How do I calculate my mortgage payment?
While the formula isn’t easy, you can calculate your mortgage payment manually. Fortunately, unless you really want to, there’s no need to calculate your mortgage payment from scratch — simply use our handy Florida mortgage calculator above. To do it manually, start with the three variables that affect the principal and interest portion of your mortgage payment:
- Principal (P): How much money you originally borrowed. If your initial loan amount was $300,000, that’s the principal amount you use to calculate your mortgage payment — not your current balance.
- Interest rate (r): While the loan’s APR gives you a better picture of the actual cost of borrowing money, for the purposes of calculating your mortgage payment, use the loan’s interest rate. One caveat, though — before you use the mortgage formula, convert your interest rate to a decimal, and then to a monthly interest rate (because you’re calculating your monthly mortgage payment). For example, if your loan’s interest rate is 4%, convert it to 0.04, then divide that by 12, which gives you a monthly rate of 0.0033. Note that if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage, the calculation only tells your initial mortgage payment.
- Number of payments (n): How many monthly payments you’ll make on your mortgage. Take the number of years in the loan’s term and multiply by 12. The two most common mortgage terms are 30 and 15 years, which translate to 360 and 180 monthly payments, respectively.
Here’s how these three variables fit into the formula to calculate your monthly mortgage payment, which we’ll call “M”:
It’s also worth noting that this formula only calculates the principal and interest portion of your mortgage payment. Most lenders require that you pay a monthly portion of your property taxes and insurance along with your principal and interest payment, and some even make you pay your HOA fees. For this reason, lenders often abbreviate your mortgage payment as PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).
Things to know before buying a house in Florida
While most of the things to know before buying a home in Florida apply pretty much everywhere (like credit scoring requirements), there are a few state-specific things to know.
Termites are a potential problem everywhere, but can be an especially big problem in warmer climates. Pay extra attention to any termite damage found during your home inspection.
If you plan to buy in an area (like most of Florida) that is particularly flood-prone or hurricane-prone, your lender might require you to carry flood insurance, windstorm insurance, or both, in addition to standard homeowners insurance.
If you plan to live in the house you’re buying in Florida, there’s a special tax exemption (known as the Homestead Exemption), that excludes the first $25,000 of your home’s assessed value from property taxes. You apply for this once when you buy the house, and it renews every year.
In many parts of Florida, there are restrictions, taxes, and local rules that govern the use of real estate as a rental property. This is especially worth keeping in mind if you plan to buy a home in one of the more tourism-driven areas of Florida. For example, in Key West you cannot rent a home for less than 30 days without a special (expensive) license. So, if you plan to list on Airbnb or something similar, do your homework first.
Learn more: Home buyer checklist
Tips for first-time home buyers in Florida
Florida has some of the best assistance programs for first-time home buyers. The nonprofit Florida Housing Finance Corporation has a first-time mortgage program that combines a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a second mortgage — with no monthly payments — that provides up to $10,000 towards the down payment and closing costs, among other options. There are three programs:
- Florida Assist Second Mortgage Program (FL Assist): Provides $7,500 to $10,000 as a second mortgage at 0% interest and no payments. The loan doesn’t come due until the home is sold or you refinance.
- HFA Preferred Grants: Borrowers who qualify can get 3% to 5% of their home’s purchase price in the form of down payment assistance, which is fully forgiven after five years.
- Florida Homeownership Loan Program: Up to $10,000 as a second mortgage at 3% interest with a 15-year repayment term.
Check Florida Housing’s website for the current details on these and other programs for first-time home buyers in Florida.
Read more: Best mortgage lenders for first-time home buyers
Still have questions?
Here are some other questions we’ve answered: