Roger Schlesinger

It's almost here, the millennium? No, that was more than 1/2 a decade ago. Hard to believe how fast the years are going, but the nice thing is that the best part of the year is always the last. Whoever designed it that way should get a medal. My years always drag in the winter, start picking up a little speed in the spring, slow up with the heat of the summer and those long summer days (with a little bit of luck I can get 36 holes in and still enjoy the nights), and then start moving again as football permeates our beings. And then of course, the holiday seasons arrive and we know another year is in the books.

Some things happen every year that we can count on at this time. One, we are all another year older or will be in the next six weeks. Secondly, we have all broken at least one and probably all of our new year's resolutions from late December 2005.

Our college team has lost at least one game and the season is winding down to a precious few games (excluding Ohio State, Michigan, Rutgers and whoever else I can't think of). Editors note: My team has lost five games and could easily make it seven. We certainly know whose fault that is and maybe this will be the end of his regime.

Another known is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will decide on the new conforming loan limits for 2007. The limit for single family homes in 2006 was $417,000. I am projecting the new limit for 2007 to be between $425,000 and $450,000, and we will know in the next few weeks. When I first entered the business in 1989, the limit then (or for 1990) was $191,000, so we have really seen a major raise in conforming loan limits over the last 16 to 17 years – over 200%! There is a higher conforming limit for duplexes, tri-plexes and four-plexes. These limits are $533,850, $645,300 and $801,950 respectively. They also have higher limits in Hawaii and Alaska.

Conforming loans are those that conform to the rules of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and generally are at least .25% lower in rate than jumbo loans. Jumbo loans begin where conforming loans leave off: $417,001. Presently Hawaii and Alaska have conforming loans that have a limit that is at least $500,000. Many states, including California and New York, have been working with Congress to get their maximum loan size as high as Hawaii and Alaska. It seemed as if it was going to happen last year, but no movement as yet.

Roger Schlesinger

Roger Schlesinger's Mortgage Minute is heard on hundreds of radio stations and daily on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Michael Medved shows. Roger interacts with his hosts and explores the complicated financial markets in order to enlighten his listeners and direct them along their own unique road to financial freedom.