Flickr: Roland Alder
Buying your first home isn’t easy – especially in British Columbia, home to some of Canada’s most expensive real estate. In this series, we are looking at the average starting salaries of various professions, assuming the buyer has no major debts and finding out what they could afford to buy in their city or province.
It’s no secret that British Columbia’s housing market has been on the decline. With home prices skyrocketing over the last few years, many potential buyers were forced out of the market. While prices have slowly begun to go down, British Columbia is still home to Canada’s most expensive housing market – Vancouver. Fortunately, there are still parts of the province where professionals can both earn a decent living and afford to buy a home.
In BC, a hotel manager can expect to earn an average starting salary of $68,500. After running the numbers through our mortgage affordability calculator, a hotel manager in British Columbia earning $5,708 per month (x 12 = $68,500 per year) with no major debts could afford to purchase a home priced at $497,643. This figure is based on a down payment of $101,122 (20%), an amortization period of 25 years and a 5-year fixed mortgage rate of 3.18%. Most lenders determine your maximum affordability by calculating your debt service ratios – that is, your gross debt service ratio (GDS) and your total debt service ratio (TDS). GDS and TDS are explained further in our education centre. For now, let’s look at what types of homes you could buy for this price in British Columbia.
Property #1: Condo
Location: 751 Fairfield Road, Victoria
Asking Price: $489,000
Features: 2 Bed, 2 Bath
Approximate Square Footage: 866
Property Taxes: $220/month
This condo is located in Fairfield – one of Victoria’s most sought-after neighbourhoods. If you run the details through our mortgage payment calculator, using a 20% down payment ($97,800), a 5-year fixed mortgage rate of 3.18% and an amortization period of 25 years, your monthly mortgage payment for this condo would be $1,888. When you add in other monthly costs, such as your property taxes (est. $220 per month), $2,108 of your income would go towards housing each month.
Property #2: Suburban House
Location: 2388 Chilco Road, View Royal
Asking Price: $494,900
Features: 3 Bed, 3 Bath
Approximate Square Footage: 1,629
Property Taxes: $223/month
If you prefer to live in a larger home just outside of the city, this suburban house offers more than 1,600 square feet of living space in a quiet neighbourhood. Again, assuming a 20% down payment ($98,980), a 5-year fixed rate of 3.18% and an amortization period of 25 years, your monthly mortgage payment for this home would be $1,910. Factor in the monthly property taxes (est. $223 per month) and you could pay just $2,133 per month to own a home that is only a 20-minute commute to downtown.
In the end, the home you choose will depend on your personal preferences and priorities. While many people are willing to commute to work, many others are not – and that’s ok. The fortunate news is that a hotel manager in British Columbia can afford to become a homeowner, no matter which type of home they prefer.