What Buyers should know about PMI








Many buyers and would-be buyers have heard the popular idea that they need a 20% down payment in order to buy a home. If your clients aren’t financially prepared to put 20% down, you’ve probably introduced them to some of the programs that allow them to pull together a smaller down payment (or even no down payment!) and still end up as homeowners. But just as important as teaching them about the buying process is teaching them about what comes with other finance options: specifically Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Here are three things to make sure your buyers know about PMI.

  1. What it is. It’s important that your buyers understand what Private Mortgage Insurance is and how it works. Mortgage companies require PMI to mitigate they're risk when accepting less than 20% down.
  2. How to cancel it. Explain to buyers that when they have at least 20% equity in their home, they can work with their mortgage professional to cancel their PMI, reducing their monthly expenses.
  3. It may be tax deductible. Let your buyers know that depending on the specifics of their loan, their PMI payments could be tax deductible (which could save them hundreds of dollars a year.) Make sure they consult a tax professional.

For many home buyers, reducing the amount they have to put away for a down payment can make the difference between whether or not they’re able to buy a home. Mortgage professionals, like us, can help fully educate your buyers on the ins and outs of PMI.









Certain home renovations can seriously increase a property’s sale price, such as updating the kitchen or finishing the basement. But if the goal is to increase the home’s value, it’s important that sellers don’t sink more money into the upgrades than they’ll make back on the sale. Here are some basic rules to follow that can help make sure you don’t overspend on renovations.

  1. Don't move the plumbing. This gets expensive quickly! Instead, find ways to rearrange the kitchen and bathrooms without moving sinks, toilets, etc.
  2. Update rather than replace. Not thrilled with the cabinets? Instead of ripping them out, encourage your clients to try a new coat of paint and some updated hardware. Making repairs is often cheaper than replacing.
  3. DIY what you can. Doing their own painting and simple installations can really save your sellers money. Just make sure they defer to the experts on the truly skilled labor, like electrical.
  4. Consider the ROI. Do some research into which updates will increase a home’s value, such as replacing the garage door or the siding, and which updates aren’t as likely to pay off, like adding a master suite or building a patio.

While remodeling can definitely make a home more appealing to buyers, it’s not the only thing that can! Remind your clients that deep cleaning and careful staging can freshen up a house, too. Renovations should be just one of the tools in your home selling tool kit.









When discussing a healthy work/life balance, much has been said about the importance of mentally “clocking out” at the end of the day and making sure to detach from work. But according to a recent study, “reattaching” to work again before you begin your workday can be just as important. This reattachment is key to ensuring that you spend your workday engaged and focused. Here are four questions to ask yourself each morning to promote that reattachment and prepare yourself for a productive day.

  1. What's on your plate today? Perform a quick overview of any meetings, calls, or deadlines scheduled for the day. Is there anything you need to prepare or finalize?
  2. What is your main goal? It may seem extreme to ask yourself about your life’s purpose every morning over your coffee, but refocusing your attention on your primary goal can help you better prioritize your tasks. Use this goal as a lens through which to choose which tasks are essential and which have no larger impact.
  3. If you could only do one thing today, what would it be? This should be the first thing you do. That way, even if the rest of your day gets derailed, you completed your most important task.
  4. What are you putting off? If there’s something on your to-do list that you’re dreading, it can help to identify it and recognize the obstacle standing between you and completing it.

Thinking about work while eating dinner with your family or watching the latest Netflix original can make your downtime less restful and prevent your mind from recuperating in between work periods. It’s important to unplug after work — and by that same token, it’s also important to plug back in once you’re ready to get back to it! Taking five or ten minutes to review these questions in the morning sets you up to have a great, focused day.









  1. Use two methods at once. There’s always a chance that your backup or storage method will fail, whether that means that a local hard drive becomes corrupted or your off-site cloud storage fails. By always using two methods to protect your data, you’re covered even in the case of a catastrophe.
  2. Make sure cloud storage is secure. Don’t fire all your data off into the cloud without ensuring that your data will be kept private! If your cloud storage provider isn’t encrypted, you also encrypt your own data before backing it up.
  3. Check up regularly. Many data backup systems are sold on the promise of convenient, automatic function. However, that means that if your backup is flawed in any way, you may not notice until it’s too late. Check in consistently to make sure that your data is being stored properly and safely.
  4. Keep your data clean. It’s easy for backups to get cluttered, redundant, and messy depending on how they’re managed and how often you review them. Cleaning up years of backups at once is a daunting task, so instead, just make a point of keeping up with your backups so you can ensure that they stay well organized.

Don’t let a data disaster be the thing that reminds you to take care of your files and information! Maintaining a reliable system for backing up and storing your data adds a little work to your day-to-day now, but prevents a major headache in the case of future data loss.









Camilo Escandon
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS# 274587
GA Residential Mortgage Licensee: 27978

Branch NMLS # 422918
1000 Mansell Exchange W, Ste. 310
Alpharetta, GA 30022

Office: 678.495.2819
Mobile: 678.427.1932
Fax: 678.262.3552
[email protected]







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