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Here is an example. 2000SF house is a good size for a couple without child or one child. I don't know about children's spending so the following spending is just for a couple without a kid.
In Ottawa a house like that cost around $230000 depands on the builders. After 25% downpayment, the morgage should be around $1000. After $400 car loan, there are a lot of room to play with. As tofurniture, a $230000 house need about $50000 for decoration and everything generally. However, after $20000 spending, it may take another 5 years to finish the rest of spending which is only about $6000 a year and $500 a month.(This totally depands on one's flavor though. Not many people finish decoration as soon as they moved in, partially money reason, partially it need time to plan the whole thing) Give $800 for living expenses which includes food and eat-out . It's pretty decent if you are not going to fancy french restaunt every week. Add it up, we only spend 2700 now. You still have $1000 left this month. 250 for property tax. 750 for gas,phones and cometic things for wife. It should not be too tight for 70K a year. If the spouse works part time, save 20K is not hard at all.
I gave a lot of room in this calculation. With 10% of downpayment, monthly payment will be 200 dollars more. It should not matter too much though.
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