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Have equity in your home? Want a lower payment? An appraisal from DANIEL I KANDEL can help you get rid of your PMI.

It's largely known that a 20% down payment is common when getting a mortgage. Since the liability for the lender is generally only the difference between the home value and the sum due on the loan, the 20% adds a nice buffer against the costs of foreclosure, reselling the home, and regular value changesin the event a purchaser is unable to pay.

Banks were working with down payments down to 10, 5 and often 0 percent during the mortgage boom of the mid 2000s. How does a lender manage the additional risk of the low down payment? The answer is Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI. This added plan takes care of the lender in case a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the market price of the property is lower than the balance of the loan.

PMI is pricey to a borrower because the $40-$50 a month per $100,000 borrowed is compiled into the mortgage payment and frequently isn't even tax deductible. Different from a piggyback loan where the lender absorbs all the costs, PMI is money-making for the lender because they collect the money, and they get the money if the borrower doesn't pay.

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

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

The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 requires the lenders on most loans to automatically stop the PMI when the principal balance of the loan equals 78 percent of the beginning loan amount. Keen home owners can get off the hook a little earlier. The law promises that, at the request of the homeowner, the PMI must be dropped when the principal amount equals only 80 percent.

Since it can take many years to get to the point where the principal is just 20% of the initial amount of the loan, it's important to know how your home has appreciated in value. After all, every bit of appreciation you've gained over the years counts towards removing PMI. So what's the reason for paying it after your loan balance has fallen below the 80% mark? Even when nationwide trends hint at plunging home values, be aware that real estate is local. Your neighborhood might not be minding the national trends and/or your home could have acquired equity before things settled down.

The toughest 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 definitely help. As appraisers, it's our job to understand the market dynamics of our area. At DANIEL I KANDEL, we know when property values have risen or declined. We're masters at pinpointing value trends in Weston/Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County and surrounding areas. Faced with information from an appraiser, the mortgage company will usually do away with the PMI with little effort. At that time, the home owner 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