Thanks to tighter mortgage qualification rules and higher-priced real estate—particularly in the greater Vancouver and Toronto areas—it’s not always easy to qualify for a mortgage on your own merits.

You may very well have a great job, a decent income, a husky down payment, and perfect credit, but that still may not be enough.

When a lender crunches the numbers, their calculations may indicate too much of your income is needed to service core homeownership expenses such as your mortgage payment, property taxes, heating, and condo maintenance fees (if applicable).

In mortgage-speak, this means your debt service ratios are too high and you will need …