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Seeking ‘Jumbo’ Financing? Now may be the time.

ith Federal Housing Administration loan limits set to reduce October 1, 2011, homebuyers purchasing costlier homes will have to pay more for the most widely used mortgages available.

percent of local median price. In addition, the current limits are based on median prices set during the housing bubble, when home values were greatly inflated.

In an attempt to scale back the size of jumbo mortgages guaranteed in costly real estate markets, the maximum FHA loan amount that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back will decrease from $729,750 to $625,500. Loan limits vary from county to county, with high-cost regions such as New York and San Francisco offering a maximum of $729,750. When the deadline expires, the maximum loan amounts will be set at 115 percent of the local median price, which would drop the limits to $625,500 or lower for high-cost regions and between $417,000 and $625,500 for many other areas.

This is significant for homebuyers seeking to purchase in high-cost areas and plan to obtain a government-backed mortgage. For example, a borrower seeking to buy a $1 million home will require a substantial down payment for a government-backed loan of this size, increasing the required down payment from $270,000 to $370,000.

These maximums are set under the existing law at 115 percent of the local median price. However, with expanded limits currently in effect for 61 percent of the U.S. population, the maximum loans are set at 125 8

For the majority of upper-middle class homebuyers in these high-cost regions, $1 million affords a comfortable home, not a mansion. According to Zillow, San Francisco has 2,697 homes for sale with a price tag of $1 million or more. The median size for these homes is 3,180 square feet. In New York, there are 16,680 homes for sale in the same price range, averaging 3,308 square feet. The majority of larger cities across America have a significant supply of homes that qualify for the jumbo loan profile.

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The upcoming loan limit changes have the potential to greatly affect a large market segment of homebuyers and their wallets.

Congress twice raised the limit on government-backed loans in high cost areas, first to $625,500 permanently, and then to $729,750 temporarily.

Luxury homes specialist Sotheby’s International Realty reports sales making double-digit gains for the first quarter of this year over last year. The National Association of Realtors released encouraging news that the sale of homes over $1 million were up 5.1 percent in March over the same month last year.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, nearly 669 of the nation’s 3,334 counties or county equivalents will be affected by the upcoming decline.

Another important issue for homebuyers is that retail lenders will no longer be able to resell loans over $625,500 to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They will either have to portfolio these loans in-house or find a private investor to purchase them. Privately-backed jumbo loans typically require a down payment of about 30 percent of the home’s sale price, instead of the standard 20 percent necessary for smaller loan amounts. While this asks more upfront of the homebuyer, it adds security for the funding investor. These lower loan limits will leave approximately $10 billion more in loans for private investors to manage and they have already prepared to fill the gap when the government backs down. This is evident with data from the fourth quarter of 2010, which shows that private investors originated more loans in the traditional jumbo market than did government agencies. Investors are ready for this change since jumbo loans tend to be safer and more profitable. Until 2008, all home loans over $417,000 were considered jumbo loans, but in part of the stimulus package in the wake of the housing collapse,

While regulations and guidelines continue to change, it is important to also consider a cash transaction, which is generally a wise financial decision. With the deadline looming, homebuyers may want to act now to purchase that luxury or waterfront property. The wide array of available properties and current favorable interest rates create an attractive opportunity to purchase the home of your dreams. To qualify for the current FHA home loan limits, the mortgage must close prior to October 1. It is best to take advantage of these maximum loan amounts well in advance of that date to ensure your home loan will close before the deadline.

This article was submitted by Cornerstone Mortgage Company, a fullservice mortgage banker operating more than 81 offices in Texas, Georgia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee and Washington. Corporate Office/ Houston, 713.621.4663, 1177 West Loop South, Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77027. NMLS 2258.



3625 Wentwood Drive $2,995,000 Situated in sought-after University Park, this sophisticated Tuscaninspired home built by Geoffrey Grant Custom Homes is just blocks from award winning schools. This gorgeous home has 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths and 2 half-baths and offers many unique features including a 2-story library, wood burning pizza oven and a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances, custom cabinetry and barrel-vaulted ceilings.

Amy Detwiler 214.536.8680 Michelle Wood 214.564.0234

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6108 LD Lockett Road $7,400,000 This Tuscan-inspired contemporary masterpiece with landscaped gardens on 4.5 acres complete with vineyards pond and fountains is one of the finest opportunities in the heart of North Texas. The home features balconies, a cupola, game room, media room, study, wine cellar, seven private bedrooms with walk in closets and nine full baths. Outdoor living essentials include pool, sauna, bar, diving rock, cabana, covered loggias and three outdoor fireplaces. There’s an additional guest house over the barn with kitchen and full bath. Other additions include a four stall barn with paddocks, property pipe and wire fenced with sandy loam.

Jamie Adams 817.235.4535

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< 2 8 0 1 Tu r t l e C re e k B l v d . 3 E $3,950,000 Pogir 972.381.6982 Linsey Bar nes 972.381.6981

Eastside or Westside, both properties command spectacular views from the most prestigious address on Turtle Creek.

< 2801 Tur tle

Creek Blvd. 1W

$2,750,000 Claire Dewar 214.808.6045

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5942 Colhurst Street $3,699,000

Coveted Old Preston Hollow estate sits on .85 acres with dr amatic porches, guest quar ter s, cabana and 12 fireplaces. This magnificent home was completely renovated in 2002 and includes 12,948 square feet of lar ge , sun-filled rooms, a sweeping two-stor y foyer, cur ved staircase , separ ate bar room and the builderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature coffered ceilings and millwor k.

Chr isty Ber r y 214.693.1600

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Getting out of town has never been more necessary - or rewarding. Our new Ranch and Land Division is your partner on this important frontier: retreats, ranches and parcels of property that are equal parts respite and investment. Consider: an extraordinary property that has every valued improvement including a 9-hole championship golf course, 26 acre fishing lake and live creek; a ranch featuring a variety of terrain and topography, presenting an excellent opportunity to invest in the growing market of Southern Oklahoma.

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131 Purley Gates Farm Road Winnsboro, Texas - 1702 Acres $8,075,000

Jim Str awn 214.553.4500 David Bur gher 214.213.8715

12247 Highway 99C Kingston, Oklahoma â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1513 acres $5,295,000

Angie Nelson 214.794.8945

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Situated in an area primed for economic development, this 256-acre French Country Estate satisfies different lifestyles and offers numerous opportunities. It can be a family compound with its three residences providing “architecture according to taste” (the spectacular French mansion, the ranch house, and the contemporary house). It can also serve as a corporate retreat/center; an equestrian facility; a medical facility; the ultimate spa resort – and more. The beautiful treed property is situated in Hickory Creek in Denton County, Texas – about 30 minutes north of Dallas and only 15 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Price upon request.

Joan Eleazer 972.733.9230 Layne Pitzer 972.733.9072

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10005 Meadowbrook Drive $4,295,000 A European building sensitivity infuses this grand Mediterranean estate â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a true escape in the heart of Preston Hollow. The seven-bedroom, 11,500-squre-foot home boasts a downstairs master wing, a theater, and beautiful living and entertaining areas. A covered loggia with a carved stone fireplace leads to the pool. The adjacent land at 10001 Meadowbrook is available for $995,000, creating a homestead of almost two acres along the creek.

Claire Dewar 214.808.6045

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2900 McKinnon Street #1208 $3,395,000 City lights and stars above provide mega-voltage views at this dazzling Azure residence. Three units were custom combined into one luxe condominium, where walls of windows and wrap-around terraces embrace the downtown skyline, uptown scenes and vistas east. Three outdoor fireplaces with sitting areas add to sleek interiors throughout to provide spectacular living and entertainment venues, all further enhanced by contemporary Cantoni furniture.

Linsey Bar nes 972.381.6981

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4686 Meadowood Road $3,700,000 European grandeur reigns in Old Preston Hollow. This 1.5 acre estate offers elegance, high style and nature with its private pond, a swimming pool, precisely pruned gardens with sculptures â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and a spectacular mansion built with entertaining top of mind. Billiards is de rigueur in the Old World library. Marble, alabaster and sculptural moldings are used with care in rooms that overlook the impressive grounds.

Becky Frey 972.380.7787 Shelle Car r ig 972.380.7776

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10587 S. Highway 281 The Magic Valley Ranch Miner al Wells, Texas - 3,290 Acres $32,900,000 Jack McGr aw 972.381.6847 Getting out of town has never been more necessary â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or rewarding. Our new Ranch and Land Division is your partner on this important frontier: retreats, ranches and parcels of property that are equal parts respite and investment. Consider: Beautiful terrain fronting over six miles of the Brazos River. A gentlemanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cattle or horse ranch complete with a Natchez-style plantation home. A dream property created by a legendary horse enthusiast. Reap the rewards of the land.

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3 641 RCR 1320 Emor y, Texas - 475 Acres $5,495,000 Doug and Jeanne Shelton 972.380.7869

400 Car ter Ranch Weatherford, Texas - 63.01 Acres $4,495,000 David Bur gher 214.213.8715

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• 4214 Shorecrest Drive Dallas, Texas An architectural gem sitting on a hilltop on .97 acres, this home offers stunning views and a combination of modern and traditional comforts. Victor Sidy, Dean of Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, planned the remodel. A chance to own an architecturally significant and unique home. $1,849,000. Sandy Petruska 972-733-9159 and Courtney Petruska 972-381-6804.

10005 Meadowbrook Dallas, Texas Over 1 acre, this Mediterranean estate has antique front doors which open to formal living and dining rooms with distinctive craftsmanship. $4,295,000. Claire Dewar 214-808-6045


Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty 5600 W. Lovers Lane, Ste. 224 • Dallas, TX 75209 214-350-0400 •

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4686 Meadowbrook Road Dallas, Texas Classic European Elegance 4686 Meadowood encompasses Old World European charm and is situated on a fabulous 1.55 acre lot in Old Preston Hollow. $3,400,000. Becky Frey 214-536-4727 and Shelle Carrig 972-380-7776

24 Lakeside Park Dallas, Texas A sophisticated and timeless zero lot line designed by L.B. Martin and built by the incomparable Steven Hild, this Caruth Homeplace property is a one of a kind offering for the sophisticated buyer! $2,995,000. Ginger Nobles 972-733-9242 and Susan Baldwin 972-248-5926

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty 5600 W. Lovers Lane, Ste. 224 • Dallas, TX 75209 214-350-0400 •


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• 3008 Shadow Drive Arlington, Texas Custom contemporary home in North Arlington, 2.63 acres and over 7,900 square feet, minutes from Dallas Fort Worth airport, Cowboys Stadium and The Ballpark in Arlington, great location. $1,975,000. Jamie Adams 817-235-4535

2626 Hemingway Drive Arlington, Texas Fabulous stone beauty in N. Arlington’s Hampden Woods. Gated subdivision and compound. Two private partially wooded acres, extensive landscaping and 20-foot waterfall. SOLD. Jamie Adams 817-235-4535


Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty 1000 Ballpark Way, Ste.306 • Arlington, TX 76011 817-235-4535 •

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131 Purley Gates Farm Road Winnsboro, Texas 1,702 acre recreational and operating ranch located between Mt. Vernon and Winnsboro, Texas. Has 26-acre fishing lake and live creek, 9 hole golf course and is high fenced with abundant game. $8,075,000. Jim Strawn 214-553-4500 and David Burgher 214-213-8715

10587 S Highway 281 – Magic Valley Ranch Mineral Wells, Texas Steeped in exquisite natural beauty, “Magic Valley Ranch” boasts 3,290 acres and over six miles of Brazos River frontage, making it one of the most spectacular properties in the area. The location can’t be beat – just 45 minutes west of Fort Worth in Palo Pinto County, a 986 square-mile region with alluring mixed topography such as Possum Kingdom Lake and the Palo Pinto Mountains. $1,995,000. Wynne Moore 817-781-7060

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty 2913 Fairmount, Ste. 200 •Dallas, TX 75201 214-353-6600 •


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3801 Normandy Avenue Dallas, Texas Custom home completed in 2008 includes every amenity. Built by Tatum Brown with the finest quality construction and fixtures. Wine room, elevator, oversized family room, morning room with fireplace, covered outdoor living area, master has separate sitting room, game room, study, her office, media and exercise rooms, fabulous landscaping, 3 car garage. Limestone and hand scraped wood flooring, marble, granite. For the perfectionist! Offered for $6,850,000. Joan Eleazer 972733-9230 / Layne Pitzer 972-733-9072

4669 Meadowood Road Dallas, Texas On one of the most prestigious streets in Preston Hollow, this private, gated Tuscan estate is set on 1.6 acres. Designed by Boerder-Snyder and built by Cy Barcus in 2002, this home features a classic center hall plan. Landscaped grounds include a pool, tennis court, and a large lawn, with a delightful outdoor terrace. Offered for $5,495,000. Claire Dewar 214-808-6045

4686 Meadowood Road Dallas, Texas This home was built with entertaining at top of mind, not only in the formal spaces and serving areas, but also in the design of the floor plan and the many ways that the indoors open to the outdoors. Many doors provide easy access to the covered patios, pool with fountains, and the special gardens surrounding the pond – all create feelings of a countryside mansion, a true escape from the city yet so close to downtown Dallas. Offered for $3,700,000. Becky Frey 214536-4727 / Shelle Carrig 972-380-7776


Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty 5600 W. Lovers Lane, Ste. 224 • Dallas, TX 75209 214-350-0400 •

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9410 Alva Court Dallas, Texas This is estate living at its finest, in the most exclusive Preston Hollow neighborhood, surrounded by a “Who’s Who” of Dallas. Designed in a classic architectural style, this home is situated perfectly on a 1+ acre of gated grounds. Great flow for entertaining, large room sizes, abundant light, and total privacy. The home enjoys an impressive front entry hall, flanked with a double staircase. Offered for $5,535,000. Ginger Nobles 972-733-9242 / Susan Baldwin 972-248-5926

4309 Windsor Parkway Dallas, Texas This refined property occupies a coveted place on one of the most desirable blocks in University Park. Custom built by George Lewis in 1988 and then completely updated in 2008, this French styled brick home will complement the modern family’s lifestyle in every way. High ceilings, moldings, pocket doors, recessed lighting and elegant ebony hued hardwood floors set the mood for the sophisticated downstairs living area. Offered for $2,595,000. Susie Ryan 972-380-7769 / Pete Ryan 972-733-7124

5818 Lakehurst Avenue Dallas, Texas Wonderful French architecture on a quiet street. This beautiful five-bedroom, seven and one half-bath home features great space for entertaining, including outdoor living area with kitchen area and fireplace. Five living areas include: living room, library, den, game room, media room. Incredible kitchen that will make you the envy of all. Two utility rooms, exercise room, beautiful landscaped yard with a pool. Offered for $2,329,000. Lindy Mahoney 972-380-7946

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty 5600 W. Lovers Lane, Ste. 224 • Dallas, TX 75209 214-350-0400 •


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Magic Valley Ranch – 10587 S. Highway 281 Mineral Wells, Texas Magic Valley Ranch, 3,290 acres, is one of the most recognized ranches in Palo Pinto County. Only 45 minutes west of Fort Worth, this ranch has over 6 miles of Brazos River frontage with its sandy beaches for swimming, fishing and canoeing. Offered for $32,900,000. Jack McGraw 972-381-6847

1 Highway 337 Graford, Texas Location, location, location! Opportunity to own a 4,221 acre ranch that offers excellent grazing for cattle, hunting and extensive highway frontage for easy access or future division of the property. In addition, Possum Kingdom Lake is within 10 minutes. The ranch has an all-weather road, numerous stock ponds and a few wet weather draws. Conveniently located between Mineral Wells and Graham. Only 1 hour and 30 minutes northwest of Fort Worth. Offered for $11,609,620. Jack McGraw 972-381-6847

Mountain Top Ranch – 1792 Fortune Bend Road Graford, Texas This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own 1,700 acres on top of Rocky Prairie Mountain. The views from this ranch are as far as the eyes can see and will simply take your breath away. Awesome building sites are available along the rim. Conveniently located near Possum Kingdom Lake, this ranch has excellent deer hunting, good grass and several stock ponds. Only 1 hour and 15 minutes west of Fort Worth. A fantastic recreation ranch! Offered for $8,075,000. Jack McGraw 972-381-6847


Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty 5600 W. Lovers Lane, Ste. 224 • Dallas, TX 75209 214-350-0400 •

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Carter Ranch – 400 Carter Ranch Road Weatherford, Texas Private 133-acre ranch within the development of Silverado on the Brazos offers the best country life, views and Brazos River access with the security of a gated development. The “handmade” home and barn are the perfect blend of comfort and ranch house. Perched high on the bluff overlooking the Brazos River, this unique home has a wraparound porch, stone patio with fireplace and a short walk to the two bedroom guest house with a gameroom and four-stall barn. The house is constructed of three 100 year old corn cribs, antique barn siding, galvanized roof and split cedar logs. The property has 1,800 feet of Brazos River frontage, six horse paddocks, two ponds, creek, and boat landing with rock patio and fire pit. Offered for $4,495,000. David Burgher 214-213-8715

RCR 1320 Emory, Texas This 3-story house has approximately 12,500 square feet under roof, of which approximately 8,200 square feet is air conditioned. Each floor has a separate air conditioning system. The house has a four-car garage with attic storage above. The house has seven dormers and four dominate chimneys with six fireplaces. The entire second floor porch has a concrete floor. Offered for $5,495,000. Doug and Jeanne Shelton 972-380-7869

0 Highway 337, South Graford, Texas This is a great recreational property located within 10 minutes of Possum Kingdom Lake. The rolling 226 acres have hilltop views of Possum Kingdom. Features include a natural spring, stock pond, hunting and easy access to the lake. Conveniently located between Mineral Wells and Graham. Only 1 hour and 30 minutes northwest of Fort Worth. Offered for $1,472,445. Jack McGraw 972-381-6847

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty 5600 W. Lovers Lane, Ste. 224 • Dallas, TX 75209 214-350-0400 •


>>>> ROBERT M. BRIGGS BRIGGS FREEMAN SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY 5600 W. Lovers Lane, Suite 224 • Dallas, TX 214.350.0400 •

“Texas needs to give itself a pat on the back for leading the country in business, energy, innovation, technology and entrepreneurial spirit. During my travels, I have met people from Mexico, China, and Europe. Texas is truly on the “door step” of the world. With Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty we now are working and playing in the new global neighborhood.”


LUXURY C O L L E C T I O NLUXURY COLLECTION This is significant for homebuyers seeking to purchase in high-cost areas and plan to obtain a g...

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