New Mortgage Limits: Another Hurdle for the Housing Market?

Lower conforming loan limits could increase mortgage rates and further depress home prices.

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Nevertheless, consumers can start preparing for the shift now, ahead of the October 1 transition. "The good news is that there is information being shared about this now," Marimow says. "This is the right time to be talking about it because once the changes do take effect, the people who are affected will already not have other options."

The best thing consumers can do now is evaluate their needs and do their research, especially in an environment as frenetic as this one. "Consumers should look for a closing guarantee and lenders that are going to be able to lock in your rate as quickly as possible, because your rate could float even over the time [it takes] to close your loan," Marimow says. "You truly need to shop around as much as you can to make sure you're comparing and contrasting to know you're getting the best one."

Twitter: @mmhandley