It's Cool to Conform in 2021

Mortgage and Lending with Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA NMLS: 22343

It's Cool to Conform in 2021


If you know me, you know that I don't like to stick to convention.  I was the teenager who skipped college, moved to Hollywood and played rock guitar.  In my 20's, I saved up vacation time not for sandy white beaches but instead for expeditions to the harsh mountain environs of the world's highest peaks.  In my 30's, I dove (literally) into the sport of triathlon --- an endeavor, to quote my Aunt Marge, that would be something she'd "rather die a thousand deaths" before contemplating.  When I come to the fork in the road where straight and narrow diverges from the path less traveled, you can bet your best Yogi Berra'ism that I'm gonna take the latter.  So to write a blog post solely about the increase in conforming loan limits tests my own limits of conformity.  But for once, I am going to go along with the crowd and talk about pending changes coming to the San Francisco Bay Area, and across the state of California, in 2021.


Let's step back for a minute and recognize that for the entire state (and country), the current conforming loan limit for a single family residence is set at $510,400.  In many of the higher cost, coastal counties of CA, we also have a "jumbo conforming," "super conforming," or "high-balance conforming" loan limit that exceeds this limit.  For example, here in my home county of Marin, that limit is presently set at $765,600.  Let's look at how these will increase in 2021:


2020 Conforming Limit          2021 Conforming Limit

$510,400                                    $548,250


2020 High Balance Limit       2021 High Balance Limit          County

$765,600                                   $822,375                                      Marin

$765,600                                   $822,375                                      Alameda

$765,600                                   $822,375                                      Contra Costa

$672,750                                   $739,450                                      Monterey

$764,750                                   $816,500                                      Napa

$765,600                                   $822,375                                      San Benito

$765,600                                   $822,375                                      San Francisco

$765,600                                   $822,375                                      San Mateo

$765,600                                   $822,375                                      Santa Clara

$765,600                                   $822,375                                      Santa Cruz

$494,500                                   $550,850                                      Solano

$704,950                                   $707,250                                      Sonoma


As of the writing of this post (late November of 2020) we have already begun to implement the higher limits, so if you believe any of these increases will impact your purchase or refinance mortgage, please let me know.  I am a big fan of the higher limits because a conforming loan generally provides an easier qualification compared to a jumbo mortgage, and simply because we have higher home prices in the Bay Area should not be a reason to subject borrowers to a more burdensome loan process.  Yes, I realize that much of the country may not dance to the beat of my drummer.  But even though I don't conform to their point of view, my idea of conforming is increasing, and that's a step in the right direction.


We don't get fooled again, 



Robert J. Spinosa
Vice President of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959


Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960

Berkeley Office:  1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA  94709

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate's Human Resources Department.


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Comments (5)

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I really enjoyed the way your wrote this post, Rob. Very clever... :) 

Dec 02, 2020 08:14 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Rob,
You are on the extreme side of non-conformity, aren't you?  I was not aware there were so many levels of conformity in the loan industry.

Dec 02, 2020 08:23 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Rob - I appreciate your creative approach to communicating the often drab subject of conforming loan as well as other home mortgage information.  And I say, bring on all the Yogi-isms you can dish out.  I am sure you will find many who would like a second(or more) serving.  

Dec 02, 2020 08:32 AM
Rob Spinosa

@michaeljacobs, it gets late out there early. 😁

Dec 02, 2020 08:46 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Rob- what a fun non-forming posts about conforming loans. Are you still traveling the curvy non-conforming path of life?

Dec 02, 2020 10:40 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Rob I've never seen you as conforming kind of guy!  I like the way you write and take us down different paths that who knows where we're headed next!

Dec 03, 2020 12:37 PM