Best Cost Estimator Tools - Northern Title Blog
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Best Cost Estimator Tools

Best Cost Estimator Tools

Whether considering or planning for property you own, rent, or are considering, you want the best cost estimator tools available. There are several instances for needing one or more:

  • New Mortgage
  • Second Mortgage
  • Mortgage Refinance
  • Title Fee(s)
  • Construction / Renovation
  • Home Repairs

Cost estimator tools are designed with both the consumer and the businesses which provide the product(s) or service(s) in mind. As a consumer, you want to have an idea of what costs would be before doing more research or committing. This is even more important when thousands of dollars are involved.

Understandably, you may not wish to divulge personal financial information prior to making a determination. Finding out that you can afford to go ahead, or knowing what you have to do in order to move forward, makes a big difference toward your goal.

This is especially important to know if you are in a situation where you plan on making multiple offers or seeking multiple bids on a project.


Mortgage calculators are a perfect example. Many real estate websites, along with Northern Title ( ) provide mortgage calculators. These are helpful for a number of reasons.

There is a wide variety of mortgages available, in terms of the length of time, interest rates, upfront costs, and other terms. Furthermore, the amount of the monthly payment is also determined by the price of the property. The amount or percentage of the down payment also factors in.

Suppose you know the asking price of a property you are interested in, and have enough for a 10% down payment. A mortgage calculator shows approximately how much your monthly payment would be based on the amount you need. This amount, added to other monthly costs such as property tax, insurance, and HOA fees, gives you an estimated total of your monthly cost.

From this point, you can determine whether or not you think you can afford the property before pursuing. You also get a better idea of an affordable price range for comparison. Knowing that, for example, you could likely afford “a $200,000 home with 10% down” would help for your search.

Unless you have a specific property in mind, you could adjust your search. You could search properties matching your criteria at a maximum price of $200,000, knowing to check for 10% down options.

The key point is “maximum price” from your calculated search. Suppose your search reveals a property you like with a list price of $175,000. Obviously, this would result in a lower monthly mortgage payment. However, you could possibly benefit even further.

Remember that $20,000 down payment (10% of $200,000) you could do? That same $20,000 down payment on a $175,000 property now becomes 20%. Paying 20% typically eliminates the cost of PMI (mortgage insurance), further reducing your monthly cost. In addition, your mortgage amount now drops to $140,000, instead of $180,000.

This is not to say that you will find a lower priced property which meets your criteria. However, this exercise shows how much you could benefit by taking advantage of the best cost estimator tools.


The same theory holds if you are considering a second mortgage or a refinance on a property. Although a mortgage calculator generally does not factor in fees, it can help to make determinations.

Consequently, the businesses which offer these products and services benefit from potential customers knowing they can afford to use them.

Please be aware that the information you gain is only an estimate. It is very likely there will be upfront costs and that mortgage rates vary. In many cases, the mortgage rate you pay is partially based on your credit rating. Your application is also subject to approval by the lending institution you select.

On the other hand, the “asking price” or estimated mortgage amount could be subject to negotiation. Using our recent example, suppose your offer of $170,000 is accepted. The $5,000 “difference” could very well cover the fees associated with your mortgage.

The best cost estimator tools will also allow for multiple uses. Ideally you can determine what is most affordable. An example would be for construction or renovation cost determination.

Suppose you have a variety of materials to choose from. You could calculate flooring costs by first using wood flooring and noting the cost amount. Next, you calculate using tile or vinyl flooring for your project. You could do the same for comparing wood vs. brick for the structure, and so on.

Your purpose for comparison is not always to find the lowest price. Using the above example, you might find that it is “only $1,000 more” to go with brick instead of wood. In this instance, multiple uses of the calculator tool helped you to justify the best deal for your needs.

In some cases, a construction project could have multiple aspects which need comparison. Using the best tools could make the difference of coming in under budget for an entire project.

The same principle applies to cost estimator tools for home repair. It might be comparing cost of materials and/or labor between two or more vendors. You might be comparing the cost of professional installation vs. doing it yourself for a smaller project.

To recap, Northern Title provides perhaps the two most commonly needed tools at

With proper use of the best cost estimator tools, you can compare and possibly save thousands of dollars. Your findings could lead to making the best choice for you and your family out of several viable options.