Many people in Texas formed a love for the city of Arlington at a very early age. Why? Because the very first of the Six Flags Amusement Park was located in Arlington. In fact, the headquarters of Six Flags is still located in Arlington in Tarrant County with Fort Worth and Dallas on either side.
Six Flags Over Texas began construction in 1960 and officially opened in the summer of 1961. When it first opened, there were two separate sections of Six Flags, one called Boomtown and the other the Tower Section. Boomtown referred to the many boomtowns sprung up in Texas during the oil boom and the Tower was so named after the towers of oil derricks.
But Six Flags Over Texas isn’t the only attraction. The Texas Rangers also call Arlington home, which moved there in 1972. “American’s Team,” or more officially, the Dallas Cowboys now also claim Arlington as their home. The Texas Rangers Ballpark was completed in 2009 and is home to the Texas Rangers.
Arlington is about 12 miles east of downtown Fort Worth and approximately 20 miles west of Dallas. However, there really are no rural areas between the three cities as the land is nearly 100% developed. The city officially covers just under 100 square miles with an estimated population of just over 400,000. The city is home to several large employers.
The University of Texas at Arlington is the single largest employer with more than 8,000 on its payroll. Behind UTA, General Motors has an assembly plant there with more than 4,000. Six Flags is just behind with around 3,800.
With such major employers based in Arlington, the housing market has always remained relatively stable over the years. In its early days, when the economy was reliant on the oil field and Six Flags, both the price of oil and recessionary periods can hurt. Yet the price for a barrel of oil has essentially stabilized with fewer spikes than in the past. As for entertainment, when wallets are squeezed there is less room for such an outlay.
However, because Texas didn’t really participate in the housing bubble that led up to the 2008-2009 fiasco, the Arlington area wasn’t affected as much as other cities and is still enjoying consistent, stable growth over the past several years which has kept home values on a steady incline.
As home values increase, so too does the maximum conforming loan limit. Each year the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, compares the national median home price with the previous year. If there is an increase, the conforming limit will be increased for the following year based upon the percentage increase in value. That means each time the conforming limits are raised so too does the jumbo minimum loan amount.
For 2018, any loan amount above $484,350 is considered a jumbo in Texas. Jumbo loan guidelines will generally require a higher credit score, asset requirements, and other guidelines. However, Jumbo loans are approved just like other mortgages as it relates to process and documentation.
Most jumbo loan programs ask for a greater down payment compared to conforming mortgages. A minimum of 20 or 25 percent down payment is common for most banks and lenders. One of the primary reasons for this is the lack of any private mortgage insurance for jumbo loan amounts. Private mortgage insurance or “PMI” companies can provide an insurance policy for a conforming amount but not all jumbo programs.
However, there are other ways to finance a higher end home in Arlington, Texas without having to withdraw a significant amount of cash from liquid accounts. New options up to 95% financing are available to qualified home buyers. The key with a low down payment jumbo loan of 5% or 10% is taking out a first lien mortgage and keep it at the conforming limit of $484,350 and take out a second to make up the difference. Buyers can learn more about the Jumbo down payment requirements here.
While borrowers certainly can put down 20, 25 or even 30 percent down, they don’t have to. To learn more about your options, please contact us 7 days at the number above, or just submit the Request Contact Form at the top of this page.