Almanac

Viewpoint - February 10, 2010

Letter: Time to change rules on conforming mortgages

Recently I wrote Congresswoman Anna Eshoo to request that the federal government change the upper limit of what is designated as a "conforming mortgage."

This would allow lower interest rates and would greatly aid both the sales of Menlo Park homes and their refinancing. Our community has been severely hurt by the real estate collapse and this small change would totally revitalize this sector of our economy.

Currently a "conforming" mortgage is anything under about $750,000. Since almost no homes in Menlo Park qualify for such a small mortgage we are forced to use "jumbo" mortgages, which are much more expensive and are harder to qualify for.

My simple request to up the ceiling from $750,000 to $2 million could have a great positive impact on our lives and cost the federal government very little. I am looking for support from my neighbors to prod Ms. Eshoo on this issue.

Furthermore, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many federal rules discriminate against people who live in expensive locations. We have to pay a higher income tax rate as just one example.

Kingsley Roberts

Gilbert Avenue, Menlo Park

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