Mortgages – What You Need to Know

Mortgages are used to buy homes that you need the cash to purchase outright. These loans are secured by the property itself, which the lender can take ownership of (foreclosing) if you don’t pay back your loan. A monthly mortgage payment has four core components: principal, interest, property taxes, and homeowners insurance. Calculating these payments by hand or with mortgage calculators is important to understand your budget for a new home.


Boise Mortgage Companies are a key part of buying a home. They allow you to get a loan to cover the purchase price of your new house, then agree to pay it back in installments over time with an interest rate attached. A mortgage is secured by the property itself, meaning the lender can take ownership of your home if you fail to make payments.

The mortgage process starts when you apply for a loan with a lender, typically a bank or other private lender that offers loans to help people buy homes. Most lenders require an application, credit check and other documents before approving you for a mortgage. During the preapproval phase, you can get an idea of how much you can borrow and what your monthly mortgage payment might look like, which helps as you search for homes in your price range.

There are many types of mortgages. Some are government-insured, including FHA, VA and USDA loans. Other types are conventional loans not backed by the government. Conventional loans are often made through private lenders, and some have different underwriting guidelines than government-insured mortgages.

The type of mortgage you choose depends on a number of factors, including how long you plan to hold your home, the amount of down payment you can afford to make and what you can afford in terms of mortgage payments versus local property tax rates. You can also use a calculator to compare different mortgage options before you commit to one.

In addition to the principal and interest, you may need to pay for other costs associated with owning a home, such as homeowner’s insurance. Your lender will typically collect these premiums as part of your monthly mortgage payment, place them in an escrow account and pay them on your behalf when the premiums are due.

Your mortgage is a large financial obligation, and it can be complicated to understand all of the details involved. But by taking the time to learn more about how a mortgage works, you can be better prepared for the process of buying a home and making your monthly mortgage payments.

How to Save for a Down Payment

Most mortgage lenders require that buyers put down at least 3% of the purchase price of a home. This can be difficult, especially for first-time home buyers who may need to save tens of thousands of dollars. But there are a number of strategies for saving for a down payment that can help you meet your goal more effectively.

Begin by getting prequalified for a mortgage loan to find out how much you can afford and how large your down payment should be. Then start saving as soon as possible, ideally in an account that offers a good return, such as online savings accounts with high interest rates or a money market account. It’s also a good idea to talk to your mortgage lender to see if there are any down payment assistance programs that you could apply for, particularly if you’re a first-time buyer.

One of the most effective ways to save for a down payment is to go on a spending diet. This means eliminating or reducing unnecessary expenses like subscription services, entertainment or delivery service charges, and redirecting those funds to your house savings account. You can also automate your savings by transferring a percentage of every paycheck into a savings account or establishing an automatic transfer on a certain day each month. You can even open a separate savings account specifically for your down-payment goal and label it “House Savings” for added motivation.

Another way to boost your savings is to ask for help from family members and friends. You can request that they skip giving you gifts at holidays and special occasions, and instead give you cash to put toward your mortgage down payment. But be aware that there are special rules about gifting funds for mortgage loans and down payments, and you should speak with your lender to understand what those are before asking for any gift money. You can also find out if there are any state-based down-payment assistance programs that you could qualify for. These can range from deferred or forgivable loans to grants, and you should review eligibility requirements closely.

Mortgage Calculators

Mortgage calculators are helpful tools for homebuyers to use when trying to determine how much of a mortgage they can afford. These calculators can help borrowers estimate their monthly mortgage payments based on the purchase price, down payment and interest rate. They can also take into account other monthly homeowner expenses like property taxes and insurance. Mortgage calculators can be found online, in financial handheld calculators and in many home improvement or real estate software programs.

To use a mortgage calculator, simply enter your income, expenses and desired loan terms to get an estimated monthly payment amount. This can help you decide how much of a home you can afford without going over your budget or maxing out your credit. Then, you can compare different home prices and loan terms to find the best one for your situation.

Some mortgage calculators also allow you to choose different types of loan durations. This can be useful if you’re considering a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year mortgage to save money on interest. You can also see the difference in payments between a fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using a mortgage calculator. For example, it’s important to use the most accurate numbers possible for each of the variables that go into calculating a mortgage. You should also be aware that mortgage calculators typically assume a fixed-rate mortgage, so you may want to try different types of loans and compare them to see which ones make sense for your finances.

In addition to determining your mortgage payment, a mortgage calculator can also be used to help you estimate other closing costs and fees. These can include title insurance charges, recording fees and appraisal fees. Most mortgage calculators also have a field to enter the ZIP code of the property, which can be used to calculate local property taxes and homeowners insurance rates. Depending on the sophistication of the mortgage calculator, it may also be able to provide estimates for prepaid expenses and deposits into an escrow account to cover future homeowners’ insurance and property taxes.

Mortgage Payments

Mortgage payments are the monthly amounts paid by a borrower to pay back the money borrowed to purchase a home. These payments usually consist of a portion of loan principal and a portion of interest. The principal represents the original amount borrowed, while the interest is the fee charged by the lender for the privilege of using their funds. Most mortgage borrowers make these payments on a regular basis, such as every month.

To calculate your monthly mortgage payment, you need to know a few things about your home and your finances. You’ll want to have a good idea of what you can afford to spend on a new home, and how much your debt load should be. To determine the maximum amount you can comfortably afford to pay each month, lenders use a standard calculation called the 28/36 rule. This rule states that your monthly mortgage payment should not be more than 28% of your pretax income and 36% of your total debt.

When you apply for a mortgage, federal law requires that your lender provide you with a three-page Loan Estimate that shows your total mortgage costs. This includes the loan terms, estimated mortgage payments and fees, and a breakdown of how each payment is applied to your home’s principal and interest.

After closing, your loan servicer will deposit a portion of each monthly mortgage payment into an escrow account for property taxes and homeowners insurance. The balance in these accounts will grow over time, and when your tax or insurance bills come due, the servicer will pay the appropriate bill out of escrow. It’s a good idea to check your monthly mortgage statement periodically to ensure these payments have been credited properly.

If your lender allows it, you can choose to make additional payments to reduce your mortgage principal and save on interest charges over the life of your loan. To use this feature, select the “Extra payments” option from the mortgage calculator dropdown, and enter a payment amount that is either monthly, annual or one-time.

You can also enter a hypothetical amount of extra payments into the “Amortization / Payment schedule” section to see how that would change your home equity and the length of time it will take to pay off your mortgage.