Everyone knows that it is a great time to buy. With home prices at all time lows and fantastic insurance rates as low as 4 percent for 30 year loans, it is a great time to be looking at Atlanta real estate and buying new homes.

Equifax blogger Sam Tamkin shares some information about

home buying and getting a mortgage in his latest blog post, “

How to Avoid Paying Private Mortgage Insurance.”

The first thing he explains is private mortgage insurance. Also referred to as PMI, this insurance is created for the benefit of a lender. It gives them limited protection if a homeowner goes into default or foreclosure.

Whether you have to pay PMI or not comes down to the amount of your down payment.  If you can put 20 percent down, you won’t have to pay it. If you have less than 20 percent to put down on your loan, expect to pay PMI. You may even have to pay PMI if you are refinancing your current home and the value of the home has decreased.

Typically PMI payments are made monthly with your home mortgage. There is, however, a possibility that you might be able to pay your mortgage insurance as a one-time payment or even once a year.

Tamkin offers a few pointers on how to avoid paying mortgage insurance on your home loan:

  • Borrow no more than 80 percent of the home’s value.
  • Find a lender willing to give you a first mortgage in an amount equal to 80 percent of the home’s value. Then see if that same lender, or a different lender, is willing to give you an equity loan for a portion of the balance you need for the purchase of your home.
  • Obtain a loan for 80 percent of the home’s value and then have a family member gift you the difference you might need to buy the home.

He has several more tips, so make sure to visit the

Equifax Finance Blog for more information.  If you have bought a home this year, please share your story with us.

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