Mortgage 101: The Calculator

How will I know what this mortgage will cost me every month?

Every online mortgage shopper is familiar with the "mortgage calculator". If you plug in a loan amount and an interest rate, the mortgage calculator can tell you what the payment will be.

Mortgage Calculator Explained

Mortgage calculators can be both a blessing and a curse.

  • They are a blessing in that they can be so, so useful.
  • They are a curse in that they are difficult to use correctly and can produce inaccurate information.

Mortgage calculators are used to try and predict what your monthly payment might be—possibly on a house you are thinking about buying, or maybe on a loan you are thinking about refinancing into.

At Portland Home Loan, we have our very own Mortgage Calculator that is embedded into the framework of the site—it’s on almost every page for your calculating convenience. Aside from the basics, this mortgage calculator was built to include all associated expenses in a mortgage, such as property taxes and home owners insurance. Even if you are not purchasing in the Portland, Oregon area but are looking into some potential real estate purchases, our mortgage calculator can answer everything you need to know.

How to ensure accurate data
Simple Calculation

For a simple calculation, such as the 20% down purchase, put in the Purchase Price, and then enter "20" into the Down Payment slot. The Mortgage Calculator will then automatically figure your correct loan amount.

Property Taxes

If you are unsure of the exact numbers you should default to 1.2% of the Purchase Price. For example, if you are looking at a $200,000 purchase, you can estimate the taxes to be $2,400 per year. Plug this number into the Mortgage Calculator.

Property Insurance

$500 per year is a fairly safe place holder. Increase it to $700 for purchases above $400,000,

Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage insurance is not available for down payments of 20% and above. However, if you are putting less than 20% down, you will need to plan on paying for mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance factors for different down payments:

5% down = .68 PMI per year
10% down = .48 PMI per year
15% down = .32 PMI per year

Federal Housing Administration

If you are getting an FHA loan, you will use a down payment of 3.5%, and in the MI section you will add .85 for the annual factor.

We don't make the rules, but we can tell you how the game works.

The 6 Steps of Getting a Mortgage

Get to know the key players and major steps in getting a mortgage in this helpful infographic.

View the Infographic

The latest from James Adair's Mortgage Blog

One week after the 2016 election, what does this mean for Portland Real estate?

Short video explaining how the mortgage bond market works, and how the suprise election results will impact things moving forward. Specifically in the Portland area real estate markets. 

Down payment assistance for buyers who qualify

The National Homebuyers Fund has been providing down payment assistance grants to home buyers in the Portland area for YEARS!  The PDX Home Loan team has partnered with the NHF to help provide all possible opportunites for great buyers who simply dont' have...

How to tell if your taxes are included in your mortgage

It's that time of year again!  Late October in Oregon.  Time for all the non-Multnomah county residents to pat themselves on the back and temporarily feel superior, and bask in the glow of their money savings for a couple weeks.  Property taxes are now certified for...