Yahoo launches feature-rich mortgage calculator

Yahoo (YHOO) joins internet search giant Google (GOOG) by offering a built-in mortgage calculator, available both in searches and as a stand-alone page.

Yahoo users now see a native mortgage calculator when they search for “mortgage calculator”, “loan interest calculator” and “interest calculator”.

Google also quietly rolled out its own built-in mortgage calculator in February, sharing details of the mortgage calculator on its Google+ page.

“Preparing for homeownership just got a little easier,” the post from Google said. “Starting today, you can ask Google things like ‘How much can I borrow at $ 200 per month? Or ‘At 5% APR, how much can I borrow over 10 years?’ You can even adjust the mortgage amount, interest rate, mortgage term, and more to see which financial options suit your needs. “

Yahoo now offers its own mortgage calculator, visible in the image below (click to enlarge)

Yahoo’s mortgage calculator appears to be more robust than Google’s option. A user can add their projected property tax percentage, plus the expected annual cost of home insurance when calculating their mortgage payments, in addition to the home’s value, expected down payment, loan term preferred and the projected interest rate.

Additionally, users can view their estimated mortgage payments by month, broken down by payment amount that goes to principal, interest, and taxes. The Yahoo tool also allows users to see the total amount they would pay for their mortgage over the total term of the loan.

Additionally, unlike Google, Yahoo offers a standalone page for its mortgage calculator, visible in the image below (click to enlarge).

Standalone Yahoo Mortgage Calculator

On this page, Yahoo offers the following explanation for the mortgage calculator:

The amount of the loan, the interest rate, and the length of the mortgage can have a huge effect on the total amount you end up paying for the property. In addition, mortgage payments will typically include monthly property tax allowances, risk insurance, and (where applicable) private mortgage insurance (PMI). Use our mortgage calculator to see the impact of these variables as well as an amortization schedule.

On this page, users can add the selling price of the property in question and enter the annual amount of property tax, the annual amount of risk insurance and the monthly amount of private mortgage insurance or choose to allow the system to estimate the annual amount of property tax, the annual amount of risk insurance and the monthly amount of private mortgage insurance.

Once a user enters all the relevant information and submits the clicks, Yahoo generates a full report for the user based on the user’s information.

The report shows the user how much they will pay over the life of the loan in an interactive graph, along with a breakdown by year of their opening balance, principal, interest, payment, and ending balance for the life of the loan.

The user then has the option of exporting the report in PDF format.

Click here to see a sample PDF generated by Yahoo using data entered by HousingWire.

Yahoo cautions users that calculations should not be used as financial advice, stating the following in a disclaimer:

This information can help you analyze your financial needs. It is based on information and assumptions you provide about your goals, expectations and financial situation. The calculations do not imply that the company has fiduciary obligations. The calculations provided should not be construed as financial, legal or tax advice. Moreover, this information should not be considered as the only source of information. This information is provided by sources which we believe to be reliable but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. Hypothetical illustrations can provide information on historical or current performance. Past performance does not guarantee or indicate future results.

But, with Yahoo joining Google in offering an integrated mortgage calculator, and Google apparently preparing to launch a mortgage comparison tool, the digitization of mortgages doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

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