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House Price Calculator

Adjust the orange knobs to explore the costs of buying a house.

About

The house price calculator helps you estimate what house price (or "sticker price") is affordable given an upfront and monthly budget. It automatically allocates these budgets into a down payment, mortgage payments, and other related costs and fees to find the maximum house price that is achievable given the budget.

Definitions

Cash on hand is the money you have available immediately for a down payment.

Monthly budget is the amount you are able to pay each month for all house-related expenses.

Loan term is the length of your mortgage loan.

Mortgage insurance (purple area) is usually added to your mortgage payment if your down payment is less than 20% of the house price. It is charged each month until you have made enough payments to own at least 20% of your house. The calculator automatically detects whether mortgage insurance is applicable, and if so, it uses an insurance rate of 0.75% of the mortgage amount per year.

Principal (darker blue area) is the amount of each mortgage payment that goes towards owning your house. This reduces your loan amount remaining until you eventually pay off the mortgage.

Interest (lighter blue area) is the amount of each mortgage payment that goes towards paying interest on the loan, determined by your mortgage's interest rate (APR)

Loan rate is the yearly (APR) interest rate on your mortgage. If you have a variable-rate mortgage, your future costs are more uncertain, but you can estimate them using your initial or expected interest rate.

Property tax is the yearly property tax rate where the house is located.

Other monthly costs include anything else you consider to be part of your ongoing housing expenses, such as maintenance, condo association fees, homeowner's insurance, and utilities. House maintenance expenses vary widely from year to year (depending on what needs to be repaired or replaced), but a common rule of thumb estimates maintenance costs at $2 per square foot per year, which is about $330 per month for a 2000-square-foot house.

Closing fees are any fees due at the time you buy the house. The amount you enter here is in addition to two components of your total closing costs which the calculator automatically includes: 20 days of mortgage interest and 7 months of property taxes. Common additional items include prepaid hazard insurance, loan fees, house inspection fees, and local government fees. You can also adjust this value to estimate higher or lower scenarios for the automatically-included costs.