To buy a house is a major life decision but going through the numbers can be daunting — it just may be the most expensive and emotionally draining purchase of your life. But with careful research, determination, and proper calculations, the keys to that dream home can be a step closer to reality.
Mortgage Calculators: Can this online tool help you decide to buy a house?
One way you can make things easier is to make use of online mortgage calculators. Why use them? From what we’ve learned from my recent reading from The Wall Street Journal, it is because Online Calculators Do the Math for You!
A mortgage calculator can give you a reality check on how much you can expect to pay each month, especially when considering all the costs, including taxes, insurance, and private mortgage insurance. If you’re putting enough money down.
There are an endless supply and options when it comes to mortgage calculators online. Most personal finance sites have their own various type of calculators set-up. The best one when it comes to mortgages, in my opinion, is from MortgageCalculators.info.
So what makes this mortgage calculator the best? It’s not flashy and sleek like some of the mortgage calculators you find today. It’s very easy to use, and minimalist and the colors used on the website make it easy to read and also navigate.
But if you want graphs, repayment charts, and amortization schedules, they also have an advanced mortgage calculator that allows you to input home value, principal, interest rate, loan term, start date, property tax, Homeowners Association (HOA) dues, homeowner’s insurance, and Private mortgage insurance (PMI).
And they have many more calculators you can use depending on your situation. Money-saving, home loans, real estate investment, and more!
The Decision to Buy
Before taking the plunge, it’s important to consider whether homeownership is right for you. This is where you look at your finances, cash in or outflow, and determine how much you can actually afford versus the dream home you desire.
Different people will consider buying a house at different points in their lives. Some decide while they are still single, others when married. Some inherited home while already considering buying another one. Others may already way past buying a home for use but rather for investment. Each of these requires different considerations and calculations.
And the website does indeed provide such calculators to cater to various situations that you may be in right now. Let’s go through some buyer considerations and related calculators below.
How much can I afford to buy a house?
How much you can afford to buy a house depends on several factors, including your monthly income, existing debt service, and how much you have saved for a down payment. Consider taking a close look at your budget. Review your bank statements, all recurring bills, and spending habits per month.
Minimum Income Requirement – See a house you want to buy? Use this to calculate the minimum income required to afford it.
Home Loan Limit – Curious about how much home you can afford? Use this.
Once you have a better picture of things, determine how much you want to allocate toward a monthly home payment.
Rent vs. Buy?
Should you rent or buy? Buying may seem appealing because you will put an end to escalating rent and can build equity. But the reality of routine home maintenance and repairs can quickly drain a bank account.
In general, whether renting or buying is better for you largely depends on your specific circumstances. A wealth manager mentioned in a CNBC article that “Buying a home is ‘usually a terrible investment’” is a potential consideration, but at the end of the day, we still need to run the numbers.
Rent vs Buy – Determine if you are better off renting or buying a home through this calculator.
Do you already have a mortgage?
Once again, there are different situations and considerations but here are a few of the calculators that may be useful for you. Mind you, there’s more on the website.
They have an Amortization schedule calculator, as well as a loan balance and mortgage payoff calculator too. If you want to compute your tax breaks and considering refinancing, you can calculate that using their Tax Savings Benefits Estimator and their Refinance Calculator.
ALSO READ: What are Bridging Loans?
We can’t believe this website covers so much already, this also includes calculators for property sellers and a residential property analyzer for real estate investors!
Overall, the website is full of excellent calculators, and we almost forgot to mention that each calculator provides some further explanations and notes for you to check as well.
We hope you get some use out of it. Give it a try, it’s FREE and let us know what you think.