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2021 FHA Loan Limits Don’t Always Match Conforming Limits; Beware!

A husband and wife toast to closing on their home using an FHA loan with the new loan limits just in time for the holidays.

FHA recently announced its conforming loan limits for 2021.

The “High Cost” limits mostly match conforming (Fannie and Freddie) loan limits, but the low cost limits are much lower than Fannie’s and Freddie’s.

So, here are FHA’s 2021 maximum high cost and low cost loan limits:

2021 FHA LOAN LIMITS

Low Cost Counties Maximum

NUMBER OF UNITS:1 Unit2 Units3 Units4 Units
LOAN AMOUNT:$356,362$456,275$551,500$685,400

High Cost Counties Maximum

NUMBER OF UNITS:1 Unit2 Units3 Units4 Units
LOAN AMOUNT:$822,375$1,053,000$1,272,750$1,581,750

CONFORMING LOAN LIMITS DO NOT ALWAYS MATCH FHA LOAN LIMITS!

It is very important to remember that FHA Loan Limits are often much lower than Conforming Loan Limits.

This is because FHA approved borrowers (and their agents) sometimes mistakenly bid on homes that take them beyond the loan limit in the area.

This is often the case in counties surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area where FHA loan limits drop precipitously, as soon as buyers leave the “high cost counties” surrounding the SF Bay.

TEXAS

The Conforming Loan Limit for the entire state of Texas is $548,250.

But, the FHA Limits are are often far lower, e.g. Travis and Williamson Counties: $416,300; Bexar County: $403,650; and Dallas County: $411,700.

CALIFORNIA

The Bay Area and much of coastal California have FHA loan limits of $822,375.

And, unlike Texas, California’s FHA Loan Limits match Conforming Loan limits in most cases.

But borrowers still should be aware of the lower limits if they venture outside high cost areas in search of more affordable housing.

Solano County’s FHA Limit is $550,850 (matching its conforming limit but much lower than nearby Contra Costa’s Limit of $822,375).

Sacramento County’s FHA Limit is $598,000; San Joaquin County’s Limit is $483,000; and San Bernardino’s Limit is $442,000.

WHY WE LOVE FHA STILL

I blog often about why we still love FHA financing. This blog, setting out why FHA is advantageous in hot markets, is one example.

Remember that FHA allows for “as is” properties; FHA loans can close in 14 days – easily; FHA interest rates are much lower than conforming loan rates; and FHA guidelines are much more flexible overall.

In addition, FHA only requires a 3.5% down payment.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 1197176, NMLS# 310167

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