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Conventional Loan Limits In California 2021


A happy black couple smiles in front a home they purchased after the conventional loan limits were increased.

The U.S. Median Home Price has increased over 15% year over year – so it is no surprise that the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) has increased the Conforming Conventional Loan Limits significantly for 2021.

Conforming Conventional Loan Limits refer to the maximum loan amounts that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow for financing for one, two, three and four-unit properties.

The two tables below show the new 2021 Conforming Conventional Loan Limits as well as the current loan limits for 2021.

The 2021 loan limits increased by about 7.5% over 2020’s.


Low Cost Counties

NUMBER OF UNITS:1 Unit2 Units3 Units4 Units
LOAN AMOUNT:$548,250$702,000$848,500$1,054,500

High Cost Counties

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


Conventional mortgages are institutional mortgages that are not insured by the FHA (Federal Housing Administration), or guaranteed by the VA (Veterans Administration), or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. FHA and VA mortgages are sometimes informally referred to as “government loans.” In other words, conventional mortgages are most institutional mortgages other than government loans. Conventional mortgages include conforming loans, but they also include jumbo and portfolio loans.

Calculating the conventional loan limit in California is easy using JVM Lending's resources.


Here are some of the reasons why “Loan Limits Matter:”

  1. Lower Down Payments. Competitive jumbo financing (required for any loan that exceeds the conforming loan limit) requires at least 20% down. In sharp contrast, the most competitive conforming financing is available with as little as 5% down.
  2. Appraisal Waivers and/or Limited Appraisal Requirements. Appraisal waivers are becoming more and more common for conforming financing, as more and more properties end up in Fannie and Freddie’s database (a requirement for an appraisal waiver). In addition, Fannie and Freddie are becoming more flexible with respect to appraisal inspections in general in our post-COVID world.
  3. More Flexible Underwriting Guidelines. Conforming loan guidelines are much more flexible in general than jumbo guidelines, allowing for high debt ratios, less reserves, lower credit scores, smaller down payments, and much else.
  4. Faster Closes. Because conforming loans have less stringent underwriting and appraisal requirements, we can close them in 14 days. In contrast, we need at least 21 days to close every jumbo loan.
  5. Lower Interest Rates. While it is true that some jumbo lenders, including JVM, now offer jumbo rates as low as their conforming rates, many (if not most) loan officers do not have access to the most competitive jumbo investors. When that is the case, conforming interest rates are much lower than the available jumbo rates.


A conforming mortgage “conforms” to Fannie Mae (Fannie) and Freddie Mac (Freddie) underwriting guidelines and is therefore eligible for purchase by Fannie and Freddie. Fannie and Freddie are the quasi-governmental organizations set up to create a secondary market for mortgages (outside of banks alone). The majority of all mortgages obtained in the United States are conforming. Conforming loans must comply with the loan limits in your county.


If you have any questions about home loans, mortgage rates, or conforming loan limits in California, please reach out to our team! We are available 7 days a week and guarantee 60-minute response time.

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