What is a Jumbo Mortgage?
A jumbo mortgage doesn’t have a technical “definition”. It is the “white space” where Agency mortgages stop. If it had a static definition it would never be the same two years in a row. And Jumbos have multiple variables.
For the most up-to-date Conforming, High Balance, and Jumbo Loan Limits click here.
Most Agency backed mortgages also have a “High Balance” feature which is overlaid by county limitations. In the counties, we do most of our work in (Essex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Middlesex, Rockingham, Strafford) that limit goes significantly – providing you more borrowing power for homes in higher-priced areas.
An astute Loan Officer realizes that there is a choice greater than the conforming loan limit to pursue either an (A) Agency High Balance OR a (B) Jumbo application. BOTH HAVE INDIVIDUAL ADVANTAGES (and weaknesses) that are too complicated and fluid to list here.
If your mortgage balance exceeds the top loan limits be sure to engage a competent mortgage advisor to guide you on the choices. I promise if there is only 1 tool in the toolbox…. that will be the recommended tool. Our experience shows that in EVERY case, one tool will have a vast competitive advantage over the other. Many mortgage companies (but not GoldCoast) restrict their jumbo offering to just Adjustable Rate Mortgages.
The definition of a jumbo mortgage is closest to that of an orphan. It doesn’t have the benefits of an Agency mortgage and at certain times, it is not wanted by the investment community. Access to a jumbo mortgage, as demonstrated in the 2009 to 2014 period, is not always a certainty.