Op-Ed: You can still buy a house with a low down payment

October 24, 2023

Today, USMI President Seth Appleton authored an opinion article in the Dallas Morning News on the competitive housing market in Dallas, Texas and the role private mortgage insurance (MI) plays for first-time homeowners saving for down payments. In 2022 alone, over 100,000 Texans leverage private MI with 62% of these homeowners being first-time buyers. Private MI is also a vital tool to eliminate barriers to access and affordability in areas like Dallas, Texas where despite 65% of the population being black and Hispanic, these two demographic groups suffer from lower homeownership rates than other races and ethnicities. To learn more, read our selected excerpts from the opinion article that can be found below, or click here to read the full story.

“The continuous climb in housing prices, especially in a desirable market like Dallas, means that many potential buyers are on a treadmill, always racing to a 20% down payment goal but never making fast enough progress. According to USMI’s 2023 PMI by State report, it could take 34 years for a Texas household earning the state median income of $67,404 to save 20% (plus closing costs) for a $354,050 single-family home, the median sales price in the state. Fortunately, nearly 100,000 Texans who became homeowners last year stand as proof that the American dream is achievable through a low down payment mortgage backed by PMI. Among those in Texas who used PMI in 2022, 62% were first-time buyers who can now put down roots and start to build equity.


“In addition to helping first-time homebuyers become homeowners, PMI can be a vital resource for helping underserved communities affordably and sustainably access the mortgage market, including Black and Hispanic residents, who make up around 65% of Dallas County’s population, but have lower homeownership rates than borrowers of other races and ethnicities. And a recent paper by Fannie Mae mentioned that PMI is a relatively small part of the overall cost of homeownership, showcasing that entering homeownership through a low down payment mortgage is more beneficial than renting.”