Alan is correct, to completely avoid PMI you need 20% down. Traditionally, PMI is paid as an additional amount on top of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (this is just called "borrower paid MI")... however there are alternative options, such as paying PMI through a higher interest rate instead (called "lender paid MI"), or paying a single PMI premium at closing (simply called "single premium"), or even splitting it up into a smaller monthly amount and a smaller premium amount at closing (called "split MI").
The best type of PMI will depend on your situation, however if you are putting almost close to 20% down, then usually just regular borrower paid MI ends up being the best option. The reason being is that the PMI will drop off as soon as your regularly scheduled payments will bring your loan-to-value to 80% of the value of the home when you obtained the mortgage - which if you are almost putting 20% down, won't be very long.
Feel free to contact me with further questions.
Shane Milne | Lending in all 50 states | NMLS #81195
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