Real estate search engine Zillow has added a new feature to help consumers with the process of buying a home. 'True Cost' is a price comparison tool that allows borrowers to search anonymously for loans.
"Truly shopping for a loan and comparing terms and costs on an apples-to-apples basis is excruciatingly difficult for the average consumer to do. This is why so many consumers find themselves in loans they don't understand," said Lloyd Frink, Zillow president.
True Cost takes into consideration the down payment as well as interest and mortgage payments for potential buyers over the course of time they plan to live in the home.
"With True Cost, we've taken this comparison shopping a step further, and calculate for consumers not just what they're paying up front or every month, but the true cost over the timeframe they plan to live in a house. This level of transparency has never before been available in mortgage shopping, online or off," added Frink.
Transparency is crucial in the aftermath of the subprime lending crisis. A tool like this can help consumers avoid getting into mortgages they can't afford down the road.