My job (real job) sometimes requires me to calculate mortgage payments or lookup loan amortization schedules. I often just google “Mortgage Calculator” and just pick one of the results on the first page. After visiting and using several of the these top results I was underwhelmed. They tended to be hard to understand and usually did not display the results in an easy to consume format. I decided that I wanted to try and build something better. So was born the inspiration for my next project, the MortgageVista mortgage calculator.
Over a year and a half later, a lot of significant effort, and numerous revisions, the calculator is finally to a state that I feel it is ready for release. In reality I see the current version more as a minimum viable product than a fully finished and polished version. But, I think it prudent to release it out into the wild and see if I see any success/demand before pouring anymore time into the project.
Absurdly as it may sound, this project started out as a competition between me and my brother to see who could make the most successful website with just 24 hours. Yes, that very same project took me over a year and a half to get it this far (on a side note my brother has not yet finished his project either so I guess I won the competition). It is important to note that the scope of the project has increased significantly since that 24 hour competition, also, I was very busy with work and life [spent 3 and a half months backpacking Europe]. Needless to say this has never been a full time endeavor, but I do estimate I put at least three or four hundred hours into the calculator by the end of it. [I really do wonder how long it would take a seasoned web developer to complete something similar].
For better or worse, the mortgage calculator will be the next installment to my growing list of web properties. I do have hope that the internet world will find the tool to be useful (and hopefully shareable too). It includes several different modes so people can simply explore/visualize a single mortgage, compare two different mortgages, or examine early payoff scenarios for their home loan. The tool offers numerous display options and was built so I might be able to easily expand it should it prove to generate a lot of traffic. Also, the state of the calculator is saved into a bookmarkable URL. I feel this to be a very significant feature as it will allow users to save the details of the mortgages they are working with or give them the ability to create a link that they can share with others to show them specific mortgage details or information. Please let me know if you have any feedback or find any bugs with the site.