Rent vs. Buy (Canadian)

Should you rent or should you buy your home? It takes more than looking at your mortgage payment to answer this question. The first steps in buying a house are ensuring you can afford to place at least 5% of the purchase price of the home as a down payment and determining your budget. This calculator helps you weed through the fees, taxes and monthly payments to help you make a good financial decision.
By changing any value in the following form fields, calculated values are immediately provided for displayed output values. Click the view report button to see all of your results.
Your home purchase breaks even in approximately 1.2 years.
Loan amount:
Monthly payment (PI):
Report amortization:
Report amortization
Please view the report to see detailed results in tabular form.
Please view the report to see detailed results in tabular form.
Please view the report to see detailed results in tabular form.


Price of home

Purchase price of the home you wish to buy.

Cash on hand

Cash you have for the down payment and all closing costs. An ideal down payment is between 10 - 20% of the purchase price of the home. You may be eligible to use money from your RRSP to help fund your home purchase. Starting in February 2016, there is a required minimum down payment requirement of 5% for homes with a purchase price of $0 to $500,000. For amounts over $500,000 an additional 10% down payment is required for each dollar over $500,000. For amounts over $1,000,000 a 20% down payment is required. The down payment does not include mortgage insurance, which may be financed.

Interest rate

The current interest rate you can receive on your mortgage.

Amortization period

The number of years over which you will repay this mortgage.

Property tax amount

The annual amount you pay in property taxes.

Mortgage fees

Fees your financial institution charges for originating your mortgage.

Maintenance/Condo Fee

Monthly fee charged for your condominium and any other maintenance costs you expect to incur with the ownership of this home. Please note that condominiums are referred to as 'strata' in the Province of British Columbia.

Other closing costs

Estimate of all other closing costs for this loan. This should include filing fees, appraiser fees and any other misc. fees paid.

Total closing costs

Total up front costs to close your loan. This is the sum of the loan origination fee, the amount paid for mortgage insurance premium and other closing costs.

Mortgage amount

Total amount for this mortgage.

Monthly payment (PI)

Monthly principal and interest payment for the mortgage. This payment amount does not include maintenance or property taxes. This calculator assumes both GST and mortgage insurance are financed which increases your mortgage amount, which is then reflected in your monthly principal and interest payment.

After-tax investment return

Annual percentage return you would retain, after income tax was paid, if you invested your closing costs and down payment instead of purchasing a home.

Monthly rent payment

Amount you currently pay for rent per month.

Expected inflation rate

Inflation rate used to adjust amounts subject to annual increases. This includes rent, insurance and tax payments.

Home appreciates at

Annual appreciation you expect in the home you are purchasing.

Future sales commission

The percent of your homes selling price you expect to pay to a broker or real estate agent when you sell your home.

Is this a new home?

Many new homes have the purchase price with GST and/or HST/PST included. If this is the case for your home purchase, the checkbox to include GST should be left unchecked since the GST and/or HST/PST will be included in the purchase price.

This calculator calculates GST at 5% of a new home's purchase price minus a GST rebate. GST rebates are calculated as follows. For homes under $350,000, the rebate amounts to 36% of GST, up to a maximum rebate of $6,300. For homes between $350,000 and $450,000, the maximum rebate of $6,300 declines to zero on a proportional basis. All homes selling for more than $450,000 receive no GST rebate.

It is important to be aware that there may be additional taxes on new home purchases in the form of HST and/or PST, depending on the province where the purchase is made.

For more information, please visit:

Mortgage Insurance Required?

Check this box if you wish to calculate the amount of mortgage insurance payable. For additional information regarding mortgage insurance please read the definition below.

Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium (non-refundable)

Mortgage insurance is financed in your mortgage and does not increase your closing costs, but does increase your mortgage balance. Mortgage insurance makes it possible for home buyers to purchase a home using a lower down payment. The Canadian Bank Act prohibits most federally regulated lending institutions from providing mortgages without mortgage loan insurance for amounts that exceed 80% of the value of the home or purchases with less than 20% down payment. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Genworth Financial are two companies that offer Mortgage Loan insurance. For more information please visit their websites at and

CMHC and Genworth Financial's current Mortgage Loan insurance Premium Rates *
Loan Size (% of property value) Rate (as a % of loan)
Up to and including 65% (over 35% down payment) 0.6%
Up to and including 75% (25% to 34.99% down payment) 1.7%
Up to and including 80% (20% to 24.99% down payment) 2.4%
Up to and including 85% (15% to 19.99% down payment) 2.8%
Up to and including 90% (10% to 14.99% down payment) 3.1%
Up to and including 95% (5% to 9.99% down payment) 4.0%
Up to and including 95% Flex Down or Cash Back Equity Owner-Occupancy Program** (5% to 9.99% down payment. 4.5%

*An additional 0.25% is added for every 5 years of amortization beyond a 25 year mortgage amortization period.

This calculator assumes that your mortgage insurance premium can be financed by your mortgage, which can greatly reduce the amount of upfront money that is required to purchase a home.

This calculator does not include Genworth's Top-up Premiums or Blended Amortization for refinancing.

**Not all Financial Institutions offer CMHC's Flex Down and/or Genworth Financial's Cashback Equity Owner-Occupancy Program. Below is a brief summary of the two programs:

  • CMHC's Flex Down
    Own your own home sooner by using a wider range of sources for your down payment. If you have a proven track record of meeting your debt requirements and sufficient income to support mortgage loan payments, your lender may be able to provide you with CMHC's Flex Down product. Sources for your down payment can include: borrowed funds, gifts and lender cash back incentives. For more information please see: How much does CMHC cost?

  • Genworth Financial's Cashback Equity Owner-Occupancy Program
    Some home buyers have an excellent credit history but have not yet saved the required down payment. Others have used their savings to build assets in different ways. Genworth Financial offers mortgage default insurance to both these groups. For more information please see: Genworth Premium Rate Table

Information and interactive calculators are made available to you as self-help tools for your independent use and are not intended to provide investment advice. We cannot and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.