Zillow Mortgage Marketplace iPhone app a great way to keep your eye on the prize

Jun 16, 2011
Real estate

As a first-time buyer myself, I’d been using Zillow’s real estate search for several months, so when I happened upon the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace – Calculator and Rates app recently I was extremely curious. Zillow Mortgage Marketplace focuses pretty much entirely on the financial side of your home-buying experience. It has four main components: a […]

As a first-time buyer myself, I’d been using Zillow’s real estate search for several months, so when I happened upon the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace – Calculator and Rates app recently I was extremely curious.

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace focuses pretty much entirely on the financial side of your home-buying experience. It has four main components: a payment calculator, affordability calculator, a refinance calculator and a market trends section.

The payment calculator is probably the most fun to use for a prospective buyer. I know I’ve wasted some serious time on them myself, and the one included on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace couldn’t be any better. For starters, it allows you to name the price of your property, along with the percentage of your down payment and an interest rate.

While you’re inputting those calculations, the app throws them into a pie chart to show you what you owe each month. If you’d like some more-advanced numbers, you can get those, too. You’re able to put in the property tax percentage, yearly homeowner’s insurance, mortgage insurance, homeowner’s association dues and the length of your loan. It’s fairly comprehensive as far as payment calculators go.

You can then advance to a screen where you type in your credit score, annual income, monthly debts and property ZIP code so you can really search for your potential mortgage within the app. The affordability and refinance calculators work similarly.

If you’re a visual person, the market trends section has a lot to offer as well. You can see the interest rates nationally or on a state-by-state basis on as tight a graph as one day or as expansive as two years. The charts are great, and certainly help give a glimpse into how the rates are trending.

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My main issue with Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is that as easy as it is on the eyes, it forgets it’s an app on an iPhone at times. When you’re trying to calculate your mortgage payment by moving percentages by the half percent, it can be incredibly frustrating to try to slide a scroll bar to the left or right to get it where you want it. With no option to manually type in these data points, or even to incrementally go back or forth, you can struggle for a long time to line up the numbers.

While this is not an issue with the app per say, I was surprised, given how enjoyable Zillow’s real estate search is, that it wasn’t brought into this app in some way. It would’ve been nice to search for properties in the same app you’re using to look for a mortgage.

Other than that, if you’re in the market for a new mortgage or a refinance, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is a fantastic tool. I only wish it had existed a few months ago!

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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