Let Accuracy Matters Appraisals help you decide if you can eliminate your PMI

It's largely known that a 20% down payment is accepted when purchasing a home. The lender's risk is usually only the difference between the home value and the sum due on the loan, so the 20% provides a nice cushion against the costs of foreclosure, selling the home again, and regular value changes in the event a purchaser is unable to pay.

During the recent mortgage boom of the mid 2000s, it was customary to see lenders taking down payments of 10, 5 or often 0 percent. A lender is able to manage the additional risk of the minimal down payment with Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI. PMI covers the lender in case a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the worth of the house is lower than the balance of the loan.

Since the $40-$50 a month per $100,000 borrowed is lumped into the mortgage payment and often isn't even tax deductible, PMI can be pricey to a borrower. It's profitable for the lender because they acquire the money, and they receive payment if the borrower is unable to pay, contradictory to a piggyback loan where the lender takes in all the costs.

Does your monthly mortgage payment include PMI? Contact us, you may be able to save money by removing your PMI.

How can a home buyer keep from bearing the cost of PMI?

With the implementation of The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, on nearly all loans lenders are required to automatically cease the PMI when the principal balance of the loan equals 78 percent of the primary loan amount. Smart home owners can get off the hook a little earlier. The law states that, upon request of the homeowner, the PMI must be abandoned when the principal amount equals only 80 percent.

Because it can take countless years to get to the point where the principal is only 20% of the original amount of the loan, it's necessary to know how your home has appreciated in value. After all, any appreciation you've achieved over time counts towards removing PMI. So what's the reason for paying it after your loan balance has dropped below the 80% mark? Despite the fact that nationwide trends hint at declining home values, understand that real estate is local. Your neighborhood may not be following the national trends and/or your home might have secured equity before things cooled off.

The difficult thing for almost all homeowners to know is just when their home's equity goes over the 20% point. A certified, licensed real estate appraiser can certainly help. As appraisers, it's our job to recognize the market dynamics of our area. At Accuracy Matters Appraisals, we're experts at analyzing value trends in South Fork, Rio Grande County and surrounding areas, and we know when property values have risen or declined. Faced with figures from an appraiser, the mortgage company will usually eliminate the PMI with little anxiety. At which time, the homeowner can enjoy the savings from that point on.

Want to learn more about PMI and the Homeowners Protection Act? Click this link:
Cancellation of Private Mortgage Insurance: Federal Law May Save You Hundreds of Dollars Each Year