage.

    Of course, a piggyback loan means youd have two monthly mortgage payments. And youre paying interest on the HELOC as well as the first mortgage. So if youre considering this strategy, you should run the numbers on a piggyback loan and a jumbo loan to see which one is really cheaper in the long run.

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    Good Candidates For A Jumbo Loan

    If your new homes purchase price exceeds conforming loan limit in your area, a jumbo loan may be your best option.

    Just keep in mind that to qualify and afford the monthly payments on a jumbo loan, youll need a healthy income. Thats true even if youre not making a big down payment.

    We only recommend people take out mortgages they are comfortable making the on, says Catlin.

    We often see people put less money down initially and then pay the mortgage balance down in chunks later. That can be especially smart when they have a home to sell, expect stock to vest, or will be inheriting money.

    Also, says Jeanette, say interest rates are low and you can invest the down payment money in something else that will earn a higher rate of return. In this case, pursuing a low down payment jumbo loan can make sense.

    How Much Can I Borrow With A Jumbo Loan

    New Conforming Loan Limits Help Borrowers Avoid Jumbo ...

    Some lenders are more comfortable lending large sums than others. So, if you wish to borrow several million dollars, you may have to shop around more carefully than someone borrowing less than $1 million.

    But multimillion-dollar jumbo loans are quite common in high-cost areas. So it shouldnt be too hard to find what you need.

    Many lenders, including Bank of America and Quicken Loans, routinely lend up to $2 million. And some go higher. But note that many lenders are shy about detailing their jumbo loan offerings online. So youll likely have to call and chat with a loan officer to learn whats available.

    If you want to know how much you can actually borrow with a jumbo loan, get pre-approved by a mortgage lender.

    The pre-approval process looks at your income, assets, credit, and down payment to determine how much you can borrow. This is the only real way to know how much house you can afford.

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    Why Large Loan Balances Are Called Jumbo

    Jumbo loans get their name from the large loan balances available. Conforming loans for 2021 are capped at $548,250 in most parts of the country and have additional rules on borrower qualifications. In some high-cost areas, loan limits go much higher to account for local housing markets. For example, in Los Angeles County, the 2021 limit is $822,375 .

    Tying Up Your Money In A Down Payment

    You’ll usually need to put down 20% of your home’s purchase price when taking out a jumbo loan. The result? You’re left with fewer liquid assets, which can be problematic on several levels.

    The more money you’re forced to sink into your home, the less you’ll have on hand to invest elsewhere, whether in stocks, bonds, or other real estate. Furthermore, property is generally considered a relatively illiquid investment, because selling a home takes time. It can also cost a lot of money, and even if you’re able to sell in a reasonable timeframe, you may not recoup your initial investment. As such, you may find that forking over a huge down payment limits you financially, or worse yet, leaves you cash-strapped.

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    Why Do You Have To Pay Pmi

    Lenders are taking a risk when they hand over money to you for your home purchase. There is a chance that you could default on your loan and lose the home, which leaves the lender holding on to a piece of real estate that it does not want or need.

    When a creditor winds up with a home, they will sell it at an auction to get back their money, but homes selling at auctions will often sell for less than they are worth. Buyers at auctions expect homes to be in less than perfect shape and pay accordingly.

    To cover the difference between what the lender gives you to purchase the home and the amount that the home will sell for should you default, lenders, require you to carry private mortgage insurance.

    The 20% equity requirement to avoid PMI represents the financial position you need to be in for the lender to consider you unlikely to default. Of course, lots of borrowers do not have the twenty percent to put down. For those buyers who dont have the necessary funds, their first consideration is knowing how to stop paying private mortgage insurance. Eliminating private mortgage insurance is smart because it is a useless fee that offers little benefits. Canceling PMI as soon as possible is smart!

    A Historic Opportunity To Potentially Save Thousands On Your Mortgage

    Red Flags To Avoid When Underwriting Jumbo Loans – Problems To Avoid As a First Time Home Buyer ð?

    Chances are, interest rates won’t stay put at multi-decade lows for much longer. That’s why taking action today is crucial, whether you’re wanting to refinance and cut your mortgage payment or you’re ready to pull the trigger on a new home purchase.

    The Ascent’s in-house mortgages expert recommends this company to find a low rate – and in fact he used them himself to refi . and see your rate. While it doesn’t influence our opinions of products, we do receive compensation from partners whose offers appear here. We’re on your side, always. See The Ascent’s full advertiser disclosure here.

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    What Is A Conforming Loan

    A conforming home loan is one that meets, or conforms to, certain guidelines set forth by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

    Freddie and Fannie are the two government-sponsored enterprises that purchase mortgages, bundle and securitize them, and then sell them to investors through Wall Street and other channels.

    When a loan meets the purchasing criteria used by the GSEs, it is said to be a conforming loan.

    There are various criteria used to define a conforming mortgage product. But the size of the loan is one of the most important criteria, from a borrowers perspective.

    Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will only purchase loans up to a certain amount. These maximum amounts, or limits, vary by county and are updated every year.

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