Buying a House: How Do I Figure Out My Monthly Payments?

Jessica Bordelon Mashael
3 min readJan 7, 2022

Some people want to buy, but aren’t sure what to expect. One of the concerns is how much will the payments be? Will I really be able to save money?

Mortgage calculators don’t include all relevant factors and there are differences for each US state.

Here’s a simple way to find the answer.

Note: This is not an exact science because property taxes can differ by parish/county and other factors.

This exercise is only to determine an average or approximate monthly payment.

Why are taxes, insurances and interest varied by area?

Interest rates, taxes and insurances are diverse because every area has different formulas for each. There’s no firm way to calculate your exact monthly payment, but you can get close.

Here’s some tips on figuring out your monthly homeownership budget.

  1. Use an online mortgage calculator to figure out approximately what your monthly payment before taxes and insurance.

Click HERE to do that.

Enter a 3.5% downpayment if you plan to do FHA. Enter a 5% if you plan to go conventional, and enter 15–20% for investment properties. The system will calculate what you will pay based on the amount you are borrowing from the bank.

2. No need to add insurance because this calculator includes your average insurance costs. Just be aware that your area’s insurance may vary. Most insurance companies will provide a free quote once you locate a property of interest.

3. If you will own and occupy the home, add $100 to $150 for property taxes. If you plan to rent out the space entirely, add $200 — $250 a month. But please check your local tax assessor for average taxes in the area you are shopping. Most parishes/counties allow you to view tax bills publicly.

Taxes are always higher for investment properties because homestead exemptions reduce taxes for each person’s primary residence but not their investments.

Now that you’ve added these up, this amount will be very close to your actual…

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Jessica Bordelon Mashael

I am all the stuff of Millenials — Multitasker, Hustler, Unapologetic, Humanitarian. I write about Growth: wealth, relationships, spirituality and more. :-)