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No Change for Conforming Loan Limits for 2013: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on November 30 that the conforming loan limits for 2013 will remain at $417,000 for most areas in the U.S. Loan limits are set annually by FHFA and apply to conventional loans that Fannie Mae may acquire.

The $729,750 FHA limit for some areas stipulated in the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 signed into law on February 2008, regularly extended by Congress over the years, was again extended through at least 2012. However, the high balance conforming limit by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was reduced to $625,500 on October 1, 2011.

The conforming loan limit determines the maximum size of a mortgage that Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy or guarantee. Non-conforming or jumbo loans typically carry a higher mortgage interest rate than a conforming loan, increasing the monthly payment and negatively impacting affordability for households in higher cost states.

DU Re-Fi Plus: If your home loan is owned by Fannie Mae and the loan amount is $417,000 or less, you may be qualified for Fannie Mae sponsored DU Re-Fi Plus - here is how to look up if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae. Under this program, you can borrow up to 105% of the value of the home. Your loan cannot qualify if you currently have mortgage insurance on your property.

100% Financing For VA Loans: It is still possible for veterans or active duty military personnel to purchase a home without down payment as long as the buyer's income can qualify.

The VA funding Fee that VA charge to guarantee the loan can also be financed. Beware that VA would not allow certain closing costs, however VA will allow up to 4% of seller concession to pay for these costs. Please call the Office for details. VA loan is assumable so long as the new buyer can qualify for the loan.

VA Loan Streamline Refinance: VA offers a streamline refinance program for VA Loan holders who are seeking to benefit from lower interest rates. Under this program, many documentation such as income documentation or appraisal are not needed making this process extremely easy. Loan agent is allowed to earn up to 1% of the loan amount.

USDA Rural Development Loans: This is another government guaranteed loan program that many people are unaware of. USDA restricts the loans only to buyers who earn up to certain amount and to properties located within the designated rural areas. Properties located in the majority of areas in Maui, Big Island and in the entire island of Kauai are qualified. Properties outside of Honolulu and Waipahu on the island Oahu are also qualified. If qualified, buyers can borrows up to 102% of the purchase price. Please call the Office to find out whether your buyers or the property can qualify for this loan.

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