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$$$ Saving Tip: If you bought a home in Austin over 1 year ago with less than 20% down using a conventional loan, you are paying PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) which is a monthly add-on to your mortgage payment that helps protect the lender against your defaulting on the loan. Usually, once you have 20%+ equity in the home, proven by a recent home appraisal, lenders will drop PMI which can save you a lot of money over time. Since Austin’s home prices have been going up by double-digits each month for the past year or so, you might easily have that much equity by now. I recommend you call your mortgage servicer (who you make monthly payments to) and see what process they have for removing PMI. Paying $400-500 for anew appraisal would be quickly offset by annual PMI payments that could be$1,000 or more (and reoccur each year)!