How big is a jumbo loan?
That’s a simple question with a rather complex answer. Because of the differences in markets, there is no single answer for the entire country.
Therefore, if you need a loan that is higher than normal, you have to know the specific loan limits set for your area, which will help you determine the jumbo loan amount.
What is a Jumbo Loan?
A jumbo loan is essentially any large mortgage loan. But what constitutes “large?” That depends on the area.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sets specific loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two companies that were created by the U.S. government to support the housing market. Loans at or below these limits are called “conventional loans.” Anything above is a “jumbo loan.”
But the FHFA understands that no two markets are the same, so they set specific limits for each county in the nation. Going county-by-county might seem too broad for some; after all, one city in a county could have an extremely-expensive real estate market compared to another city in the same county.
Whatever their flaws, these limits remain the defining factor for the size of jumbo loans. And as you’ll see, the loan limits can vary widely depending on your area…
Jumbo-Loan Amounts: How Big is “Jumbo?”
Most Counties in the United States: $453,100
For most places across the country, the limit for a conventional loan is exactly $453,100. This is the highest loan limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it applies to a large section of the entire country, including whole states. This includes Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, Maine, and Arizona, among others. In these states, any loan over $453,100 will be a jumbo loan.
In fact, it’s not until you get into the denser metropolitan areas that you see significant increases in the loan limits set by the FHFA. And even then, the limits may not rise.
Jumbo-Loan Amounts in San Diego and Nearby Regions
San Diego County: $649,750
It should come as no surprise that San Diego County is among the top real-estate markets in the country. Jumbo loans in San Diego are around $650,000 and up, and anyone from our area knows there are plenty of homes well above this number.
Imperial County: $453,100
With a population and economy much smaller than San Diego County, Imperial County has a less expensive real-estate market. Still, any loan for a house above $453,100 in Imperial County is considered a jumbo loan.
Riverside County: $453,100
There is generally more economic activity in Riverside County compared to Imperial, so you could expect it to be higher in loan limits. However, the limit remains at the lowest level for conforming loans.
Orange County: $679,650
Orange County has a national reputation for high incomes and lots of economic activity, and this reputation is supported by the fact the Orange County has a loan limit of $679,650. The good news is that buyers can get conventional loans, not jumbo loans, for transactions at $679,650 or lower.
Jumbo-Loan Amounts in Other Noteworthy California Areas
Los Angeles: $679,650
As the most populous county in California, Los Angeles has a loan limit of $679,650. There are, of course, plenty of homes in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Glendale, and many other cities in the county that are priced above this number and will require a jumbo loan.
San Francisco: $679,650
With a rapidly-growing real-estate market, San Francisco has a conforming loan limit of $679,650. It’s not only a top area for jobs; the City by the Bay also has a real estate market that tends to demand expensive purchases, often requiring jumbo loans.
Home to our state’s capital, Sacramento County has a loan limit of $517,500. This limit means many will need a jumbo loan, especially in the city of Sacramento.
Jumbo-Loan Amounts in Noteworthy Areas Around the Country
New York City: $679,650
Pretty much the entire New York metro area has a loan limit of $679,650. This includes Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, parts of New Jersey, and all of Long Island.
As the nation’s 3rd-largest city, it would be easy to assume that Chicago would have a larger limit. However, Cook County, home of the Windy City, has a loan limit of $453,100.
Located in Harris County, Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest city in the United States. This status would arguably warrant a larger loan limit, but it the county, and therefore the city of Houston, has a limit of $453,100.
Florida Keys: $529,000
Looking for a place in the Florida Keys? Then you will be subject to the loan limits of Monroe County, which are set at $529,000. This means many of the waterfront homes, which easily go into the millions of dollars, will need jumbo loans.
At the opposite corner of the country, Seattle, located in King County, is one of the fastest-growing markets in the nation. The loan limits are high but anything over $667,000 will call for a jumbo loan.
Austin, Texas: $453,100
Austin, Texas has a rapidly-expanding market, with thousands of people flocking to the area every year. Despite the growth, the loan limits in Travis County remain at the national minimum, meaning many Austin-area borrowers will need jumbo loans.
Nashville, Tennessee: $494,500
If you look at the loan-limits map of the entire U.S., you’ll see a lot of grey, marking the minimum limit. In the middle of the country, however, there is a clump of counties in western Tennessee with higher limits. This is the Nashville area, which it been an expanding region for business and technology. This market growth is reflected in their slightly-higher loan limits.
Get Reliable Support for Your Jumbo Loan
At San Diego Purchase Loans, we are proud to assist with all kinds of mortgage lending, including VA loans, conventional loans, and jumbo loans. With knowledge, support, and a dedication to common-sense underwriting, we can help you get the right loan for your specific needs.
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I really enjoyed working with Chad Baker and the rest of the team. This was our first time buying a home in California and we started with unnecessary assumptions based on our previous experience as home-owners in a different state. Chad and his team were available throughout the whole process, explaining the state differences, answering all our phone calls and emails quickly and directly, and providing detailed weekly status reports so that all parties including agents knew exactly where we were in the process. Chad was very experienced and provided customized loan products for us to consider, which definitely facilitated our transaction. I recommend the Chad Baker team! ”
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