What Can an Administrative Assistant Afford to Buy in Alberta?

Alyssa Furtado
by Alyssa Furtado October 17, 2013 / 1 Comment

Flickr: portway-ave

Over the last few months, we’ve been asking ourselves one question: what can people earning various salaries afford to buy on their own? Home ownership seems impossible for some but, the truth is, with some money saved up and no major debts in the way, it is still possible for many Canadians to enter homeownership – more often than not, it just depends on where you want to live and in what type of property. 

According to the Alberta government’s wage info site, the average starting salary for an administrative assistant is $20.10/hour. At 35 hours/week, that’s a starting salary of $36,600/year. This may not sound like a lot of money, but if you had a down payment saved up and no major debts to repay, you could absolutely afford to buy your own home. Want to see what an administrative assistant can afford to buy in Alberta? Let’s take a look.

After running the numbers through our mortgage affordability calculator, we can see that an administrative assistant earning $3,050 per month could afford a home priced at $241,628. This figure is calculated with a 20% down payment ($48,500), 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 an administrative assistant earning this salary has a number of buying options throughout the province.

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Property #1: Condo in the City
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Asking Price: $225,000
Features: 2 Bed, 2 Bath
Approximate Square Footage: 1,000
Property Taxes: $1,332/year ($111/month)
Maintenance Fees: $150/month
Parking Spaces: 1

If you want to live in the city, this two-bedroom condo near the University of Alberta might suit your needs. Built in 2002, the condo is a corner unit on the top floor and comes with a number of modern features. With a 20% down payment ($45,000), 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 $898. Add on your property taxes and monthly maintenance fees and you’d be paying a total of $1,159 each month to call it home.

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Property #2: Suburban House
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta
Asking Price: $228,900
Features: 3 Bed, 2 Bath
Approximate Square Footage: 1,000
Property Taxes: $1,356/year ($113/month)
Parking Spaces: 2+

If you’d rather live in a larger home outside of a major city, you won’t have a problem finding something in Alberta. Also built in 2002, this three-bedroom house in Medicine Hat packs a big punch in only 1,000 square feet of living space. With a 20% down payment ($45,780), 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 $913. Tack on your property taxes and you’d be paying a total of $1,026 each month to call this home your own.

When you get ready to buy your first home, the first thing you’ll need to tell your realtor is if you want to live in your city of choice or in a neighbourhood outside of it. Depending on where you work and what your commute could be like, one option might easily outweigh the other. Fortunately, an administrative assistant in Alberta does have a number of options to choose from. And after 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!