There’s some good news for those homebuyers looking for a larger loan amount in 2017. The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently announced that loan limits for are rising. The limit on conforming loans moves up from $417,000 to $424,100. This is the first increase in the baseline loan limit since 2006. That’s good news for those of us in the industry, but it’s better news for homebuyers.

A conforming loan — not to be confused with a conventional loan — is a mortgage loan that follows Fannie Mae guidelines. On its surface a $7000 increase may not seem like much when considering a $400,000 mortgage, but that extra bit of cash can come in very handy for those seeking the best financial advantage as possible when purchasing a new home.

Loans that exceed this new limit are considered high balance loans. This translates to higher pricing with the least flexibility. Staying under the cap will get a mortgage with the most underwriting and highest flexibility. Nonconforming or jumbo loans carry a higher interest rate than conforming loans, increasing monthly payments and negatively impacting affordability.

The new loan limit will allow more buyers to borrow more money without having to put more money down. Homeowners can refinance bigger loan sizes while staying within the conforming loan limits.

This increase comes at a time when mortgage rates have increased slightly to just over 4.0%. That’s still an excellent rate, compared to 6% in 2008 and 8% in 2000.

This bodes well for the real estate industry as a whole, with the Federal Housing Finance Agency showing greater confidence in the recovery of home prices across the country. 2017 will be another great year for homebuyers.

Ready to buy a new home or refinance the one you own? Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. I look forward to speaking with you.