True Cost of Home Ownership Calculator

Owning a home doesn’t end at paying the mortgage. There are one-off and recurring costs for which you must budget. The True Cost of Home Ownership Calculator looks at some of the most common expenses in homeownership. It then displays the results in a simple to understand format.

Don’t forget that you can save your calculations as a PDF when you’re done.

True Cost of Owning Home Calculator

Purchase Information

Advanced Fields:

Closing Costs

Ongoing Expenses

Optional: Repairs and Improvements Needed

Please fill out this form

First Name*
Last Name*


Payment Per Period:
Mortgage Payment (total per Month):
Total Expenses per Month:
Total Montly Payments:
After Tax Monthly Income Needed:

Cash Needed

Down Payment:
Closing Costs:
Repairs Improvements Needed:
Suggested Repair Fund:
Total Cash Needed on Hand:
Save as PDF

By using this calculator you agree to terms and conditions. These calculators are designed to be informational and educational tools only, and when used alone, do not constitute investment or financial advice. We strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a financial services professional before making any type of investment or deciding on your financial matters. This model is provided as a rough approximation of future financial performance. The results presented by this calculator are hypothetical and may not reflect the actual growth of your own investments. We can't take into account potential lender fees, payoff schedule can be longer than in the estimation. Mortgagecalculator and its affiliates are not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken in reliance upon or as a result of the information provided by these tools. Mortgagecalculator is not responsible for any human or mechanical errors or omissions.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Using the True Cost of Home Ownership Calculator

Please note that some inputs can be either manually entered in the correct box or adjusted using the sliding scale.

  • Choose the maximum housing expense (as a percentage of your pre-tax income) that you want to have.
  • Enter your proposed home price, down payment, and interest rate.
  • Select your mortgage term from the drop-down list.

True Cost of Home Ownership

  • Choose whether the home will have condo or HOA fees applied.
  • Select how the mortgage loan will be compounded.
  • Choose your mortgage payment frequency.

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Home


  • Please provide values for the
    1. Closing costs; and
    2. Ongoing Expenses.

True Cost of Owning a Home

True Cost of a Home Calculation

  • Specify how much you’re going to spend on repairs and improvements if needed.

True Cost of a Home

The true cost of home ownership calculator will adjust your results as you enter the data.

True Cost of Home Ownership

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Important Terms and Definitions

  • Maximum Housing Expense % of your income – The largest amount of your pre-tax income that you would want to use to pay expenses in your home. This is represented as a percentage.
  • Home Price – The cost of the home.
  • Down Payment – The initial amount of money paid for the purchase of your home.
  • Interest Rate – The cost to borrow the loan from the lender, as a percentage of the loan, and quoted as an annual percentage rate (APR).
  • Mortgage Term – The length of the loan.
  • Condo or HOA fees – Fees paid into a condominium or homeowner’s association for maintenance of the neighborhood or other common areas. The fees may go towards garbage pickup, snow removal, pool maintenance, and other neighborhood services.
  • Mortgage Compound Period – The frequency with which the mortgage is multiplied against itself.
  • Compounding – Generating interest upon the previous principal and interest of the loan.
  • Mortgage Payment Frequency – The regularity with which you repay the loan. A higher frequency results in more money saved over the loan’s term.
  • Closing Costs – The costs (beyond the mortgage price) normally applied to complete the real estate purchase. They may be paid by the seller, the buyer, or both parties.
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How to Interpret the Results of the True Cost of Home Ownership Calculator

The output will be shown in two tables. The first is your results. You will see the payments you will have to make per period. The monthly Mortgage Payment and Total Expenses per Month add up to the Total Monthly Payment. Then you’ll see the amount of income needed, after taxes, to meet the maximum housing expense you set. The second table will show you the cash needed to meet these conditions.

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Worked Example

This True Cost of Home Ownership Calculator can produce very accurate results when more data is provided. For now, we’ll use simple examples with limited input. Let’s say you’re looking to purchase a new home, and you want to make sure you’re budgeting for it correctly. You want your maximum housing expenses to be no more than 30% of your total pre-tax income. The home that you are considering costs $300,000, and you can provide a $60,000 down payment. Your lender will offer a 4.25% interest rate on a 30-year loan. The loan will be compounded monthly, and you intend to pay it once per month. There are no condo or HOA fees that come with the home. Your inputs are shown below.

True Cost of Home Ownership 30-Year Loan Example

For simplicity, let’s say the following optional house information is true.

True Cost of Home Ownership 30-Year Loan Example Closing Costs

True Cost of Home Ownership 30-Year Loan Ongoing Expenses Example

Your results would be:

True Cost of Home Ownership 30-Year Loan Results

Your total monthly payments would be $1986.07. Remember, you set a goal to keep your maximum house expenses at 30% or less. To meet both of these needs, you would have to earn $6620.24 after taxes. For purchasing the home, you will need $10,500 for repairs, on top of the down payment and closing costs. Therefore, you will need $73750 on hand when you’re ready to buy the home.

You’re considering another home purchase. This time, you choose to lower your housing expense by 5%, from 30% to 25%. You also consider getting a smaller home costing $250,000 but are still able to put $60,000 for the down payment. The mortgage rate remains the same, as do the condo and HOA fees (no fees). You decide to go for a 20-year fixed-rate mortgage. While your mortgage is still compounded monthly, your payments will be done bi-weekly. These are your new inputs.

True Cost of Home Ownership 20-Year Mortgage Example

These are your new assumptions about closing costs and ongoing expenses.

True Cost of Home Ownership 20-Year Mortgage Closing Costs Example

Your results would be as shown below. Thanks to your bi-weekly payments, you provide approximately two reimbursements per period. Notice that your payment per period is approximately half of your mortgage payment per month. When added to your total expenses per month, your total monthly payments are $1947.51. You will need $7790.04 per month (after taxes) to keep your expenses to 25% or less of your monthly income. At the time of purchase, you will need $72000. Of this, $3250 is closing costs, $8750 is for home repairs, and the remainder is your down payment.

True Cost of Home Ownership 20-Year Mortgage Example Results

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