• Conventional Loans

    A conventional loan is the only traditional loan that can be used for various types of residential purchases.    Where FHA, VA and USDA loans can only be used on primary residences, conventional loans can be used for primary residences, second homes and investment properties.  The down payment requirements for each are different (primary residence 5%, second home 10% and investment property 20%).   These loans do not have upfront fees like other loans and are not required to have mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.

    With conventional loans used for primary residences you can put as little as 5% down.  But, if you put less than 20% down you will have mortgage insurance.  The same rule applies if you refinance with less than 20% equity.

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    Canceling PMI sooner

    There are 2 ways that PMI can be cancelled:

    Refinance:  If your home value has increased to where you have 20% equity in your home.  When it comes to mortgage insurance, refinancing to a conventional loan is usually done when your current loan is other than a conventional loan and you would like to remove the mortgage insurance premium.

    Get a new appraisal:  Some lenders will consider a new appraisal instead of the original sales price of a home when deciding if you meet the 20% equity threshold.  Before ordering an appraisal make sure you speak with the lender that you are currently making your payment to.  Most of the time the lender will require that they order the appraisal.