Jumbo loans, jumbo prices

- Cindy Lane | Sun

In the market for a high-end property, say over $1 million? You’ll have no shortage of choices on Anna Maria Island based on my latest three-month analysis of $1 million and over properties. But before you start looking for that high-end dream if you’re planning on financing it, you need to get acquainted with jumbo – no, not the elephant, the mortgage.

A jumbo mortgage is a home loan for an amount that exceeds conforming loan limits established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government entity that purchases loans from lenders. If a loan amount is higher than a certain number, neither of the two government sponsored entities will purchase the loan. However, the conforming amount is not the same in all parts of the country and indeed not even in all counties within a state.

Manatee County’s conforming number is $424,100, which means that any home loan above this amount is considered a jumbo loan. This is a number that is around the national average, however, in very expensive areas of the country like New York City and San Francisco, it increases substantially.

Just like conforming home loans, jumbo loan home buyers have a wide range of choices from established banks to on-line loan lenders. You can go directly to a lender or you can use a broker who will seek out the best rate and terms for you. Another good idea for jumbo borrowers is to do business with banks where you may already have a relationship with, either through business or personal. Many of these lenders will keep jumbo loans on their books and not sell them on the secondary market.

So, let’s look at properties that have closed in April, May and June at over $1 million on Anna Maria and in Cortez that probably required jumbo financing. We’ll also look at over $1 million listings that are on the market as of this writing. Closed properties are from the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office and on the market properties are from the realtor.com website.

Cortez had one sale over $1 million during the three months analyzed, but it currently has six on the market and one pending between $1 and $2 million.

The city of Anna Maria had 15 sales $1 million or over during April, May and June with a high of $3,400,000. The city currently has 36 properties for sale and nine pending with a high of $4,995,000. There also are three listed over $3 million and three listed over $2 million.

The combined sold properties during April, May and June over $1 million for Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach were 21 with a high of $3,495,000. On the market, as of this writing, there were 52 properties over $1 million and six pending. The top available property is $9,900,000, but there also is a property listed at just under $5 million, two over $3 million and eight $2 million or over.

The Island and Cortez continue pushing up the price point in this relatively small waterfront community. With almost 100 $1 million or over properties available, jumbo loan buyers can have a field day. Never-the-less, whether you’re a jumbo buyer or not, do your homework when shopping for a loan. There are many products to choose from, so choose wisely.

I’ll be back in three months with another look at our high-end market, which is starting to look less high-end and more normal. Where will it end?