Buyers Resources

Real Estate Mortgage Calculator

Let's face it—mortgages are not a "one size fits all" deal. That's one of the many reasons why buyers aren't sure where to start! Luckily, there are over 200 types of loans to choose from, and narrowing down your options is much easier than you think.

We've compiled everything you need to know about home loans in one place. Our handy mortgage calculator will also help you take your first steps and break down all of the numbers. Still have questions or need lender recommendations? Just reach out to us at any time!

First, Determine How You'll Pay Interest

You might want research all of your interest rate options before you start shopping for the right type of loan. Believe it or not, you even get a choice when it comes to paying interest! Here are some options to consider:

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

  • Interest rate remains the same throughout the duration of the loan
  • Payments remain the same throughout the duration of the loan
  • Very predictable

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage

  • Interest rate may start off lower for a set period of time, then flux to match current market rates
  • Rates may increase or decrease, depending on current rates
  • Monthly payments will increase or decrease along with interest rates

Two-Step Mortgage

  • Also called 5/25s or 7/23s
  • Offers an initial fixed interest rate for the first 5 or 7 years, then converts to match market rates
  • Can be convertible (buyer may move to another fixed-rate loan) or non-convertible (automatically becomes ARM)

Next, Choose Your Loan Type

Once you've chosen the proper interest rate, it's time to find out what type of loan is right for you. Here's a quick list of the most popular types of loans:

Conventional Loan

  • Usually 15 or 30 year duration
  • Can be fixed-rate or adjustable
  • Typically requires great credit, financial history, and a 20% down payment

USDA Rural Loan

  • Targeted to buyers searching in "rural" areas
  • As little as 0% down payment
  • Targets buyers with "steady, low, or modest income"

FHA Loan

  • Flexible income and credit requirements
  • 3 – 5% down payment options
  • Requires mortgage insurance and may have higher interest rates

VA Loan

  • Available to most military service members and veterans
  • As little as 0% down payment, with NO mortgage insurance
  • May require a one-time funding fee

Balloon Mortgage

  • Has a short term of 5 – 7 years but payments based on a 30-year loan
  • At the end of the loan, borrower must pay off the balance, refinance the loan, or convert the loan
  • May have lower interest rates and credit requirements


  • Buyers get lower rates in exchange for a share of the profits when the home sells
  • Lenders don't make money unless the buyer does, buyer loses out on more home equity
  • Often used to help low-income buyers

First-Time Buyer Loans

  • State-funded programs designed to help first-time buyers
  • May help with closing costs or down payments, offer low interest rates, and require less strict credit qualifications
  • May require a homebuyer education course

Lender-Specialty Loans

  • Some mortgage brokers or banks may offer their own specialty loan programs
  • May offer lower down payments or credit requirements
  • Often geared towards first-time buyers or low-to-moderate income buyers

Finally, Calculate Your Mortgage

Once you've determined which options might be right for you, you can plug some numbers into our mortgage calculator to get a feel for what your monthly payments might look like. It's also a good way to determine much home you'll be able to afford.

Mortgage Calculator

Ready to Delve into the World of Mortgages?

Although navigating the home loan process might seem difficult, Plumtree Realty is here to help. We have years of experience helping buyers find the right mortgage to suit their needs, and we'd love to lend you some of our expertise. Looking to learn more about the buying process? Just give us a call—we believe there's no such thing as too many questions! 

Start Your Calculation