February 17, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
The housing market and the economy aren’t so much in the dump as they were a few years ago, so you might be in the market for a new home. While you’re browsing housing sites like Zillow.com or attending an open house this weekend, why not make sure you can actually afford that house you’re looking at?
Available for free, Zillow’s Mortgage Calculator and Rates can calculate the full cost of a home in a few minutes. The app not only determines the affordability of your dream home, it also compares rates for lenders who might finance the purchase – or refinance the home you currently own. For users who are refinancing, it calculates costs based on your current income, current debts, and how feasible it is to take on a new loan.
Zillow’s MCR has a really easy-to-use feature that calculates the affordability and cost of a loan you’d need to purchase a house. The app features adjustable sliders for home price, down payment percentage, and the loan rate. Users can then get more detailed information by submitting additional information that affects the real cost of the home, including:
- Principal & interest
- Local property taxes
- HOA fees
- Loan terms (years)
Once that information is calculated, Zillow MCR instantly shows how much your total monthly payment would be for all costs associated with the home. Using your location, or desired zip code, the app then submits estimates from trusted lenders in the area. The app sorts Conventional and FHA loans according to APR, fees, rate, payment, total cost, and lender rating.
For anyone in the market for a new home, Zillow Mortgage Calculator and Rates can be helpful in quickly determining which house is right for you. The app not only works as a great way to calculate costs, but also to find the right lender for your 15-year, 30-year, or 5/1 ARM loans. MCR even includes charts to show trends for finance rates rising or falling. And if you need to return to a previous search, the app maintains a history log of your most recent queries.