fact sheet: buying a home

amortization tables

The cost of housing in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley is undoubtedly a huge financial commitment. The cost for a condo, townhouse and detached house is relatively high compared to other places in Canada. It is a huge financial transaction to purchase a home. There can be life-altering consequences for overextending yourself to acquire one. That is why it is critical to find a home that is truly affordable: within your budget and financially feasible to hold for the long-term.

An amortization table is an essential tool for homebuyers, as it provides a detailed breakdown of their mortgage loan repayment schedule over the term of the loan. I always work with my buyer clients to carefully review the amortization table that their lender has provided them (or through the use of an online calculator).

Here are some key points that a Fraser Valley or Metro Vancouver home buyer should understand about an amortization table:

1) Loan Repayment Schedule: An amortization table outlines the specific repayment schedule for the mortgage loan, including the number of payments, payment dates, and the amount due for each payment.

2) Principal and Interest Components: Each payment made towards the mortgage consists of two components: principal and interest. The principal is the portion of the payment that goes towards reducing the outstanding loan balance, while the interest is the cost of borrowing the money.

3) Interest Calculation: The interest portion of the payment is determined based on the outstanding loan balance and the interest rate. In the early stages of the loan, a significant portion of the payment goes towards interest, while the principal portion increases gradually over time.

4) Amortization Period: The amortization period is the total length of time it takes to repay the loan fully. It is typically expressed in months or years. The most common mortgage terms are 2 to 5 years, but other options are available as well.

5) Total Interest Paid: The amortization table provides a cumulative summary of the interest paid over the life of the loan. This information helps homebuyers understand the total cost of borrowing and evaluate different loan options.

6) Equity Accumulation: As the principal balance decreases with each payment, the homebuyer's equity in the property increases. The amortization table shows the growth of equity over time, helping homeowners track their ownership stake.

7) Impact of Extra Payments: If a homebuyer makes extra payments towards the principal balance, the amortization table can be adjusted to reflect these additional payments. This allows borrowers to see how extra payments affect the loan term, total interest paid, and the speed of equity accumulation.

8) Loan Term and Interest Rate: The amortization table is based on the loan term and interest rate specified in the mortgage agreement. It is important to understand these terms as they directly impact the repayment schedule and the overall cost of the loan.


By analyzing an amortization table, homebuyers can make informed decisions about their mortgage, understand the long-term financial implications, and evaluate the best options for their specific needs. It's advisable to review the amortization table carefully, before committing to a loan, to ensure it aligns with your financial goals. Remember, interest on a mortgage entails that over the repayment period, you are paying much more than the purchase price of the home itself!

Here is a handy amortization calculator that you might find useful for illustration purposes.

If you are ready to explore houses, townhomes or apartments in the Fraser Valley markets of North Delta, Surrey, South Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Sardis or Chilliwack, don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss buying options that are affordable for your unique circumstances.

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