This year, many investors were giving thanks earlier than the designated holiday, when the Federal Housing Finance Agency raised the maximum conforming loan limit for the fourth straight year on November 26th. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free So, what does this mean for you as an investor? Well, if you are looking to get into your first rental property through a house hack or live-in flip using Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac products, you are in luck. You will soon be able to take out a federally backed mortgage up to $510,400 nationwide (and possibly higher if your purchase is in one of these 43 counties!). Why the New Federal Lending Limit? This is the fourth consecutive year the loan limits have risen. Why is that? Related: Investment Property Loans: The Ultimate Guide to Funding Your Deals By federal law, the loan limits must be adjusted as housing prices rise. From Q3 2018 to Q3 2019, home prices rose 5.38 percent; therefore, the loan limits had to rise by the same percentage. Not everyone likes this. Some market observers argue the larger loan limits are actually pushing up home prices for consumers. With home price growth slowing this year in many markets, this is actually creating more of an affordability crisis in many housing markets. Additionally, this lending could balloon the government’s mortgage obligation. This, too, is causing a little unease. But savvy investors know how to spot and leverage opportunity… How Can You Take Advantage of This New Loan Limit? Recently, I wrote about how to build a real estate empire using the FHA loan to purchase an investment property. This recent lending development—coupled with historically low interest rates—will allow you to access an additional $27,460 in lending capital for as little as $961 (3.5 percent) in a down payment at rock bottom rates (yes, please!). Also worthwhile to note: this may open up access to lending opportunities for properties that just a few days ago couldn’t qualify for FHA lending. It’s time to rerun your lead searches. Related: FHA Guidelines: How to Qualify for a 3.5% Down Loan So, here’s how best to put this capital to use: Purchase a live-in flip Purchase a primary home that you will rent out after 2 years Purchase a primary home that you will house hack and then move out after 2 years Now, you are building an empire, so let’s supercharge your strategies a little here and really take advantage of these lending dollars to: Purchase a 2- to 4-unit multifamily to house hack, then move out after 2 years and repeat Purchase a 2- to 4-unit multifamily to rehab as you live there, house hack, then move out after 2 years and repeat The house hack may not be for everyone, but let’s not miss out on the fact that house hacking is not only a great way to reduce or eliminate your housing bill (for most Americans their largest ongoing expense), but it’s also an amazing savings strategy to help you scale your portfolio quickly. Conclusion Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lending remain amazing tools to help any investor launch and scale their real estate empires for low money down. And everyone needs a roof over their head, so this strategy is technically accessible to all who can qualify for the loan. As a savvy investor, how will you leverage this early holiday gift in 2020? Comment below!