As the heart of the Sunshine State, Orlando is renowned for its vibrant city life and world-class attractions. Amidst this bustling real estate market, the term ‘jumbo loans’ often crops up for luxury homebuyers.
For many new homeowners, jumbo loans may be the key to unlocking the door to their dream property. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about jumbo loans in Orlando, ensuring you make an informed decision about all the options available in 2024.
What is a Jumbo loan in Orlando?
Jumbo loans, also known as non-conforming loans, differ from conventional loans due to their higher loan amounts, exceeding the conforming limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The current conforming loan limit for Orange, Seminole, Osceola and surrounding counties is $766,550 for a standard (1) unit property in 2024. Please see the chart below for muti-unit properties. Any loan exceeding this amount would be considered a jumbo mortgage.
Jumbo loans are often used to finance higher-cost luxury homes in more expensive neighborhoods like Winter Park, Windermere and Dr. Philips to name a few. In Orlando, the housing market is still strong and home prices have continued to increase in recent years. Jumbo loans have become a popular option for new homeowners looking to purchase their dream property.
Benefits of Jumbo Loans
Higher Loan Amounts:
The most obvious benefit of a jumbo mortgages is the ability to finance properties that surpass the limits of a standard conventional loan. In Florida, where luxury properties are often at a premium, the higher loan ceiling can be a game-changer for buyers who have their sights set on real estates in premium locations within the city.
Flexibility in Property Types:
Jumbo loans provide the flexibility to purchase various types of properties, from custom-built homes, condominiums and waterfront properties. Please note that vacant land, acreage or investor rehab properties are not permitted.
Competitive Interest Rates:
Contrary to popular belief, jumbo loans can come with competitive interest rates, particularly for well-qualified borrowers. In a market like Orlando’s, where high-end properties are in demand, lenders may be more competitive with their jumbo loan rates to secure the business of qualified buyers. Buyers often use combo “piggyback” loan options to help offset costs and keep the first mortgage in line to conforming limits when possible.
Orlando Jumbo Loan Criteria
Minimum Down Payments:
While traditional mortgages often require a down payment of 20% or more, jumbo loans in can often be obtained with down payments as low as 5%. This can be especially beneficial for buyers who are looking to preserve their cash flow but still want to invest in a higher-value property. However, keep in mind that a larger down payment of 10%+ typically results in better interest rates and lower monthly payments.
Credit Score Requirements:
Jumbo loans typically have higher credit score requirements compared to traditional mortgages. Lenders want to ensure that they are lending to responsible and financially stable borrowers, so having a strong credit score can be crucial for securing a jumbo loan. A minimum credit score of 700 or higher is generally required for max 95% financing, but lower credit scores are permitted for borrowers with 10%-20% down payment.
Another factor that lenders consider when approving a jumbo loan is the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio (DTI). This is the percentage of your monthly gross income that goes towards paying debts, including mortgage payments. Generally, lenders prefer a DTI of 43% or lower, although some may allow up to 50% for well-qualified borrowers.
The type of property being purchased also plays a role in the approval process for jumbo loans. Lenders may have different requirements depending on whether you are buying a primary residence, vacation home, or investment property. In general, the max financing is only reserved for primary homes. Vacation home purchases are available with 10% or greater down payment. Investment properties generally require 20-25% down payment.
Expect to provide more extensive documentation when applying for a jumbo loan, including detailed financial records and income verification. This is because lenders need to be certain of a borrower’s ability to manage a larger loan responsibly. Generally the previous (2) years of tax returns and or/W2s. *Note, self-employed business owners do have special bank statement deposit programs available as well.
Navigating the Loan Process
Before beginning your house hunt, securing a pre-approval for a jumbo loan is highly recommended. The pre-approval process will provide you with a clear understanding of your budget and can be a strong advantage when making an offer on a high-end property. This process involves a quick loan application, credit inquiry and later submitting documentation, such as income and asset documents. It is also important to have a strong credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio in order to increase your chances of receiving a pre-approval.
With a jumbo loan, the appraisal process is particularly important. An extensive, high-quality appraisal is necessary to determine the true value of the property, which will influence the terms of your loan. In select cases for higher loan amounts exceeding $2.5m the lender could require (2) appraisals.
Underwriting and Approval:
The underwriting process for a jumbo loan is pretty similar to a regular conventional loan. The lender will review your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and other financial factors to assess your ability to repay the loan. They may also require additional documentation, such as tax returns and bank statements.
Once your application has been fully underwritten and approved, you will receive a loan commitment letter outlining the terms of your jumbo loan. It is important to carefully review this document and ask any questions you may have before signing it.
The final step in obtaining a jumbo loan is the closing process. This is when all necessary paperwork is signed, funds are transferred, and ownership of the property officially changes hands. You will be required to pay the closing costs previously negotiated in the contract, which can include fees for appraisals, title searches, attorney fees, and more.
Jumbo Loan Misconceptions and FAQs
There are several misconceptions about jumbo loans, particularly when it comes to interest rates and eligibility. Don’t assume that a jumbo loan will automatically come with a higher rate or stringent requirements. Many borrowers are pleasantly surprised by the competitive offerings available to them.
Frequently Asked Questions:
It’s natural to have questions about the process, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Some common questions pertain to how the interest rates are determined, the pros and cons of fixed versus adjustable rates, and the process of refinancing a jumbo loan. Many of these queries and more are addressed in the Jumbo loan FAQ’s here.
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