What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

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When it comes to buying a home, whether it is your first time or your fifth, it is always important to know all the facts. With the large number of mortgage programs available that allow buyers to purchase homes with down payments below 20%, you can never have too much information about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

What is PMI?

Freddie Mac defines PMI as:

“An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.

Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.”

As the borrower, you pay the monthly premiums for the insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. Freddie Mac goes on to explain that:

“The cost of PMI varies based on your loan-to-value ratio – the amount you owe on your mortgage compared to its value – and credit score, but you can expect to pay between $30 and $70 per month for every $100,000 borrowed.” 

According to the National Association of Realtors, the average down payment for all buyers last year was 10%. For first-time buyers, that number dropped to 5%, while repeat buyers put down 14% (no doubt aided by the sale of their homes). This just goes to show that for a large number of buyers last year, PMI did not stop them from buying their dream homes.

Here’s an example of the cost of a mortgage on a $200,000 home with a 5% down payment & PMI, compared to a 20% down payment without PMI:

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The larger the down payment you can make, the lower your monthly housing cost will be, but Freddie Mac urges you to remember:

“It’s no doubt an added cost, but it’s enabling you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment.”

Bottom Line

If you have questions about whether you should buy now or wait until you’ve saved a larger down payment, let’s get together to discuss our market’s conditions and help you make the best decision for you and your family.

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About The Panos Team

Since 2003, Mike and Tammi have made Las Vegas their home where they have become successful agents in a highly competitive market. Our enthusiasm, integrity, diligence, work ethic and negotiation skills have well served our Buyer and Seller clients in all residential arenas including single family homes, condos, townhomes and highrise. We specialize in short sales as well as Bank Owned (REO) properties and traditional home sales. Our goal is not to be the #1 agents in Las Vegas...our goal is to be YOUR #1 agents in Las Vegas! As Las Vegas residents, we appreciate what a great place this is to raise a family, spend quality time with friends and loved ones and just simply enjoy life. We consider it a privilege to be able to help others achieve their investment goals when it comes to living in Las Vegas. We value family time, enjoy camping and riding quads, we are active in our church. We also enjoy bowling, eating ice cream, participating in our annual family talent show and just simply relaxing.
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