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I got a mortgage without escrow right from the start; it required a larger than usual down payment, however. Interesting that many lenders told me outright that they wouldn't do that - regardless of the size of the downpayment. You are absolutely right. Why do I need some company to pay the taxes and insurance for me. My homeowners is billed annually, so we drop a check in the mail once a year. Property taxes are 1/4ly, so 4 times a year we visit the tax collectors office at town hall and pay in person. Not a big deal, and we are guranteed that it gets done, instead of hoping and praying the mortgage company does it for us. I've heard some real escrow horror stories which is why we went the "no-escrow" route.

I once spent a summer working for a mortgage company. They messed up escrow account left and right. Of course, since the majority of people live paycheck-to-paycheck, they got royally hosed when they had to repay the bank who covered the tax bill. The stories I could tell...

Leviathan
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