Jumbo Loans

Have you considered an Adjustable Loan?

Payments could be lower for the initial fixed term. 

Have you considered Interest Only?

That means you would not be paying down your loan for a set term, but it would be a way to lower your payment. 

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What’s different about a Jumbo Loan compared to a Conventional Loan?


Anyone that has purchased or refinanced a property knows that getting an appraisal can be a real problem. They take so long, and Appraisers are demanding rush fees and higher pricing and getting it!  But Jumbo loans typically require two appraisals!  But not all lenders do. That would be a good question to ask upfront before you commit to working with a mortgage professional.


Well, the down payment is pretty much expected, big loans, big down payment. Now while that is true, and expected, what is also true yet seems to be unexpected is that lenders want to see that Jumbo borrowers have a decent amount of cash reserves. Doesn’t seem unreasonable after all.


If you have had a bumpy credit journey you might want to think twice about getting a jumbo loan. Lenders are lending a lot, so they expect pretty good credit. Unlike Conventional, and a big contrast to FHA or Non-Prime.


Jumbo Loan Guidelines

Loan Amount Jumbo loan amounts start where Conventional loans max out. This depends on the county. But in California for example, loan amounts go from $647,000 to $970,800 in the high-cost areas.
FICO Score 700 – 720
Debt to Income Ratio When it comes to DTI, the lower the better, especially for a jumbo loan. Many lenders look for no higher than 43 percent and others will go right up to 50 percent. 


Qualifying For a Jumbo Mortgage:

Business / Employment

Whether you’re qualifying for a $500,000 mortgage or a $5 million mortgage, there is going to be a sizable monthly mortgage payment that the underwriter will want to be sure you can afford over a long period of time. It’s important to be thorough in explaining what you do for a living, the health of the industry, and the likelihood of continued employment. A company website, business licenses (self-employed), and other relevant information are important things to include with a loan application. Some underwriters may even search for your name or company on Google, so it’s smart to have an idea of what type of results and impression they’ll find if they choose to do some extra digging.


Documentation of assets is critical, and they have to make sense with the income stated on the application. For example, if the borrower states an income of $50,000 a month, then there should be sufficient assets and investments to back it up. If there are any large expenditures or deductions from checking accounts, make sure to have a paper trail or letter of explanation that clearly details the nature of the transaction.

Credit Scores

In addition to having high scores and proof of responsible borrowing history, underwriters may also look for other sizable debts that the borrower has had a positive experience managing or paying off. Public records and IRS issues will need to be thoroughly documented and explained.


The landscape has changed for appraisals, so don’t be surprised if multiple appraisals are required for financing approval on the property.


The overall borrower profile and supporting qualifying documentation have to make sense to an underwriter. Especially pertaining to the high net-worth world, the borrower’s lifestyle, assets, credit history, and income potential should follow a similar pattern to others who take on the liability of large mortgage debts. A good rule-of-thumb to keep in mind when trying to qualify for a non-conforming loan is to have your paperwork organized, as well as a good explanation prepared for anything that may raise potential questions by an underwriter about your ability to repay the mortgage over the term.

Typically, down payments for non-conforming loan amounts can be 20% or higher than the purchase price. Generally speaking, the larger the purchase price, the more money the borrower will have to bring as a down payment. Also, keep in mind that a Private Mortgage Insurance will be needed if the LTV is greater than 80%.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are jumbo loans conventional loans?

Jumbo loans are one example of a conventional loan that does not meet Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines. A jumbo loan is a loan with a dollar value above the maximum loan amount established by Fannie or Freddie. Jumbo loans usually have a higher interest rate.

California's loan limits by county
California conforming and FHA loan limits by county
County GSE 1-unit limit FHA 1-unit limit
Alameda $970,800 $970,800
Alpine $647,200 $463,450
Amador $647,200 $420,680
Butte $647,200 $420,680
Calaveras $647,200 $420,680
Colusa $647,200 $420,680
Contra Costa $970,800 $970,800
Del Norte $647,200 $420,680
El Dorado $675,050 $675,050
Fresno $647,200 $420,680
Glenn $647,200 $420,680
Humboldt $647,200 $420,680
Imperial $647,200 $420,680
Inyo $647,200 $431,250
Kern $647,200 $420,680
Kings $647,200 $420,680
Lake $647,200 $420,680
Lassen $647,200 $420,680
Los Angeles $970,800 $970,800
Madera $647,200 $420,680
Marin $970,800 $970,800
Mariposa $647,200 $420,680
Mendocino $647,200 $506,000
Merced $647,200 $420,680
Modoc $647,200 $420,680
Mono $647,200 $563,500
Monterey $854,450 $854,450
Napa $897,000 $897,000
Nevada $647,200 $609,500
Orange $970,800 $970,800
Placer $675,050 $675,050
Plumas $647,200 $420,680
Riverside $647,200 $562,350
Sacramento $675,050 $675,050
San Benito $970,800 $970,800
San Bernardino $647,200 $562,350
San Diego $879,750 $879,750
San Francisco $970,800 $970,800
San Joaquin $647,200 $563,500
San Luis Obispo $805,000 $805,000
San Mateo $970,800 $970,800
Santa Barbara $783,150 $783,150
Santa Clara $970,800 $970,800
Santa Cruz $970,800 $970,800
Shasta $647,200 $420,680
Sierra $647,200 $420,680
Siskiyou $647,200 $420,680
Solano $647,200 $614,100
Sonoma $764,750 $765,750
Stanislaus $647,200 $460,000
Sutter $647,200 $420,900
Tehama $647,200 $420,680
Trinity $647,200 $420,680
Tulare $647,200 $420,680
Tuolumne $647,200 $420,680
Ventura $851,000 $851,000
Yolo $675,050 $675,050
Yuba $647,200 $420,900

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