Interestingly, shopping for a new home is an exciting time. I began my search by just browsing through homes in my area on Zillow. With several hours of HGTV watching under my belt, I knew the types of layouts that I did and did not like. I also knew which areas were the best and which ones to avoid. The only thing I didn’t know about was taking out a mortgage loan, and that’s a very important thing to understand.
If you’re exploring how to finance a home, mortgage calculators are a great resource. There are plenty of them on the internet you can use. While a large number of them are advertisements to encourage you to choose a certain bank, there are plenty that are helpful without being ads.
1.) Don’t be married to a low interest rate that you find. The bank with the lowest rate is not always the best choice.
2.) Talk to an expert at your local bank or credit union.
3.) Ask your friends that are homeowners about their experience with their lenders.
4.) Consider 5 or 7 year adjusted rate mortgages (ARM), but make sure you know everything there is to know about them by speaking to a professional.
5.) If you’re working with a trustworthy real estate agent, ask their opinion.
Here are 5 great mortgage calculators to help guide you on your journey to homeownership. Most of these are very similar, but range in features and complexity.
This is probably the best mortgage calculator that is highly detailed without having any ads for banks. You get a comprehensive breakdown of monthly payments and a detailed mortgage payment schedule for the amortization period (30 or 15 years).
This is a very recent feature for Google, allowing you to search phrases like “what mortgage can I afford at 900 a month” or “mortgage calculator”. You’ll see a calculator built into Google’s search engine result page.
While it’s very handy to quickly search Google, keep in mind the numbers that are shown are just principal and interest. It does not include property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, or private mortgage insurance
I like this calculator for it’s simplicity. Plug in the home price you’re looking at, what you have for a down payment, and a safe interest rate number. You’ll get to quickly see breakdowns of monthly payment, amortization, and payment schedule for each year.
4. CNN Money
Another calculator I like for it’s simplicity. If you want something that is straight to the point, this is my favorite. It doesn’t show you graphs, pie charts, or amortization charts. Just see what your monthly payment will be with principal and interest, PMI, taxes, and insurance.
Zillow is well known for having an easy to use home search, and their mortgage calculator is no different. I’m a fan of this calculator because it is simple, but you have the option to view a “full report.” If you wish, you can see a payment breakdown for every single month of the loan duration.
It’s very important to understand how a mortgage payment will fit into your budget. We hope these calculators are a great resource for you on your home buying journey.