What are the benefits of piggyback financing?

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When a buyer puts 10 percent or less cash down, most lenders require mortgage insurance, known as PMI, which is paid for by the buyer. The cost of PMI is about 1/2 percent of the loan amount annually. So, on a $250,000 mortgage, PMI will run about $1,250 per year. PMI provides protection for the lender in case the buyer stops making mortgage payments. Buyers don't like PMI because it increases the cost of home ownership. Currently, unlike most mortgage interest paid on a primary residence, PMI is not tax deductible. Low-cash-down buyers can avoid PMI by using piggyback financing. Here's how it works. Let's say you have enough cash to put 10 percent down on the purchase of a new home. If you borrow a mortgage for 90 percent of the purchase price, the lender will likely charge you for PMI. Instead of taking out one mortgage, you combine two mortgages to come up with 90 percent financing and thereby avoid PMI. You could combine a 75 percent first mortgage with a 15 percent second mortgag...