Mortgage Calculator: Why it's one of the most important tools used in building a new home

When you hear the word “tools,” do hammers and nails come to mind? If so, you’re in good company! They’re important to a new home build, but here’s a tip: the first tool you should pick up when venturing into a custom home is a mortgage calculator. This simple step sets the foundation for a successful home ownership experience. 

What’s a mortgage calculator? 

It’s a handy formula, sometimes coming in the form of an app or other online tool, to help you figure out how much your mortgage payments will be each month. Trilogy has our very own mortgage calculator you can use to plug in numbers and figure out what your mortgage would be based on what kind of house you’re building. It can also tell you how many payments you’ll make over the lifetime of the loan as well as how much interest you’ll pay. 

Important Terms

In order to start your calculation, there are a few terms and amounts you’ll need to know. Be ready to plug in the numbers for your home value, down payment, loan amount, interest rate, property tax, PMI and HOA (if applicable) and the cost of home insurance. 

Math Tip: 

Purchase price of the house - deposit = mortgage amount

This could be more if you’ve chosen to wrap up the closing costs into the mortgage. 

Once you have the total mortgage amount, enter it into the calculator along with the interest rate and loan term (30 years, etc.) After plugging in these numbers, the app should give you a monthly payment amount for your mortgage. 

Other Key Costs

Once you’ve calculated your mortgage, don’t forget about some of the other important costs associated with owning a home. 

Here are some examples:

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If you’re putting less than 20% of the purchase price as a down payment for your mortgage, your lender may require Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI. PMI is a payment wrapped up in the mortgage that protects the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan. 

Property Tax: This is the amount you’ll owe the local government each year for owning the property. Some mortgage companies will include this wrapped up in your mortgage so you don’t have to pay it separately. 

Homeowner’s Insurance: You’ll be required to choose an insurance provider for your property whether you live in it full-time or not. Many mortgage companies can include this in your monthly mortgage payment and remit it to the insurance company on your behalf. 

Homeowners Association Fee (HOA): If your new property is located in a development, you may have to pay a Homeowners Association Fee, which covers expenses like landscaping, property upkeep, etc. 

The bottom line: check with your mortgage provider to find out more about which of these are included, as they could significantly increase your monthly payment. 

If you’re trying to decide whether to buy or build a new custom or semi-custom home, Trilogy can help you with this important decision. Contact us for assistance! 

Farmhouse sinks are still a hot trend in home design, but the reality is these cute and quaint sinks have been around for centuries. Originally created so they could be comfortably used for hours on end, they were built to wash dishes and even babies in them. Some homeowners are drawn to the sinks for nostalgic reasons, their beautiful design, and their functionality. But before investing in a farmhouse sink, it’s important to know the basics. 

White farmhouse sink in a Trilogy-built home

Farmhouse sinks are deeper than the usual varieties, and offer easy access since there is no countertop between the user and the sink. Since the sink sits below the countertop, it’s simple to sweep crumbs and liquid right into the sink. It holds large items like baking sheets with ease, and you can find double-sink models that have even more room. 


Depending on the material, some farmhouse sinks can be very heavy and weigh upwards of 200 lbs–which means your cabinet needs to be strong enough to support it. Once installed, put a sealant around the edge so water doesn’t run under your sink. Ensure the apron of the sink is high enough and the faucet is positioned right so you don’t splash water all over your floors. Because a farmhouse sink doesn’t have a countertop around the edge, it’s more likely to do that than conventional styles. 


If you’ve got your heart set on this Joanna Gaines-beloved style, find out what material suits your needs. They come in stainless steel, clay, firestone, copper, cast iron models, and more. While many love the classic white porcelain look, this material stains easily and is hard enough to crack dropped glasses. 

Find Your Best Match

Just like any major appliance, a farmhouse sink can be a significant investment, so take the material, size, and design into account. With a little research, you can find one that fits your lifestyle and taste.

Since 1967, the Trilogy motto has been “Building a Higher Value.” It’s core to our beliefs and our work ethic, and it influences the way we think about everything we do, how we work, who we work with, and even where we source our supplies. And, it means that you benefit from these standards. 

We are always looking for ways to raise the quality and value of a build or remodel. In turn, our actions and relationships set an example that contractors can be fair and trustworthy. Here are a few ways you will see “building a higher value” come to life:

We give our word:

When we give our word to clients, subcontractors, or the community, we stick to it. Because we build in the community where we live, we’re invested in its success.

Customers are treated like family:

We believe building a higher value begins with client relationships, which are ultimately built on trust and accountability. Just as the feeling of home begins with the health of the relationships inside, the foundation of a higher value begins with a strong client-to-builder relationship.

Experience you can trust:

Trilogy adds value throughout the entire building process. From blueprints to wall framing, electrical, and plumbing, we identify both roadblocks and opportunities for a better build experience. When it comes to regulatory issues, such as site preparation, surveys, and septic, we connect you to the people who can get the job done right and work alongside them to streamline the process. Our 50+ years of experience means we bring your vision to life at every step, saving you time and money along the way.


Unlike contractors who might round up prices, or over-order materials and then pin the cost on their clients, we always pass on any savings to you. We call this “value engineering,” and it means that you really do get to “keep the change.”

True Quote:

When it comes to pricing, our True Quote system provides you with a detailed explanation of all of our costs, so there’s no guesswork. This transparent process eliminates any anxiety since you’ll know there will be no hidden or unexpected costs.

With over 50 years of experience, we’ve been through every scenario imaginable when it comes to home-building and rebuilding, and we want you to feel well supported during the process. From drawings to doorknobs, you’ll see a higher value in every step of the building process.

Someone once said, “The best journey takes you home.” And deciding what your home looks like can be one of the most important decisions you make. But with so many options out there, how do you know what is right for you? 

While some folks are more comfortable buying a move-in-ready home, others find themselves debating custom vs. semi-custom homes. So before you make a decision, let’s start with the basics. 

What is a semi-custom home? 

A semi-custom home allows the homeowner to make a few decisions, like choosing between different floor plans, finishes, and color schemes for the exterior. There’s often some wiggle-room in the design for you to choose upgrades and add-ons, too. Trilogy offers semi-custom home floor plans for four different styles of homes so that you can pick the right combination for you. 

What is a custom home?

Building a custom home means you’re involved in the process from start to finish. From architects to the homebuilder, you’ll work with a variety of professionals to make your vision a reality. A custom home from Trilogy has the benefit of giving you total freedom to decide the floorplan, materials, and finishes, right down to the doorknobs. 

You might want a semi-custom home if…

You want some control over the look of your future home but don’t want to spend a lot of time picking out every single detail, a semi-custom home might be a good match. They can be built on a faster timeline than custom homes. But unlike a ready-made house, you’ll have some input about how it looks, making it a happy medium between the two. 

You might want a custom home if….

You enjoy being a part of the building process, want total design control, and have the time and patience to weather the home building journey. 

Start Your Own Journey Home

If you’re ready to begin, call Trilogy today. We’ll help you figure out the best option that feels tailor-made for you, no matter what style you choose.