How to use a mortgage calculator to help estimate your mortgage cost

For a couple of months, I have been exploring the option of purchasing of a new home for my family! One reason is that we are outgrowing our current home. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, interest rates have been surprisingly low than they have been in a long time. When I do find a home that I am interested in, the first thing I do is find a mortgage calculator. In my blog post, I’ll show a great tool that you can use to calculate potentially what your mortgage could be on a monthly, but first let’s cover a fee basics!

What is a Mortgage Calculator?

A mortgage calculator can help you determine whether you can afford to buy the home you want. This is especially important for people who are trying to work out how much house they can buy given their current income and other financial commitments. Mortgage calculators are easy to use: you simply enter the monthly mortgage payment, the interest rate, and the amount of your down payment. You can also enter the current mortgage rates to get an idea of what the interest rate your lender will offer you will be.

What’s the best mortgage calculator available?

There are several mortgage calculators available out there! Just do a simple Google search and you’ll find several options to choose from. If you are on the fence on what calculator to use, I’d like to recommend a website called “Mortgage Calculators.” This website is packed with a lot of useful tools such a monthly payment calculator and an advanced calculator.

Monthly Payment Calculator at a glance

Most times I’ll use the monthly payment calculator to get a rough estimate on what I can expect to pay on a new home. The monthly payment calculator tool does not take in account any HOA fees or annual tax fees. That’s where the advanced calculator comes in to play! Let’s take a brief look at the monthly payment calculator and then I’ll show you what the advanced calculator entails.

As you can see below, the monthly payment calculator allows you to enter the home price, down payment, home loan amount, annual interest rate, loan term, and it’ll show the amortization schedule (not shown). You can also get the current rates that available. I opted to use 3.25% since I feel that would be a reasonable rate I would receive.

After you hit calculate, you will receive a summary. The summary will entail how much your monthly payment would be, the term of the loan, the interest rate, and how much you’d end up paying with interest included.

Keep scrolling down on the page and you’ll see “Current Saint Bonaventure 30-Year Mortgage Rates on a $400,000.00 Home Loan”. That’s great info if you want to see what rates you can obtain based on your credit score.

Again the monthly payment calculator is great for getting a rough estimate on what your payments would be. It gives quite a bit of helpful info for first time buyers and for those who own a home, but is seeking a new home. Next, I’ll discuss the advanced calculator.

Advanced Calculator at a glance

Trying to figure out what your mortgage will cost, including HOA fees, PMI, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and routine maintenance? The advanced calculator does the heavy lifting for you. I will admit that it is quite extensive and can be a bit overwhelming but it will get you more close estimate of your mortgage fees. Most times you can have you annual taxes included in your mortgage payment. Let’s take a look at what the advanced calculator consists of.

From the photos shown below, you can see the vast difference between the advanced calculator and the monthly payment calculator. The advanced calculator allows you to enter down payment and home info, mortgage details, closing costs, other ownership costs such as annual property taxes and HOA fees.

Below is a video I recorded to show you what the detail the mortgage summary provides! There is also an option to share the summary! This is very helpful if you want to share the summary of estimated costs with a friend or spouse!

Final Thoughts

Finding the home that could potentially be your forever home can be a daunting task. If you need to know what you can afford, mortgage calculators are useful tools to give you some general idea of what to expect for monthly costs. If you need a quick and basic calculation, I recommend using the monthly payment calculator, but if you want a more refined estimated I’d definitely point you toward the advanced mortgage calculator! If you have a reasonable credit score you’ll be able to get a great rate. Interest rates are at an all-time low! is allows you to see rates on their site so you don’t have to search elsewhere, but I would also recommend checking consumer interest rates on Bloomberg. This just gives another option to check interest rates. Good luck on your search for a new home!

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