Everyone is looking for ways to save money these days. With rampant
inflation and soaring energy costs, everything is costing more than it was a
year ago. The good news is that in most areas, home values rose along
with everything else, and many homeowners have unrealized wealth sitting
in their properties. While it may not be the right time to sell and take the
appreciation gain, there is another way to capitalize on the increase in
home values.

Often home buyers put less than 20% down on a new home. In this case,
these borrowers were required to have private mortgage insurance (PMI).

PMI is not homeowner’s insurance, that covers fire, theft, and other
damage to the property. PMI is insurance that protects the lender in the
event that the borrower defaults on the loan.

On average, private mortgage insurance premiums range from about
0.25% to as much as 2.25% of the loan amount. The cost is dependent on
two factors: the amount of the loan and the creditworthiness of the
borrower. This additional fee is applied to the monthly payment. Yet, with
rising home values, many borrowers may now have passed the 80%
threshold and can ask to remove the PMI.

The process for removing PMI varies from lender to lender but most will
require a formal appraisal before removing the cost. FHA and VA have their
own rules as well. So if you think you might have an opportunity to get it removed, make sure to reach out to your lender and request the information for their processes and requirements to get started.