Q. Will I save money if I refinance?

A. Please use the Refinance Calculator provided to compare your current mortgage vs a mortgage if you refinance. The result will give you an estimate of how much you could save.

Q. How can I avoid private mortgage insurance?

A. If you have a loan amount that exceeds 80 percent of the value of the property, you can avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) by breaking the mortgage in two. Let’s say you have 10 percent down and you can get a first mortgage for 80 percent and a second mortgage for 10 percent of the price. Many lenders will not charge PMI with this financing arrangement. Another way is to put 20% down payment.

Q. What expenses associated with buying and owning a home are tax deductible?

A. The property taxes and mortgage interest you pay on a personal residence are fully deductible from your income tax every year. When you purchase a home, some closing costs also are tax deductible in the year they were paid. For example points are considered prepaid interest by the IRS and are deductible in the year you purchase the house.

Q. How can I fulfill the primary residency requirement so that I can avoid capital gains taxes?

A. You must live in the home a total of 2 years out of the last five years to qualify for the $250,000 exemption ($500,000 for couples). The 2 years do not have to be continuous. To prove occupancy, save utility bills, auto registration notices.

Q. Can I deduct my entire mortgage payment?

A. No, you can only deduct the interest. However, during the early years of your loan, most of your payment will be deductible because most of each monthly payment goes to pay interest.