High Balance Conforming Mortgages to Reduce Down Payment Requirements

iStock-000018668640XSmallFannie Mae has announced that effective mid-December 2015, high-balance conforming mortgages will have lower down payment requirements. “high balance conforming” mortgages are loan amounts that are higher than “traditional” conforming loan limits ($417,000) and less than non-conforming mortgages and are available only in certain counties that are considered to be “higher cost”. In Washington State, currently (2015) King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County and San Juan County have “high balance conforming” loan limits. The high balance conforming loan limit for King, Snohomish and Pierce County is presently $517,500 for a single family dwelling.

High balance conforming mortgages have slightly different guidelines than traditional conforming mortgages, including loan to value and/or down payment requirements. Current conforming high balance guidelines requires a minimum 10% down payment for purchases and new guidelines will be lower.

Based on rates quoted as of 1:30 pm on October 16, 2015, for a 30 year fixed conforming high balance loan with 10% down payment, I’m quoting 3.875% (apr 4.368%) priced with 1.124 points. Rates based on a purchase of $545,000 with 10% down payment, credit scores of 740 or higher and closing by November 23, 2015. APR quoted includes private mortgage insurance as required with reduced down payment scenarios.  Rates quoted are subject to credit approval and may change at any time.

In mid- December, Fannie Mae’s updated guidelines will also no longer have the 5% minimum contribution for borrowers. This allows all home buyers to be eligible to use gifts, grants or down payment assistance programs towards closing cost.

Rates quoted are subject to credit approval and may change at any time.

If I can help you with your home purchase or refinance on property located any where in Washington state, please contact me.  Click here to start the preapproval process or here for a rate quote.


  1. Rhonda – what are the debt to income ratios when using a 740 credit score in the conforming high balance tier? Same as the traditional conforming?

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