Bye-Bye PMI

The “perfect storm” is here.  There are a number of factors that have come together to create the ideal time for some homeowners to say “Bye-Bye PMI”

The factors that are in play are:

  • Overall market appreciation
  • Unusually low inventory
  • Health of the economy
  • Buyers willing to pay practically anything to get into a house
  • Interest rates that have been at historic lows (until recently)

Current homeowners who may have PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) could possibly save hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the term of their loan.  This is a great opportunity for savvy homeowners to take advantage of their home’s appreciation.

You may be asking, “What does this have to do with me?  I’m a real estate agent or a mortgage professional.”   While removing PMI may not benefit you, it could benefit your former clients.  Those folks who already know you, like you and trust you.  You probably already know which of your clients may have had to carry PMI.  It’s a great time for real estate agents and mortgage professionals to provide ongoing value to your past clients without “selling” them anything.  Call them, email them or text them, whatever you choose.  Most importantly, show them that you still have their backs and that you can help them potentially remove PMI and save money.  Provide value!  Who knows…they may be planning to sell or refi in the near future and, now they are thinking about you.

The procedure for PMI removal can vary from lender to lender.  So, be sure that your client checks with their lender to obtain a set of instructions for the process.  The general process for PMI removal is pretty simple.

Most lenders require that a request for PMI removal be made in writing.  The borrower will have to be in good standing with the lender, with no late or outstanding payments (again, this will vary).  The lender will need a current appraisal completed specifically for the purpose of PMI removal (that appraisal from the refi that was done last Fall may not be acceptable).  If the appraisal can demonstrate that the borrower’s home has appreciated to the required loan to value limits (check with the lender form their specific limits), PMI should be removed for the remainder of the term.

If you have any questions about PMI Removal or real estate appraisals, please feel free to contact me.


The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia Real Estate Appraisers are a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing. We also provide “footprint” sketches for determining a more accurate square footage of a property.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call. We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have. For more information please visit our website at You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or


PMI Removal

The Coyle Group - PMI RemovalIf you bought a home with less than a 20% down payment, chances are you’re paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).  This is a cost that your lender adds to your mortgage payment to insure their risk exposure, should you default.  Depending on the amount of your mortgage, your PMI payments could be a few hundred dollars more per month.  Some lenders use the 1% rule of thumb.  That means you will pay 1% of the loan amount until the equity threshhold is met.  If you have a $200,000 loan, your PMI could be around $200 per month.

But don’t worry; PMI is not forever unless you put less than 10% down and took out an FHA-insured loan, then you will have PMI for the life of the loan.  Check with your local lender, typically will be removed once your equity position reaches 22%, meaning your loan is now 78% of your purchase price or appraised value.

“Well, how do I know that my equity has reached that magic number?”

Typically, once your Loan to Value Ratio (LTV) has reached 80% of your property’s original appraised value, your currrent mortgage service provider will allow you to have PMI removed, upon request.  You have to be proactive in initiating this conversation.  They will not simply remove the mortgage insurance until, by law, your LTV drops below 78%.  When it does, your mortgage servicer is required to remove the insurance.

There are other situations that could prompt your lender to waive PMI.  Perhaps, you made some improvements and/or renovations to your property which increased it’s value.  Another scenario is an appreciation in the market.  While I know the word “appreciation” has been missing from our real estate vocabulary over recent years, there are whispers of it in the air.  Now could be a good time to take a shot at getting your PMI removed.

AGENTS:  This presents a great opportunity for you to reconnect with former clients and possibly help them save some money.

“How do I go about showing that my equity has increased?”

First, pick up the phone and check with your lender to see if they have any special instructions for requesting PMI removal.  Different lenders may have different requirements.

There are other important criteria you must meet if you want to remove PMI on your loan:

  • requests must be in writing;
  • the borrower must have a good payment history and be current on your payments;
  • your loan servicer may require you to certify that there are no subordinate liens on your home (such as a second mortgage);
  • your loan servicer may require you to ensure (i.e. an appraisal) that the value of your property hasn’t dropped below the value of the home when you bought it.  If the value of your home has decreased, you may not be able to cancel PMI.

Most lenders will require a current appraisal of your property.  Some will allow you to select your own appraiser; while most will require that you use an appraiser from their panel of preferred appraisers.  Either way, confirm this with your lender.  You don’t want to have to pay for two appraisals.

If an appraiser visits your home, be sure to share with the appraiser any improvements that you haved done to the house since you bought it.  This will help give the appraiser a better understanding of where your house was relative to its current, improved condition.

The time to act is now.  Every month that passes is just another month you could be saving on PMI payments.  Look at it this way, if your PMI is $150 per month, that’s a savings of $1,800 per year!

If you have any questions related to PMI removal or real estate appraisal matters in the Philadelphia area please feel free to give The Coyle Group a call 215.836.5500 or visit our website .

Special thanks to Mark K. O’Neill, Senior Loan Officer, with  Mortgage Master for his assistance with providing background on PMI and fact checking.  If you are unable to get PMI removed, you may want to contact Mark.  He may be able to refinance your loan without PMI provided you have at least 10% equity in the home.

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers is a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing appraisals.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call.  We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have.  For more information please visit our website at  You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or