Sweden has decided to limit mortgages to a period of 105 years, after finding it could take people 140 years to clear the debt.
It comes after calls last week to extend mortgages in Ireland for periods of up to 50 years caused consternation.
But some countries favour ultralong plans - including Sweden.
Irish journalist Paul O'Mahony, who is based in Sweden, told Newstalk Breakfast this is the way it has been done.
"There was a study carried out around a decade ago that showed that at the rate Swedes were paying off their mortgages, it would take them on average 140 years to clear the debt.
"The financial regulator was keen to tackle this, but had pushback in the courts - and there wasn't really any political will to do anything about this.
"In reality: a standard mortgage in Sweden is usually around 50 years - even though there is now this 105-year limit."
'The State picks up the tab'
Paul says a change of government there meant a change of rules.
"After Sweden got a new social democrat government in 2014, things did start to change.
"New mortgage rules were introduced - first in 2016, and then they were tightened again in 2018.
"So now, homeowners have to pay 2% of the mortgage annually if they've borrowed more than 70% of the value of the property - or 1% if they've borrowed 50 to 70% of the value."
But what happens if someone dies before the mortgage is paid off?
Paul explains: "If somebody dies then an estate is formed automatically - which is a legal entity.
"In most cases, if there's a mortgage, the inheritors will sell the home at a profit usually and they'll pay off the mortgage.
"But if the debts of the deceased are worth more than the assets, the inheritors are not personally liable to repay them.
"The State picks up the tab then".
However he says most homeowners are encouraged to invest elsewhere.
"I think a lot of this is cultural: there's a strong culture here of investing in the stock market.
"The advice a lot of people have received from personal finance experts is that it makes more sense for them to invest in the stock market than in their own property, because the long-term returns are likely to be greater than paying off their mortgages.
"And the banks have kind of supported that".