What Can a Geologist Afford to Buy in Alberta?

Alyssa Furtado
by Alyssa Furtado October 15, 2013 / 1 Comment

Flickr: usacehq

We know that buying a home isn’t easy – especially if you’re trying to buy with only one salary. In this series, we want to look at the average starting salary of a profession, assume the buyer has no major debts and calculate what they could afford to buy.

According to the Alberta government’s wage info site, the average starting salary for a geologist is $40.80/hour. At 40 hours/week, that’s a starting salary of $84,864/year. Compared to most professions, this is a great starting salary. And, if you were earning this amount of money and didn’t have any major debts, you could absolutely afford to buy your own home. Want to see what a geologist can afford to buy in Alberta? Let’s take a look.

After running the numbers through our mortgage affordability calculator, we can see that a geologist earning $7,072 per month could afford a home priced at $586,345. This figure is calculated with a 20% down payment ($117,500), an amortization period of 25 years and a 5-year fixed mortgage rate of 3.49%. Your maximum affordability is determined using your income and expenses. Lenders run your numbers through two debt service ratios – the gross debt service ratio (GDS) and the total debt service ratio (TDS) – both of which are explained on our site. For now, know that a geologist earning this salary has a number of buying options throughout the province.

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Property #1: Downtown Condo
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Asking Price: $555,000
Features: 2 Bed, 2.5 Bath
Approximate Square Footage: 1,377
Property Taxes: $3,276/year ($273/month)
Maintenance Fees: $300/month
Parking Spaces: 2

If you want to live in a condo in the city, this two-bedroom condo near the University of Alberta might suit all your needs. Built in 2003, the condo is modern, has two floors of living space and great views of the city. With a 20% down payment ($111,000), a 5-year fixed mortgage rate of 3.49% and an amortization period of 25 years, your monthly mortgage payment for this condo would be $2,214. Add to that your property taxes and monthly maintenance fees and you’d be paying a total of $2,787 each month to own this condo.

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Property #2: Suburban House
Location: St. Albert, Alberta
Asking Price: $574,900
Features: 5 Bed, 4 Bath
Approximate Square Footage: 2,417
Property Taxes: $3,396/year ($283/month)
Parking Spaces: 2+

If you’d prefer to live in a larger home outside of a major city, you shouldn’t have a problem finding something in your price range. This five-bedroom home comes with more than 2,400 square feet of living space and a view of a huge pond in St. Albert. With a 20% down payment ($114,980), a 5-year fixed mortgage rate of 3.49% and an amortization period of 25 years, your monthly mortgage payment for this home would be $2,294. Tack on your property taxes and you’d be paying a total of $2,577 each month to call this home your own.

When you start your house hunting process, you’ll find that your realtor will ask you for a list of needs and a list of wants; living in the city vs. the suburbs is definitely something for the needs list. Fortunately, geologists in Alberta have a number of options to choose from. Once you save up enough money for a down payment and your closing costs, you should be able to comfortably enter the world of homeownership. Good luck in your search!