Let James Earp Appraisal Service help you determine if you can get rid of your PMI

A 20% down payment is usually accepted when buying a house. The lender's liability is usually only the remainder between the home value and the amount remaining on the loan, so the 20% adds a nice buffer against the costs of foreclosure, selling the home again, and natural value fluctuations on the chance that a purchaser is unable to pay.

Lenders were working with down payments as low as 10, 5 and even 0 percent in the peak of last decade's mortgage boom. How does a lender endure the added risk of the low down payment? The solution is Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI. PMI takes care of the lender in the event a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the market price of the house is less than the balance of the loan.

Since the $40-$50 a month per $100,000 borrowed is rolled into the mortgage monthly payment and many times isn't even tax deductible, PMI can be expensive to a borrower. Separate from a piggyback loan where the lender takes in all the deficits, PMI is beneficial for the lender because they secure the money, and they get the money if the borrower is unable to pay.

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

How can a homeowner avoid bearing the expense of PMI?

With the employment of The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, on nearly all loans lenders are obligated to automatically cease the PMI when the principal balance of the loan reaches 78 percent of the initial loan amount. The law guarantees that, at the request of the home owner, the PMI must be abandoned when the principal amount reaches just 80 percent. So, acute homeowners can get off the hook sooner than expected.

It can take many years to reach the point where the principal is just 20% of the original amount borrowed, so it's necessary to know how your home has increased in value. After all, any appreciation you've accomplished over the years counts towards removing PMI. So why pay it after your loan balance has fallen below the 80% mark? Even when nationwide trends indicate plunging home values, realize that real estate is local. Your neighborhood might not be reflecting the national trends and/or your home may have gained equity before things cooled off.

The hardest thing for many home owners to understand is just when their home's equity goes over the 20% point. An accredited, licensed real estate appraiser can certainly help. It is an appraiser's job to know the market dynamics of their area. At James Earp Appraisal Service, we're experts at pinpointing value trends in Raleigh, Wake County and surrounding areas, and we know when property values have risen or declined. When faced with figures from an appraiser, the mortgage company will generally cancel the PMI with little anxiety. At which time, the home owner can delight in 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