Rising Home Values May Mean Lower Payment

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RENO -- Thanks to climbing home values, some homeowners may be able to eliminate mortgage insurance premiums and reduce monthly payments.

Kevin Sigstad, treasurer of the Nevada Association of Realtors, said generally homeowners with twenty percent equity can request to eliminate the insurance payments. He said lenders must remove the insurance premiums once seventy-eight percent loan-to-value is reached. Homeowners would also need to get an appraisal. While it's unlikely those who bought at the peak could take advantage, people who bought before or after might be able to reduce monthly payments.

"If someone bought late in the recession '09, '10 there might be enough equity in their home they could quality for this," Sigstad said.

Sigstad said while demand for homes has lessened from earlier this year, demand remains strong -- values have been increasing.

"We always used to figure out there were at least two-thirds of homes in the area that owed more than their mortgages than their homes were worth, we think now that's down to fifty percent," he said.