Your Questions About Mortgage Rates Calculator

David asks…

How can you call a web page that allow you to enter data and receive answers from a progam?

The web has several pages which let you fill in forms and returns information. There are calculators for mortgage rates, tax to pay, those that do unit conversions etc. If I want to run many different cases it seems I need to run them manually. I wondered if there was a way to do this automatically say from excel, or failing that from some kind of other programming language.

admin answers:

I think you should read about server side technologies. Besides there are tons of free tools for information processing that can be Integrated into your site

Steven asks…

How much would i pay a month on a $189,800 house?

30 year term
7.17% interest rate
One mortgage calculator says $1284.49, another says $1027.59, and another says $934.40, Which one is right?
Oh, sorry, i would put down 30,000

admin answers:

With a mortage of $159,800 ($189,800-30,000) at 7.17% for 30 years I am getting $1,081. Of course, that does not include insurance or real estate taxes which varies signficantly. For example, my monthly mortgage payment is $2,325 a month. About $1,990 is for the mortgage and interest, and $335 is for taxes and insurance.

If you are dealing with a reputable mortgage broker, they should be able to give you an estimate on the taxes and insurance.

Are you pay for the closing costs out of your pocket (and on top of the downpayment)? If you finance the closing costs, your monthly payment will be slightly higher.

Good luck!

Mark asks…

Is there an explanation for these mortgage results?

I just used a mortgage calculator provided online by a real estate firm in the Midwest to come up with the following for three different (theoretical) down payment amounts

Price (In the neighborhood of ) $ 489,000
Down Payment $ 400/4000/40,000
Interest Rate 4%
Mortgage Term 30 years
Payment $ 2, 338 / 2, 320 / 2, 137

This may not be all banks’ takes, and the interest rate may affect things a little, but isn’t mortgage rate suppose to be somewhat uniform across the board in the US? As it stands, there seems precious little monthly advantage to making a larger down payment. Why is that? Why is it that so much is required.

The mortgage calculator at (for example) doesn’t even take into account your initial down payment, only the loan amount. Is that an important difference?

admin answers:

The different down payments will result in different monthly payments (although the interest rates did not change to reflect the normal difference you will see in interest rates for .1%, 1%, and 10% down payments.

Thomas asks…

How much of a drop in interest rates is needed to make refinancing worth all the closing costs and fees?

We are currently at a 6.5% fixed 30year mortgage on 290,000. We are wondering if it is worth it to refinance to a 5.5% fixed 30 year mortgage. We’ve done the calculator on the mortgage websites and it shows a $200 a month savings but we have no idea what the closing costs would be.

admin answers:

There are other things to consider other than rate, that matter:

1. How long have you been in your existing mortgage? If you have had it for 5 years, why go back into another 30 yr mortgage?
2. How long do you plan on staying in your home? If less than 5 years, then take out a 5 yr ARM, possibly even interest-only, if any longer than 5 years, then a 30-yr fixed would be a great, since there is very little difference between a 7 yr ARM and a 30-yr fixed in today’s market.
3. How much will it appraise for (based on recent sales in your area)?
4. Will you be liminating PMI, or assuming PMI if you refinance? Meaning, if you refinance for 290K plus costs, if you are over 80% of the value of your home, known as Loan-to-value, or LTV, you may have to pay PMI, which for 2008 is not tax deductible last time I checked, so you may want to find out if the bank offers a no PMI loan, and whether it benefits you, as mortgage interest is fully tax deductible (No PMI loans have slightly higher rates, as the PMI is financed into the rate, but the payment is generally lower as compared to a loan with PMI)
5. Are you taking any cash out to consolidate any debt, or for home improvements? If you are, then that’s fine.
6. Closing and Settlement Costs – typically on the high side you would expect them to be about 4% of your loan amount, for a conventional loan. Some banks offer no-closing cost loans, but the rates are slightly higher than with a conventional mortgage. The costs though, would be rolled into the mortgage, therfore, you would need to recalculate your payment based off of the new balance. Does this make sense?
7. Refinancing your mortgage for the same amount, meaning you are taking no cash out, is worthwhile if you will recuperate the cost of doing it within 4 years of the refinance. Personally, I restrict that time frame to 2.5-3 years for my own choices.

But in the end, a drop in arte of .75% or more is generally a good reason to refinance. You may also want to ask about buying the rate down to a lower rate. Remember to use the rule of calculating how loang it will take you to recoup that cost to determine if it is worth it or not.

Also, ask about escrows – the bank may offer lower rates if you escrow your taxes and insurance. If not, then I would recommend not escrowing and putting the money into savings or a CD every month and earn the interest on it.

Hope this helps.

Maria asks…

How do you figure out how long it will take to pay off your mortgage?

I have a 30 year fixed rate 5.75% mortgage for $292,000. My payments began in March 2006. I am paying it off aggressively and to date owe $243,000. My monthly payments are roughly $2,000 but I’ve been paying almost double that each month. If I keep up at this rate (and maybe even more each month), will it only take me 15 years to pay off? Where can I find a calculator to figure this out? Thank you for your help!

admin answers:

Any financial calculator will allow you to easily figure this out – I’ve been using an HP-12C for 20 years and it’s still an industry standard. If you currently have $243M left and you’re paying $4M per month, I figure you’ll have the loan paid down in 72 months, or just 6 years. If you pay just $2M per month, I figure you’ll have the loan paid down in 183 months, or just 3 months more than 15 years. Your required payment based on the original terms should only be $1,704, unless your payment includes impounds for taxes/insurance.

You can also use the financial functions on an Excel spreadsheet, but whether you do that or use a calculator, the exercise is the same. Enter your known variables, then solve for the unknown. Knowns: PV (present value=$243,000), i (interest rate=5.75%/12), FV (future value=0), and pmt (payment=4,000); solve for n (number of periods, which will give you 72 months).

Financial calculators should cost between $50-85. Good luck.

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