Summary: Conforming loan limits in Snohomish County, WA will go up in 2020, giving homebuyers more room when it comes to the loan amount they take out to purchase a property.
Consider it a New Year’s gift from housing officials. Loan limits for Snohomish County, Washington will go up in response to rising home values.
The revised conforming loan limit for Snohomish County is $741,750, for a single-family home. Anything above that is considered a “jumbo” mortgage, meaning it’s too large to be sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Snohomish County Conforming Loan Limits for 2020
Here are the revised conforming loan limits for Snohomish County in 2020:
- One-unit: $741,750
- Two-unit: $949,600
- Three-unit: $1,147,800
- Four-unit: $1,426,450
Notes: In this context, a “one-unit” property is a regular single-family home. That’s the limit that applies to most home buyers in Snohomish County. The two, three, and four-unit caps mostly apply to real estate investors purchasing multi-unit properties like duplexes and triplexes.
Rising Home Values Bring Higher Mortgage Caps
In December 2019, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it would increase the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In most of the country, the 2019 maximum limit for a one-unit property will be $741,750.
Loan limits are set at the county level, officially, but they are usually the same across an entire metro area. So the 2020 caps shown above apply to the greater Seattle metropolitan area, including King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.
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This change should come as welcome news to home buyers and mortgage shoppers in Snohomish County. The higher loan limits will give borrowers more properties to choose from, without venturing into jumbo mortgage territory. (A jumbo loan is one that exceeds the conforming loan limit within the county where the home is located, and therefore cannot be sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.)
The Seattle Effect
According to Zillow, the median home price across Snohomish County rose by 1.8% during 2019, to land at $469,700 at year’s end. So why is the single-family conforming loan limit for Snohomish County so much higher than that? The answer has to do with the metro area grouping mentioned earlier.
Loan limits are generally kept uniform across metro areas, and home prices in and around Seattle are much higher than the countywide average for Pierce County. Seattle’s median home price is north of $718,500, as of December 2019. That’s why the conforming loan limit is set at nearly $741,750. Call it the “Seattle effect.”
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