As a homebuyer you can expect to make a few mistakes along the way. Maybe you started the home search process without narrowing down your needs and wants, or perhaps you put your trust in the wrong real estate agent. It happens, and fortunately, you can bounce back from many buyer mistakes. But if you fall in love with a house you can’t afford, or if you purchase a house outside your means, recovery might be easier said than done.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is a smart way to learn how much you can spend on a house. Of course, this involves submitting a home loan application and having a lender run your credit, which is a step you might not be ready to take. No worries. Mortgage calculators are free and easy to use. They may not be as accurate as an actual pre-approval from a bank, but they’re a good place to start.
It doesn’t get any easier than Bankrate’s mortgage calculator. Simply enter your desired mortgage amount, mortgage term, interest rate and calculate your mortgage payment. This particular calculator doesn’t factor in property taxes or private mortgage insurance, however, if you’re interested in paying off your home loan early, this calculator can estimate a pay off date based on extra payments made on a monthly or annual basis.
Some mortgage calculators only calculate payments based on an amount, term and rate. Maybe you’re not satisfied with this type of rough estimate and need a more accurate calculation. In that case, this mortgage calculator might be a better fit, as you’re able to enter your down payment, annual property taxes, property insurance and private mortgage insurance in the calculation. Plus, there’s the option of searching current mortgage rates and comparing the competition.
Another simple, easy-to-use calculator. Provide basic information, such as the home price, down payment and mortgage term. But this calculator is slightly different from other types of mortgage calculators. There is a tool to help you better estimate your interest rate. Choose the type of mortgage you’re interested in, and the website automatically inputs the current rate for a particular program, thus eliminating the guesswork. Additionally, you can opt to include homeowner’s insurance and association dues in your mortgage payment calculation, creating a pretty accurate quote.
This mortgage calculator can work for either a new purchase or a refinance. It’s set up like a slideshow presentation and you’re asked a series of questions. For example, if you’re buying a house, is your goal to pay off the house soon or get the lowest interest rate? Next, you’re asked to enter a purchase amount and down payment. You’ll also need to describe your credit health and provide your zip code, and based on your answers, the calculator estimates the best loan products for you, your mortgage payment, interest rate, as well as your closing costs.