How Much Can I Afford?

When calculating affordability or as we call it qualifying for a mortgage, there are many factors in determining how much you will qualify for. As a general rule, you would need at least 5% down, although if you have excellent credit, you could qualify for as little as zero down. That’s right, zero down payment still exists. You would qualify based on 32% of gross income for housing cost, which would include heating, taxes, electric etc. Note your total debt service ratio (all your debts combined) cannot exceed 42%. So here is an example.   Gross Income 80,000 Amount available for housing 25600 or 2133 monthly. Less Taxes and Utilities example 700 Leaves 1433/month for Mortgage Servicing. 1433 per month would purchase roughly 300,000 dollar home assuming a 3.5% interest rate and a 5% down payment.    If you would like to know how much you qualify for contact Eric Meredith @ 902.830.5139 or email [email protected] or fill out the contact form below. 


Note: Tax refers to Property Taxes and PMI refers to Private Mortgage Insurance (normally required by lenders when a deposit of 20% or less is made on the purchase)

Are you curious how much the monthly payments would be for your dream home in Nova Scotia? Simply fill in the mortgage calculator fields and get instant feedback.

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Is it better to buy or rent?

Big question. Generally speaking, in Nova Scotia it is often cheaper to buy than to rent. Why? Because we have an aging population, and more and more people are moving from their homes into rentals. Further adding to rental demand are the numerous people who are renting their homes as vacation homes. So there is a shortage of rental housing in many markets making buying often the best and most affordable option. In Halifax, rentals for a two bedroom apartment could be anywhere from 1500-2500 or even higher depending on the location. For this amount of money you could purchase a two story home in many areas of the city in the 250-350k price range. You can still buy a very nice place in Halifax for this kind of money.

There are different costs associated with renting and buying. Using Bankrate’s rent vs. buy calculator helps you break down some of these expenses.

Most rental properties require a security deposit, which protects the landlord against damage caused by the renter. You’ll usually put down the first and final month’s rent payments when you sign a lease. When evaluating a lease contract, ask if your monthly rent includes utilities, such as water, electric, gas, cable or internet.

For homebuyers, one of the biggest ongoing costs of homeownership is your monthly mortgage payment, which includes the loan’s principal and interest amounts. Your payments can go up or down over time if your loan is variable rate or your property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums change. If you put less than 20 percent down, your lender will typically require you to purchase private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which drives up your monthly payments, too.

Renting vs. buying a home: A comparison



  • May build equity and credit
  • No landlord to answer to
  • More stability (especially with schools)
  • Possible tax benefits
  • Can improve or upgrade home to your taste


  • Requires substantial money, paperwork up front
  • Could lose money if home values decline
  • Extra expenses beyond mortgage payments
  • Rising home prices and low inventory in many markets
  • Responsible for repairs, remodeling



  • Fewer upfront costs and paperwork
  • Freedom to be more mobile
  • Not responsible for maintenance, repairs
  • No need to worry about falling home values
  • Build credit (if your landlord reports rent payments to the credit bureaus)
  • No property tax bills


  • Landlord can raise rent or sell the property
  • Choices may be limited depending on vacancies
  • Might have to move multiple times
  • Don’t build equity
  • No tax benefits



Eric sold us our beautiful Condo in Mahone Bay. He turned what normally is a stressful experience in to one that was extremely easy and such a smooth closing. (We closed in two weeks). He made this happen with his diligence and professionalism! We highly recommend Eric!

Lissa Chiasson

Eric is very professional. He is honest, hard working and efficient. 
He will do you right. He has a lot of contacts and will have your best interests in mind.

Rod Bezanson | Lead Pastor

“Eric worked with me a few years ago to manage,list and sell my home in St Margaret’s Bay which sold in less than 40 days. As a a realtor and friend, he came and helped me clean out the house once my tenants had left, while making professional suggestions that could move my property quicker as I was living in another part of the province. In my opinion, this was above and beyond what I would have received from most realtors, as some of this was outside of his responsibilities. I have known Eric for many years and have watched him mature as a realtor and often go above and beyond to ensure his clients needs…even when sometimes being treated unprofessionally and experiencing disappointment. As a friend and a client, I would certainly recommend him as a Realtor who has his clients best interests in mind whether selling or purchasing a home. He indeed receives a 5 star rating from me.”

Rhonda Fralic

I have had the pleasure of dealing with Eric for real estate transactions 3 times. This association has been cemented over a period of two years. Eric has been honest. professional, thorough, and dependable. He is a fabulous real estate agent and I feel blessed to have been connected with him before moving from Ontario. I would not deal with another agent in Nova Scotia. Highly recommended.

Linda McLaren

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