A jumbo loan, also known as a jumbo mortgage, is a type of financing that exceeds the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Unlike conventional mortgages, a jumbo loan is not eligible to be purchased, guaranteed, or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Designed to finance luxury properties and homes in highly competitive local real estate markets, jumbo mortgages come with unique underwriting requirements and tax implications. These kinds of mortgages have gained traction as the housing market continues to recover following the Great Recession.
The value of a jumbo mortgage varies by state—and even county. The FHFA sets the conforming loan limit size for different areas on an annual basis, though it changes infrequently. As of 2019, the limit was set at $484,350 for most of the country. That was increased from $453,100 in 2018. For counties that have higher home values, the baseline limit is set at $726,525, or 150% of $484,350.
The FHFA has a different set of provisions for areas outside of the continental United States for loan limit calculations. As a result, the baseline limit for a jumbo loan in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands as of 2019 is also $726,525. That amount may actually be even higher in counties that have higher home values.