Lisa Ellis and Company

Real Estate Mortgage Calculator

Buyers Resources

It's a common misconception that buying a home comes with only a handful of loan options. In fact, there are something like 200 different loan options you could use to purchase a home! Obviously, not every loan works for every buyer, but still... how do you know which loan will be right for you?

Take some time to familiarize yourself with your potential loan options, then use our handy mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments to determine how much home you can afford.

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First, Determine How You'll Pay Interest

Before you even get started on loan types, you might want to learn a little more about interest rate options, because, yes, you've even got options for those. Here are the three most common interest rate choices in modern mortgages.


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


  • Interest rates may start out lower for a set period, then flux to match current interest rates
  • Rates may increase or decrease depending on the economy
  • Monthly payments are unpredictable and may increase or decrease


  • Also called 5/25s or 7/23s
  • Offers an initial fixed interest rate for the first 5 to 7 years, then converts to current market rates
  • Can be convertable (buyer can choose another fixed-rate loan) or nonconvertable (automatically switches to adjustable)

Then, Choose Your Loan

Now that you've got some idea of what kind of interest rates you may be interested in, it's time to take a look at some of your loan options.


  • Usually 15, 30, or 30-year duration
  • Can be fixed-rate or adustable
  • Typically has strict income and credit qualifications and requires a 20% down payment

USDA Rural
Housing Loan

  • Targeted to buyers searching in designated "rural" towns (but the definition of "rural" is loose)
  • As little as 0% down payment
  • Targets buyers with "steady, low, or modest" income


  • Backed by the government and has more flexible income and credit requirements
  • Down payments as low as 3 – 5%
  • Requires mortgage insurance and may have higher interest rates


  • Available to almost all military service members and veterans
  • Require as little as 0% down payment and have more flexible income and credit requirements
  • Does not require mortgage insurance but may require a one-time funding fee (depending on veteran)


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


  • Buyers get below-market rates in exchange for a share of the profits at the time of sale
  • Lenders doesn't make money unless the buyer does, but buyers can lose out on profits if home sells for more
  • Often used to help low-income families purchase homes

Lastly, Calculate Your Mortgage

So, you've got some ideas of what your loan might look like. Now play around with our monthly mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly mortgage payments. Not only will this help you budget and get prepared, it'll help determine the price range for your home search.

Start Your Calculation