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What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

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:

What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)? | MyKCM

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 Area

The ancient mountains, rolling hills, and pristine creeks and rivers of the North Georgia mountains have a way of calling you out into the wild, no matter the season. And the majestic mountain setting that makes the outdoors so fun and inviting also provides some of the most amazing backdrops for a home as well. Many natives to the area have perfected the art of “porch swing sitting” and will be happy to share their notes with those who need to relax a bit. With so many homes having views of nothing but the majesty of nature in many different forms, it’s no wonder the art of sitting quietly to unwind is widespread. It’s also widely understood and ensured that these mountains will remain pristine for many generations to come. The Chattahoochee National Forest makes up a large majority of land in the region, and therefore it will remain virtually unchanged and undeveloped by people for many, many years to come. The bounties of the land and celebration of mountain heritage are favorite themes for the many festivals held throughout the area and throughout the year. Local farmers, mountain artisans and entertainers have a huge, artistic and loving stage on which to showcase their talents. People from all over the world and from all walks of life come to enjoy the good food and good times of these southern Appalachian festivals. The incredible display of Mother Nature in these mountains is definitely a great reason to find a home here, add to that the never ending events and abundance of talented and lovely people and there’s really no reason not to.

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