Fun With Mortgage Calculators

by Jordan Lavin August 22, 2015 / No Comments

The game was called MASH. When we were kids dreaming about our futures (or just trying to entertain ourselves over a rainy lunch hour), we’d use it to predict where we would live: a mansion, apartment, shack, or house. The game would also predict who your future spouse would be, how much money you would make, and how many kids you would have.

Years later, most of us have come to accept that we’re not millionaires living in a mansion with Tiffani Amber Thiessen and our fourteen kids. But we are wondering who we’ll live with, whether we’ll have kids, and what kind of home we’ll live in. The answer, at least to the housing question, comes down to what we can afford. Using’s mortgage calculators, we’ve done some math to find out what it will take to afford your destiny.


What to choose, what to choose? There’s a $12-million mansion in Calgary with 5 bedrooms and a 7-car garage that could work. Or what about an 8-bedroom, 13-bathroom home on Toronto’s Bridle Path with its own movie theatre and swimming pool for $15-million? Or a $24-million masterpiece on Vancouver’s waterfront?

At an asking price of $24-million, you’ll just need a $4.8-million down payment, and $84,961 a month to pay your mortgage. A yearly pre-tax income of about $3.2-million should be enough to afford it.


Ok, so you don’t have millions to throw around. Neither do I. How about an apartment, then? CAAMP’s recent study A Profile of Home buying in Canada found the average price paid for a condominium apartment is $336,000. This could be a good choice too, given that the condo market in Toronto and Vancouver has been holding steady compared to runaway detached house prices.

With a 20% down payment of $67,200 and a low fixed mortgage rate of 2.39%, that $336,000 apartment can be yours for just $1,189 a month. Depending on condo fees, you can afford that with an annual household income of just $53,000 but it might be wise to leave yourself a little more breathing room than that.


You’ll be hard pressed to find a genuine shack on the real estate market in Canada, but there are some micro-houses around that might be cozy enough to qualify. In Toronto’s east end, a 189 square foot house was listed 2 years ago for $229,000. If that price tag is too much, you can find a number of decent homes in some of Canada’s rural communities for less than $50,000.

If you really want to take out a mortgage on that $50,000 home, you can do it for just $2,500 down and $220 a month. But since you’ll need enough income to cover your property taxes and heat, you’ll need to work about 25 hours a week at minimum wage to earn enough to afford the mortgage.


Depending on where you live, owning a house could either be easily within your reach, or a complete pipe dream.  In Toronto, the average price of a single-family detached house hit $1.15-million earlier this year, and in Vancouver that number is almost double at $2.23-million. To buy that Vancouver house, you’ll need a $446,000 down payment and just shy of $8,000 a month to pay the mortgage. An annual household income of just over $300,000 per year should do the trick.

Across Canada, however, the average detached house price is about $360,000. At that price tag, it will take a minimum down payment of $18,000 and $1,585 a month to move you in.

What kind of house can you afford to buy?

Our mortgage affordability calculator can help you estimate your maximum purchase price based on your financial situation. It takes into account all of the most important factors that determine your affordability, including your income, debt, and the variable costs of owning a house, such as property taxes, heating costs, and mortgage rates.

RateHub also has a mortgage payment calculator that tells you what your monthly payment will be for a given purchase price. It also lets you compare mortgage rates, and takes into account land transfer taxes, closing costs, and down payment amounts.

Whatever your dream house looks like, our mortgage calculators can help you understand what you can afford.

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