Candidates Address Loan Limit Disparities Between Counties
First-time homebuyers in St. Mary’s County are at a disadvantage to buyers in the rest of SOMD. The base FHA loan limit for St. Mary’s County is $347,300. However, the base FHA loan limit in Charles and Calvert Counties is $510,400. Calvert and Charles Counties have a high balance of $765,600 while St. Mary’s doesn’t have one at all.
5th District Congressman Steny Hoyer and his opponent, Chris Palombi, addressed the issue and what they’d like to do about it.
Hoyer said that it stems from St. Mary’s being considered a rural county. “In many ways, we’re a suburban county in terms of cost. But we’re looked at by some as a rural county and therefore get a lesser rate.”
Hoyer said that Congress is looking into the issue. “I know Maxine Waters, the chair of the Financial Service Committee, which has jurisdiction over FHA, is looking at that to see how they can make it fair across the country.”
Palombi agreed that there was no reason for the disparity in loan limits between counties. “Yes, absolutely. St. Mary’s County is in the same region as Charles and Calvert and they have comparable income levels as well. I do agree that St. Mary’s County should have the same standards as Calvert and Charles. We have individuals who live in Charlotte Hall that one may be on one side of the road compared to the other and they have to abide by completely different standards. So, yes, I agree that is something I would absolutely support in Congress.”