A jumbo mortgage loan is one whose total amount is over $417,000 – Loans above this threshold are only slightly different than those below, yet those differences can be dramatic to borrowers unfamiliar with such a marketplace. It is also important to note that the ceiling for standard mortgage loans as opposed to Jumbo loans is not set in stone and is therefore subject to change at any time. This amount is decided by the two largest lending organizations in the Untied States, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
One of the most significant differences with a jumbo mortgage loan will be the interest rate – Since lenders consider homes with sale prices above the threshold to be “luxury” residences, they have presented a potential concern regarding successful resale of such homes, as well as an indication that appraisal values in this category do not increase as steadily as those homes below the jumbo cap. For this reason, the lenders imply that they are taking on more risk with such places, therefore higher interest rates are required to offset such liability.
Right alongside the higher interest rate will be a higher down payment requirement – It is almost impossible to obtain financing for a jumbo mortgage without a down payment, and this is directly related to the potential risks described above. Most jumbo mortgage lenders will require a minimum of 5-10%, and the amount will be dependent on the borrower’s credit.
Stricter documentation required – Since the majority of jumbo mortgage loans are with “alternative” lenders such as insurance companies and private investment groups, these organizations will commonly have stricter documentation requirements that may include income and asset verification beyond what the standard mortgage lenders request. Also, these alternative lenders will usually have loan programs that allow for longer loan terms than those offered to borrowers below the jumbo threshold. Typically, jumbo mortgages can have terms stretching as long as 40 or even 50 years.
Jumbo Loans are Becoming Prevalent – With the steady increase of residential real estate in the United States, the necessity of jumbo mortgage loans is becoming more and more prevalent. Certain geographic regions have property values that have recently increased dramatically, therefore the increased instances of jumbo mortgages can be tracked by location. Borrowers, especially those in such areas, must familiarize themselves with the different aspects of the jumbo loans to ensure they are not caught off-guard or unprepared.