The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently released its 2018 maximum conforming loan limits ― figures that help dictate the maximum VA loan guaranty amounts across the country.

“Help” is a key word here, as the new loan limit across much of the country ― $453,100, up from $424,100 in 2017 ― is not as ironclad as it may appear.

The loan limit only applies to what VA will guarantee; it does not mean veterans can’t borrow more than that amount to buy a house. It doesn’t even mean VA can’t be part of a loan that exceeds the limit ― VA can still guarantee a portion of the loan, though the rest may require a down payment.

Not an expert on identifying U.S. counties by shape? Click here for the entire loan-limit breakdown in both PDF and Microsoft Excel format.

The above map doesn’t include Alaska, which has a higher limit than the bulk of the nation at $679,650. Same goes for Hawaii, where $679,650 is the lowest figure and Honolulu ($721,050) and Kauai ($713,000) counties check in higher.

Some other areas where veterans will be able to borrow more:

  • Portions of the Washington, D.C., metro area, stretching down the Virginia coast.
  • A wide swath of California coastline, from San Francisco to San Diego.
  • Areas near New York, Boston, Denver and other major cities.

Curious where your target real estate region falls? Check out this interactive map. These limits do not apply to VA-backed Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans, which can be used to refinance properties bought using a VA loan.

Learn more about VA loans, and see updated rates, at our VA Loan Center.

Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.

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