Over the past week, I’ve been working on the foundation for the actual calculation of mortgage payments with Responsive Mortgage Calculator Pro. It sounds like it should be fundamental to the development, but a lot of infrustructure needed to be in place to get to this point.
I made two significant promises with the Pro version that I’ve been ignoring in the Free version.
- Multiple calculators need to work even if they are on the same page.
The set up is all very abstract, but the core idea is that each calculator is set up with a unique identifier that is submitted back to the server. During the set up process, the plugin looks for a submission, and, if it finds one, looks for the identifier, then matching the identifier to the correct calculator. It’s probably overkill, but I’m future-proofing against internal conflicts and major refactoring. I’m also making it easy to have multiple calculators side by side that may run the same or different calculations. It would be very confusing to submit a calculation on one calculator and have the result show up on another one – this being an issue I’d hope to fix in the free version at some point.
The calculation itself is fairly simple right now, basically being on par with the free version. Don’t expect to see anything too fantastic for a little while. I’ll be working through use cases with different types of calculations, posting them to the demo site as they become functional. I’m intent on demonstrating simple affordability calculations as a core feature, with a good possibility of expanding the functionality to incorporate complex affordability calculations. Keeping in mind that the fields are very abstracted, the set up process might involve a fair bit of box ticking and an understanding of how to calculate, well, whatever it is you want to calculate. I’m making an effort to not prescribe your calculations, but only providing a tool to efficiently construct a good looking and easy to use calculator purpose built for mortgage and loan math.
While the present calculation is still fairly simple, the flexibility of the UI is already vastly improved. A core feature absent in “RMC Free” is flexibility with the types of inputs you can display and the values you might want to set. For expenses, payments, interest rate, and loan term (or amortization period), you can now display the input as a text box to freely edit the value, a select input if you need to create a defined set of values, or a hidden input for a constant, non-editable value. There are use cases and examples for each of these settings, but I’ll let you use you imagination. Or you can keep an eye on the Responsive Mortgage Calculator Pro demo site to get some idea of its flexibility.