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FHA & Conventional Loans About To Evaporate For Some Benicia, Vallejo Homebuyers?

How Much Can You BorrowUnless Congress steps in soon, some Benicia, Vallejo homebuyers may find it impossible to get an FHA or conventional loan by early Fall.

That’s because loan limits for the two loan programs that cover probably at least 90% of the loans originated in Solano County are set to change come Oct. 1.

And barring Congressional action, the maximum you can borrow under both programs is going to drop substantially, which means that many Benicia, Vallejo and Solano County home buyers could suddenly find themselves needing to come up with tens of thousands more in down payment or accept a costlier “jumbo” loan.

Right now, the maximum you can borrow with an FHA or conventional loan is $557,500. But as it stands right now, after September 30, the conforming loan limit in Solano County will drop to $417,000 and the FHA limit to $400,200, which is certain to impact local borrowers who are planning to finance a home with a loan amount that exceeds the new limits.

In plain English, that means that any borrower in Solano County who is today planning to buy a home for more than $415,000 with an FHA loan or more than $463,000 with a conventional loan could find getting a loan potentially tougher and definitely more expensive if they wait until October.

If you’re not in contract by the end of September and want to use an FHA or conventional loan on a home that exceeds the new loan limits, your only options will be to come up with a large enough down payment to cover the difference or try to qualify for a costlier jumbo loan.

And it’s not just Solano County that’s affected. Unless Congress steps in and extends the current loan limits, which have been in effect since 2008, FHA and conventional loan limits will drop in every Bay Area county in October.

The biggest decline for FHA loans in the Bay Area will be right here in Solano County, where the FHA limit will drop by $157,300 (the conventional loan limit in Solano will fall by $140,500). With the exception of Napa and Sonoma Counties, most other Bay Area counties will see their loan limits fall about $100,000.

And Solano will be the only Bay Area county where FHA and conventional loans will have different loan limits.

Here are the new scheduled loan limits for the rest of the Bay Area:

  • Napa County – from $729,750 to $592,250.
  • Sonoma County — from $662,500 to $520,950.
  • Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo & Santa Clara Counties  — from $729,750 to $625,500.

Now, it’s only June, so a lot can happen between now and the end of September. It’s possible that lobbyists will succeed in getting Congress to extend the current loan limits or at least come up with an amount somewhere between today’s limits and the scheduled Oct. 1 figures.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this and will post updates if anything changes.

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