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Zacour & Associates, Inc. can help you remove your Private Mortgage Insurance

It's largely inferred that a 20% down payment is the standard when buying a house. Considering the risk for the lender is often only the remainder between the home value and the sum outstanding on the loan, the 20% provides a nice cushion against the expenses of foreclosure, reselling the home, and natural value fluctuationsin the event a borrower doesn't pay.

Lenders were accepting down payments as low as 10, 5 and even 0 percent during the mortgage boom of the last decade. How does a lender manage the additional risk of the low down payment? The answer is Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI. PMI guards the lender in case a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the value of the home is less than what the borrower still owes on the loan.

Because the $40-$50 a month per $100,000 borrowed is rolled into the mortgage monthly payment and often isn't even tax deductible, PMI can be expensive to a borrower. Opposite from a piggyback loan where the lender takes in all the deficits, PMI is favorable for the lender because they acquire the money, and they get paid if the borrower defaults.

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 expense of PMI?

The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 makes the lenders on most loans to automatically cancel the PMI when the principal balance of the loan reaches 78 percent of the beginning loan amount. Acute homeowners can get off the hook beforehand. The law promises that, at the request of the homeowner, the PMI must be released when the principal amount reaches just 80 percent.

Since it can take countless years to arrive at the point where the principal is just 20% of the original amount borrowed, it's necessary to know how your home has appreciated in value. After all, every bit of appreciation you've acquired over the years counts towards abolishing PMI. So why should you pay it after the balance of your loan has dropped below the 80% threshold? Despite the fact that nationwide trends predict plunging home values, realize that real estate is local. Your neighborhood may not be minding the national trends and/or your home could have secured equity before things cooled off.

An accredited, licensed real estate appraiser can help home owners understand just when their home's equity rises above the 20% point, as it's a difficult thing to know. As appraisers, it's our job to understand the market dynamics of our area. At Zacour & Associates, Inc., we're experts at analyzing value trends in El Paso, El Paso County and surrounding areas, and we know when property values have risen or declined. When faced with information from an appraiser, the mortgage company will most often remove the PMI with little effort. At which time, the home owner can relish 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