Do Homebuyers in Seattle Need a Jumbo Loan?

With rising home prices in Seattle, some buyers may wonder if they’ll need a jumbo loan or can still qualify for a conventional mortgage. Here’s how to tell.

Seattle’s Conventional Limit

For most of King County where Seattle is located, the maximum for a conventional conforming loan in 2023 is $970,800.

This applies to mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The limit is higher than most areas because Seattle is considered a high-cost market.

When a Jumbo is Necessary

If the purchase price of the home you want is above $970,800, you won’t be able to get a conventional loan. Instead, you’ll need a nonconforming jumbo mortgage.

Jumbo loans have higher minimum amounts, such as $750,000 or $1 million depending on the lender.

Stricter Requirements

Since they aren’t government-backed, jumbos come with higher standards for credit scores, income and reserves, and lower debt-to-income ratios. Down payments are usually around 10-20%.

So in Seattle’s competitive housing market, buyers needing mortgages over $970k must carefully prepare to meet jumbo loan qualifications.

Check the latest conventional limits before buying higher-priced to determine if you’ll need a jumbo loan.

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