In most places across the US, a jumbo mortgage is one that exceeds $417,000. There are a few “high-cost” areas where jumbo loans start at $625,000 and there are a few counties where the jumbo limit is somewhere in between.

So what’s the difference?

First of all, there are different rates for jumbo loans vs conventional loans. Typically, jumbo loans have a higher rate. Also, jumbo loans usually have guidelines that are tougher than those of a conventional loan. For example, jumbo mortgages normally require two appraisals instead of just one. In addition, they have lower debt-to-income requirements and require a larger down payment.

Jumbo loans are available for a single family residence, whether it’s a primary residence, vacation house, second home, or investment property.