20% or Less Downpayment
The Facts About PMI
With the large number of mortgage programs available that allow buyers to purchase a home with a down payment below 20%, it is good to have solid 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 (NAR), the average down payment for all buyers last year was 10%. For first-time buyers, that number dropped to 6%, while repeat buyers put down 14%. As you can see, PMI does not stop people 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:
“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.”
Real Estate Bottom Line
If you have questions about whether you should buy now or wait until you’ve saved a larger down payment, meet with a lending professional in your area who can explain our market conditions and help you make the best decision for you and your family.