That depends where you are looking to buy- are you willing to go a fair way out or live in Scarborough?
Based on your debt rates, I will assume you don’t have much of a downpayment. Know that below 20% you have to pay CMHC mortgage insurance fees, with HST on the fees. The fees are rolled into the entire mortgage, so even if you were to refinance later with more than 20% down, you will still be paying that original few grand off as it’s in the principle.
Not knowing your roles, I would be a tad wary of job security in government right now. The federal government just laid off ~2500 people who hold my position. (Not trying to dissuade, but signing on for a mortgage makes it much harder if anything goes wrong in the future.)
It will all depend on your payments, lenders will be looking at your gross debt service ratio (GDSR) and they want it to be 40% or lower of your gross household income (before taxes). I would recommend staying a long way away from the 40% ceiling though (especially the 42% it can be in certain cases). Aim more for your housing costs to be 20% or so. A quick pop into a mortgage calculator, estimating $600/month in debt payments and $200 for taxes will let you borrow ~$190K Now – finding a place in the GTA for 200K…..
Basically, it all comes down to where you are willing to live and how much you can save for a downpayment. I would decide what to do regarding buying based on: what you’re currently paying in rent, how stable you feel your position is, what your exit plan looks like (kids/ability to take a dream job in another city/sickness), the rates and payments on your current debt.
Mortgages are 2-4% right now, rough and dirty. If your monthly rent is super huge and you feel like it will limit your savings ability going forward, it might make sense to save your pennies for a downpayment. If the rates on your debt are quite high, it will probably make sense to rapidly pay them down first so that you can better save for a downpayment.
Another random tip, try to make your amortization period as short as possible. Aim for 15 years, settle for 20. If you go much past that, a huge, huge amount goes to interest.
….good luck! there’s a ton of things to learn and decide in this process.