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Re: Buying a house
...if you can't put 15-20% down on the house, the mortgage company will require you to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). What this is is basically if something should happen to you, the PMI will pay off the mortgage. Now, here's the thing you will have to keep an eye on with this: the law says that if PMI is required, you only have to pay for it until you have paid off 20% of the mortgage. At that point, you can get rid of the PMI. What you have to watch for is that the mortgage company won't take it off automatically...you have to track your payments until you hit that 20% threshold, and then contact the mortgage company and show them that you have reached the threshold, and have them remove the PMI. Otherwise, they'll keep the PMI in place until the loan matures.
There's also something in a mortgage called "points". I have yet to find someone who can explain to me what points are. However, I am inclined to believe that points are the same thing you would see buying a new car, and on the finance sheet you see "ADM". ADM is short for "Additional Dealer Mark-up". In short, in a car dealership, ADM is simply profit padding. The good thing is, like with ADM, you can negotiate the points out of the contract.