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Jumbo Mortgages Becoming More Popular
In the greater scheme of things, jumbo loans donâ€™t account for a very big part of the market, but they might be the right answer for you if you are interested in buying a home that costs much more than you can borrow with a conforming mortgage loan (currently $417,000, except for high-cost areas around major cities such as New York and Los Angeles where the limit is $625,500). Interest rates for these loans are very competitive and in some cases lower than rates for conforming loans.
In todayâ€™s market, mortgage lenders are happy to tell you about their jumbo loans for a number of reasons:
Lower rates Itâ€™s not that often that consumers see interest rates on jumbo loans lower than rates for conforming loans. Typically, lenders charge more for these loans, as the higher balances mean investors are taking on more risk. Mortgage experts say jumbo rates are likely to remain low this year in comparison with non-jumbos. Lenders are still courting affluent borrowers and want to add more of these loans to their books. The lowest rates will continue to be on the adjustable-rate jumbos while fixed-rate jumbos are expected to get pricier later in the year.
Tougher guidelines Fewer lenders will make exceptions for borrowers who donâ€™t supply full income documentation. Affluent jumbo borrowers have been able to provide partial documentation with some lenders and still get approvedâ€”a setup that helped those who are self-employed or have complex income structures.
This is great news if youâ€™re earning a better-than-average income, have some assets and are looking for a loan that is too big to be sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But remember, the lowest rates are always offered on adjustable rate mortgages â€” loans with interest rates that are tied to an index and can float up or down. If youâ€™re only going to be in the home for a short time, a very low interest rate ARM may serve your needs. If youâ€™re going to be there longer, take care you donâ€™t get caught in a loan with an increasing interest rate that you may find more difficult to refinance out of in the future.
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