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Borrowing money for a house


Students “buy” a local home and calculate payments based on the principal, interest rate, and length of mortgage loans to learn how different loan terms affect the overall cost.

Big idea

The amount actually paid for a home is determined by the price and the mortgage loan’s specific terms.   

Essential questions

  • How do the principal, interest rate, and loan term affect mortgage payments?
  • How do you compare loan offers to get the best deal? 


  • Make informed choices about mortgages
  • Calculate monthly payments for loans based on the principal, interest rate, and loan term 

What students will do

  • Calculate monthly payments on three mortgage loans.
  • Compare the three loans to identify the best deal for them.  
  • Reflect on ways to reduce the amount owed on a loan.

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Teacher guide


Student materials


Note: Please remember to consider your students’ accommodations and special needs to ensure that all students are able to participate in a meaningful way.