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Realtor.com launches new tools to help homebuyers stay within budget

Says it's a first for the industry

Part of the fun of search real estate sites is looking at houses that are outside of your price range, but one site is now introducing some responsibility into that equation by helping to make sure prospective buyers' eyes aren't bigger than their stomaches.

Realtor.com announced Monday it will be launching a monthly payment filter to help homebuyers search within their budget. Prospective buyers can now filter out home listings on realtor.com by a monthly payment amount.

According to the company, searchers can enter their expected down payment and target monthly mortgage budget. From there, the site will return all the homes currently on the market that meet their search and approximate budget criteria.

The company claims this feature is a first among national real estate portals, adding that it is "especially helpful for first time buyers who are used to paying monthly rent, but have trouble budgeting based on total home price."

Beyond that, the site is rolling out two new calculators to help rid of financial guesswork. 

The “How Much Home Can I Afford?” feature calculates a target home price after inputing annual income, monthly debt, desired down payment and desired location. A sliding tool allows homebuyers to customize their budget to be more conservative or more aggressive. 

The monthly cost calculator lets homebuyers put in their anticipated home price, down payment, loan type, interest rates and more. Realtor.com then calculates the total estimated monthly home cost and even break it down by category. 

"At realtor.com, we go beyond listings search to help people figure out what homes are right for both their lifestyle and budget," said Chung Meng Cheong, chief product officer, realtor.com. "The fear of overextending themselves financially is one of the biggest concerns for today's home buyers. Our new cost calculators give buyers deep insights into what specific home prices mean for their bottomline, while our new monthly payment filter prevents them from seeing homes outside their monthly budget so they can stay on track financially."

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