While the common refrain that renting amounts to nothing more than “paying your landlord’s mortgage” is a bit misguided, it does raise an interesting question: what kind of house can you afford with what you’re currently paying in rent?

Determining the answer to that question involves many variables, but the following calculations* – which assume that in each scenario your monthly rent is equal to your theoretical monthly mortgage payment – provide a useful baseline.

Rent: $900

  • Max purchase price: $182,452
  • Down payment: $9,123
  • Total mortgage amount (principal + default insurance): $180,263
  • Monthly housing costs (rent + property tax + utilities): approx. $1,300

Rent: $1,200

  • Max purchase price: $243,270
  • Down payment: $12,164
  • Total mortgage amount (principal + default insurance): $240,351
  • Monthly housing costs (rent + property tax + utilities): approx. $1,800

Rent: $1,500

  • Max purchase price: $304,087
  • Down payment: $15,204
  • Total mortgage amount (principal + default insurance): $300,438
  • Monthly housing costs (rent + property tax + utilities): approx. $2,100

Rent: $1,800

  • Max purchase price: $364,905
  • Down payment: $18,245
  • Total mortgage amount (principal + default insurance): $360,526
  • Monthly housing costs (rent + property tax + utilities): approx. $2,500

*All calculations were made using the RBC Rent or Buy Calculator, and assume for five per cent down payment, 25-year amortization and 3.5 per cent interest rate.