2. Loan amount calculator
Once you’ve determined the maximum price within your budget, you’ll want to think about the right type of loan. Considering how much you’re comfortable paying each month is part of that and, often, “the payment you can qualify for and the payment you feel comfortable making are two different things,” says Rose.
Entering your desired monthly mortgage into a loan amount calculator gives you an estimate of how much you could borrow in either a 30-year or 15-year, fixed-rate loan. By playing around with different numbers, says Rose, you’ll be able to arrive at the total monthly cost that suits your budget best.
3. Monthly mortgage payment calculator
This tool estimates how much you can expect to pay each month based on the total amount you plan to borrow.
By factoring in your loan amount, interest rate and loan term, a monthly mortgage payment calculator can ensure your new housing payment fits comfortably into your budget, especially when you get specific.
“It's very important to include as much information as possible,” says Gonzalo Maturana, Goizueta Foundation term associate professor of finance at Emory University in Atlanta. “Do your best to include estimates for property taxes and homeowners insurance, as well as homeowners association fees and private mortgage insurance.”
These factors are important because they can increase the monthly payment significantly, says Maturana, and the more information you can give the calculator, the less likely you are to be taken by surprise when you talk to a loan officer.