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Monthly payment

The estimated-monthly-payment information helps you see whether you can afford a particular listing, but it's important to dig deeper and find out exactly what's included in the estimate, says Michael Corbett, Trulia.com's real estate expert in Los Angeles and author of "Before you Buy."

"Trulia's estimate includes your mortgage principal and interest, property taxes based on county records and premiums for a basic homeowners insurance policy," says Corbett. "It's always based on a 20 percent down payment and current average interest rates."

On Realtor.com, Schwartz says, buyers can get estimates for monthly payments on a 30- or 15-year fixed-rate loan and a 5/1 ARM.

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