The apps to take with you when you buy your next home
There is no free lunch and astute people understand the free software is not always correct and is sometimes full of bugs and errors. Below is an example of why one should always have their bullshit meter (BSM) on 24/7.
If you are looking at $300,000 plus mortgage why would anyone risk mortgage calculations by a free app or free computer program written by a novice with no experience in mortgages.
For $20 you have peace of mind that your calculations are correct when you verify the Lenders calculations.
The journalist below in the article needs to do some mortgage homework and verify claims made by people he interviews.
The two glaring mistakes/confusing terminology he overlooked or did not question made me chuckle at his level of ignorance concerning mortgages. First the American standard for mortgages is not annual compounding its monthly compounding for mortgages and personal loans. Secondly, perpetuating the myth, interest on Canadian mortgages is calculated semi annually is sloppy journalism and wrong. Interest in Canada and the USA on mortgages and loans is calculated at the end of the month (for monthly payment mortgages), every month and its simple interest, period! The two words, semi-annual compounding are legal, mathematical vernacular that serves no purpose other than to confuse most people and inform mathematicians as to how the interest factor is calculated. For a monthly payment mortgage the interest factor is used EACH MONTH to calculate the simple interest owing for the use of the money for that month that just elapsed. As an example, if an annual interest rate of 12% is used the American monthly interest factor would be 0.01 and the Canadian monthly interest factor would be 0. 0097588. For a $100,000 mortgage an Americans interest portion of their first blended payment would be$1000 while for a Canadian with a $100,000 mortgage the interest portion of their first blended payment would be $975.88. If anyone doubts these facts then just Google my name and you will discover that I really did learn my grade 12 mathematics and I still understand what I learned?
Published in the March 23rd 2016 National Post:
The apps to take with you when you buy your next home
WHEN ASKED, BOTH HOMEBUYERS AND MORTGAGE SPECIALISTS ALIKE WHOLEHEARTEDLY RECOMMEND (THE CANADIAN MORTGAGE APP). THE DEVELOPER SAYS IT HAS BEEN USED MORE THAN 2.1 MILLION TIMES WITH MORE THAN 3,000 FIVE-STAR REVIEWS IN THE VARIOUS APP STORES.
Whether you are a first-time home buyer, relocating or simply want to renegotiate, mortgages don’t exactly lay down a welcome mat. Now that warmer weather is in the forecast and home-buying season is getting into full swing, Josh McConnell reviews some of the free mobile applications that can help you make sense of the complicated mortgage process so you can get on with the fun part of buying a home.
Platforms iOS, Android, BlackBerry Developer Bendigi Tech Inc.
At a glance This is the app everyone loves to talk about when it comes to mortgages. When asked, both home buyers and mortgage specialists alike wholeheartedly recommend it. The developer says it has been used more than 2.1 million times with more than 3,000 five-star reviews in the various app stores.
What to expect The interface is incredibly easy to use and slick — from the way numbers are inputted to the slider bars to the side menu. But, most importantly, it is loaded with information and rates to help you calculate exactly what you need, whether that’s a variable rate, fixed rate, weekly vs. bi- weekly payments, factoring in income from a tenant, or numerous other variables. Additionally, based on location, it can also calculate first- time home buyer rebates and land transfer taxes.
Bonuses There is a database of local experts for you to search, which is convenient if you want an all-in-one solution. The app also has some nice extras like graphs, an affordability calculator and the option to expand your amortization schedule.
TURN on YOUR BSM
But… The list of local experts seems to be the developer’s own database, which the experts pay to be in ( a source of revenue for the company). It would be nice to have it linked to other databases or even real estate listings for a truly complete solution.
READY SET HOME
Platforms i OS, Android, BlackBerry Developer Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
At a glance A helpful mobile app offered by the CMHC, which provides mortgage loan insurance, to help you “make informed choices” when buying a home. The app doesn’t just help you figure out what you can afford, but it also explains the terminology, which can sometimes be confusing.
What to expect Whether on a phone or tablet, the app is very straightforward. You build a profile by answering questions — everything from “Is home ownership right for you?” to “Are you financially ready to buy a home?” — and then the app tells you what you can afford, or whether you can afford a home at all.
More than a simple mortgage calculator, the app offers some next-steps advice once you’re a homeowner. The app also offers a very handy glossary of terms to help you make sense of everything. Finally, if you are a professional, CMHC also has a Mobile Kit app that works with Ready Set Home.
But… In terms of design, Ready Set Home is pretty bare bones and certainly nothing fancy to look at. It also needs an Internet connection to reference the various articles and glossary.
SIMPLE CANADIAN MORTGAGE CALCULATOR
Platforms iOS Developer Richard Roschuk
At a glance Sometimes you just want something that does one job without the clutter. This developer says his app takes the complexity out of estimating mortgage payments, and it’s hard to argue with him: There is no branding or advertisements, just calculations.
What to expect The app is very minimalistic in its layout, but colourful and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. The developer says it performs all calculations according to Canadian mortgage regulations using Bank of Canada rates, so you just input figures and quickly get an answer.
Bonuses In addition to calculating interest semi-annually and not in advance, the other option is to switch over to annual compounding, which is an American standard.
But… There really isn’t much else here. The app is essentially a calculator offering approximate payment information stripped of the fees.