For loan amounts which exceed the standard conventional loan limits for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac.
Jumbo mortgage loans are a higher risk for lenders, mainly due to their larger size rather than credit quality. This is because if a jumbo mortgage loan defaults, it may be harder to sell a luxury residence quickly for full price. Luxury prices are more vulnerable to market highs and lows in some cases. That is one reason lenders prefer to have a higher down payment from jumbo loan seekers. Jumbo home prices can be more subjective and not as easily sold to a mainstream borrower, therefore many lenders may require two appraisals on a jumbo mortgage loan.
The interest rate charged on jumbo mortgage loans is generally higher than a loan that is conforming, due to the higher risk to the lender. The spread, or difference between the two rates, depends on the current market price of risk. While typically the spread fluctuates between 0.25 and 0.5%, at times of high investor anxiety, such as August 2007, it can exceed one and a half percentage points. It can be more expensive to refinance a jumbo loan due to the closing costs. Some lenders will offer the service of an extension and consolidation agreement, so that a jumbo refinance borrower will not have to pay for mortgage tax again on the same principal balance. In other cases, title insurance companies will offer up to a 50% discount, often required by law for those refinancing within 1 year to 10 years. The largest discount is for refinancing within one year.
Jumbo loan rates have reached historic lows in recent years, and the interest on loans up to $1 million may be tax-deductible.
Many jumbo mortgage lenders may allow you to take out a second mortgage for a combined loan-to-value ratio of up to 90 percent.
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