Time it takes: 9 minutesIf you carry private mortgage insurance but now have 20% equity in your home, see whether you can cancel. Your mortgage servicer (the phone number is listed on your bill) usually must oblige if your down payment and principal payments exceed 20% of your home's original value. Many will do so if rising prices have pushed your equity to 20%.
In this case, canceling will take longer: Most mortgage companies require an appraisal, which costs around $300. But at homegain.com, realestateabc.com or zillow.com you can get an idea of whether your home value has risen enough to justify a call.