Few people have the cash lying around to pay for a piece of real estate in its entirety. In order to become a homeowner, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage – a loan that allows you to purchase real estate. However, when you budget for your monthly mortgage payments, that principle and interest of your mortgage loan aren’t the only things that you’ll need to include in your financial plan. You may also be required to purchase lender’s mortgage insurance, which is also sometimes called private mortgage insurance or PMI. Private mortgage insurance is an unexpected expense for many first-time real estate owners. Don’t get surprised be this expense!

Private mortgage insurance is meant to protect the lender, not you. If you should stop making payments of your mortgage, your lender has the right to begin foreclosure proceedings. However, this is not the best-case scenario, as lenders aren’t in the business of owning property. They need to sell as soon as possible, and depending on the market, this often means that they sell way below market value. If that sell price doesn’t cover the amount left on your mortgage, the lender can case in the private mortgage insurance policy you’ve purchased. This will cover the rest of the cost of the house to ensure that the lender does not lose any money in the long run.

Not everyone has to buy private mortgage insurance. It depends on the terms of your mortgage. Usually, mortgage lenders ask that you pay about 20% of the total property’s cost in the form of a down payment. However, if you don’t have a lot of money saved up, it is still possible to get a mortgage. This is where the private mortgage insurance comes into play. Usually, you are required to pay for an insurance policy for the lender until you’ve completely paid off that 20% of the mortgage’s principle.

Sometimes, the terms are a bit different, depending on the circumstances. For example, if you have a jumbo mortgage (a very expense loan for a high-priced property), you may be required to keep your private mortgage insurance property for a longer amount of time. Or, if you have an interest-only mortgage payment plan, in which you don’t pay on the principle right away, you might not have to carry the plan until the mortgage’s principle is paid of at 20%.

What kind of rate can you expect when it comes to private mortgage insurance That depends on your specific situation. For some people, the monthly premium will be fairly low. For others, it might be fairly high. However, no matter what kind of premium you have to pay, the important thing is that you are prepared to pay it. Some of the main factors that come into play when insurance agents are determining your private mortgage insurance rate are the following how much you did pay in a down payment, the total price of the loan, the type of property you are purchasing, and your credit score. The more likely you are to pay the mortgage in full, according to these standards, the more likely you are to get a lower insurance rate.

Some people have successfully avoided the need for private mortgage insurance by using the piggyback loan strategy. With this kind of mortgage lender, you’re using more than one loan in order to pay for the real estate. You make a 20% down payment, but only by using a second (piggyback) mortgage to pay for part of that down payment. So, you might have an original loan for 80%, a second loan for 10%, and a 10% out of pocket down payment. This way, you avoid the need for private mortgage insurance.

However, the cost for private mortgage insurance might actually be lower than what you pay for the interest on your second loan, depending on the factors listed beforehand. This used to be rare, but today, private mortgage insurance is tax-deductible. That means that it is now less expensive for some homeowners to get private mortgage insurance than it is for them to go for the second mortgage loan. This law will be in effect until at least 2010. It doesn’t apply to mortgage agreements signed before January 1, 2007.

Although private mortgage insurance doesn’t affect everyone, for many people, this is an expense they have to pay. Be prepared for it. If you are going to purchase a home using a mortgage, it is important to understand your expenses before you sign on the dotted line.