Have equity in your home? Want a lower payment? An appraisal from SC Appraisals Inc can help you get rid of your PMI.

When buying a house, a 20% down payment is usually the standard. The lender's risk is generally only the difference between the home value and the amount remaining on the loan, so the 20% supplies a nice buffer against the expenses of foreclosure, reselling the home, and typical value variations in the event a borrower doesn't pay.

During the recent mortgage boom of the mid 2000s, it was common to see lenders requiring down payments of 10, 5 or even 0 percent. A lender is able to handle the additional risk of the reduced down payment with Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI. PMI guards the lender in the event 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.

PMI is pricey to a borrower on the grounds that the $40-$50 a month per $100,000 borrowed is lumped into the mortgage monthly payment and oftentimes isn't even tax deductible. Contradictory to a piggyback loan where the lender takes in all the losses, PMI is money-making for the lender because they obtain the money, and they receive payment 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 homeowners can refrain from bearing the expense of PMI

With the employment of The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, on nearly all loans lenders are required to automatically stop the PMI when the principal balance of the loan reaches 78 percent of the initial loan amount. Smart homeowners can get off the hook ahead of time. The law designates that, upon request of the homeowner, the PMI must be abandoned when the principal amount equals only 80 percent.

It can take many years to get to the point where the principal is only 20% of the initial amount borrowed, so it's essential to know how your home has increased in value. After all, any appreciation you've achieved over the years counts towards removing PMI. So why should you pay it after your loan balance has dropped below the 80% threshold? Even when nationwide trends forecast declining home values, be aware that real estate is local. Your neighborhood may not be minding the national trends and/or your home may have gained equity before things calmed down.

The difficult thing for most home owners to understand is just when their home's equity goes over the 20% point. An accredited, licensed real estate appraiser can definitely help. It is an appraiser's job to keep up with the market dynamics of their area. At SC Appraisals Inc, we're masters at determining value trends in Los Alamitos, Los Angeles 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 do away with the PMI with little anxiety. At that time, the homeowner 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