When Google Gets Your Question, But Not Your Meaning

November 06, 2020 by Dan Green

When it comes to buying a home, nobody knows you better than Google.

And, why wouldn’t it? More than six million people buy homes each year and nearly all of them turn to the search engine giant to ask their important questions.

Google’s been trained and you can see it with Autocomplete. No matter what home-buying question you begin to type in, Google will complete it before you’re done typing.

Some of the most common home-buying questions Google gets include:

  • How much down payment do I need to buy a home?
  • Can I break my lease with my landlord?
  • What is private mortgage insurance?

But, the first question home buyers ask is often this: “How much home can I afford?”

Google knows this question well. Its result set numbers in the millions. However, when you ask Google for how much house you can afford, it misses your intent.

You have to be smarter.

Because, when you ask Google “How much home can I afford”, you’re not asking Google to spit back a number; some final figure that represents your maximum purchase price, or even a range of prices.

What you’re really asking is “What can I buy and still stay in budget?”

It’s a nuanced question, and also the better one. Because long after your closing, it’s not the price of the home that sticks with you — it’s the cost of your monthly mortgage. It’s your loan size, your down payment, your real estate taxes, and your homeowners insurance.

It’s your loan term and your mortgage rate. These are things Google can’t tell you.

Reframe your question as “How much house can I get for this payment?”. Think about your number, then plug it into our online mortgage calculator. We’ll do the math for you.

Google knows a lot of things, but it doesn’t know your household budget; and, it doesn’t know how you think about money. Talk to humans for help with your purchase.

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