Real Estate Mortgage Calculator

Whether you're a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, you probably have a few questions about mortgages. Fortunately, there are hundreds of different home loans from which you can choose, which means it's possible to create a custom-tailored home financing plan that meets your specific needs! 

Here's some of our exclusive advice on saving, shopping, and applying for a mortgage here in the Triangle. And if you're ready to start estimating your monthly payments, be sure to check out our mortgage calculator!

First-Time Buyer?

If you're a first-time buyer, you may not know where to start when it comes to saving for your down payment or applying for a home loan. Here are a few quick tips that you should keep in mind before you start shopping for a mortgage.

Save for a
Down Payment

A down payment is the amount of cash you have on-hand to pay for your home. Most experts recommend putting down 20% of a home's price, but different loans allow you to put down as little as 0%. It can take years to save up for a down payment, so stay diligent!

Pay Off Your

Before taking on a mortgage, you'll want to pay off most (if not all) of your student or auto loans, as well as credit card debt. Having a substantial amount of debt can lower your credit score, and your lender may not loan you as much money if you have outstanding debt.

Talk with

Remember, you're not alone! Your real estate agent, financial planner, and lender can all offer valuable advice, so be sure to take advantage of their services. You may also want to work with a mortgage broker to find the right loan for you.

Determine How You'll Pay Interest

Once you have enough money saved up for a down payment, it's time to start thinking about buying the home of your dreams! But first, you'll want to start researching all of your mortgage options and determine how you'll pay interest. Here are a few options:


  • Your interest rate never changes
  • Payments stay the same throughout the loan
  • Very predictable


  • Your interest rate will fluctuate depending on current rates
  • In turn, your payments may increase of decrease
  • Less predictable


  • Also called 5/25s or 7/23s
  • Has a fixed interest rate for the first few years, then converts to an ARM
  • The rate usually rises at the end of the initial term

Next, Choose Your Loan Type

Now that you're well-versed in the different kinds of interest rates, it's time to take a closer look at the types of mortgages available to Triangle buyers. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of your options, but here are a few of the most popular home loans:

Conventional Loan

  • Can last from 15 to 30 years
  • Can be fixed-rate or adjustable
  • Requires a high credit score, good financial history, and a ≈20% down payment

USDA Rural Loan

  • Targeted towards rural areas
  • Low down payment requirements
  • Targeted towards buyers with a modest, steady income

FHA Loan

  • Less strict income and credit requirements
  • Wide range of lower down payment options
  • Requires mortgage insurance and can have higher interest rates

VA Loan

  • Available for active,retired, or veteran members of the armed forces
  • Low down payment requirements with no mortgage insurance
  • One-time funding fee may be necessary

Balloon Mortgage

  • Payments are based on a 30-year loan but are paid over 5 – 7 years
  • At the end of the term, borrower must pay off the balance or refinance
  • Often comes with lower interest rates and credit requirements

NC Home Advantage

Community Partners

Lender-Specialty Loans

  • Certain banks or lenders offer their own special loans
  • Can have lower interest rates or down payment requirements
  • May be tailored to first-time or low income buyers

Want to Learn More About Mortgages?

With so many options out there, it can be hard to choose the right kind of loan for your needs. That's why the Austin Group is here to help! We have plenty of experience helping both repeat and first-time buyers finance their new homes, so just reach out to us with any questions. We look forward to helping you find your new niche!

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