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What Are the Rules for Buying a Second Home in Canada?

Owning a second home in Canada can be a fantastic investment opportunity, a personal getaway, or a way to help family members. But before you jump into the market, it’s crucial to understand some of the guidelines surrounding second property purchases in Canada. This guide delves into the key aspects you need to consider to navigate acquiring your dream second home.

What is A Second Home:

By definition a second home is a home that you or a family member will live in. It can be a vacation property, a home for a family member to live in (student for example), or your home away from home while working in another location.

Financing Your Second Home:

There are no significant differences between buying your primary residence and a second home. A common myth is that you need a substantial down payment.

  • Minimum Down Payment: A second home requires a minimum down payment of 5% for the first $500,000 and 10% of any amount greater than $500,000.
  • Just like with your primary residence, you’ll need to go through the mortgage approval process for a second home. Lenders will assess your:
  • Credit: Good credit demonstrates your financial responsibility and increases your chances of securing a favorable mortgage rate.
  • Debt-to-income ratios: Lenders will consider your existing debts and liabilities to ensure your monthly housing costs (including your primary residence mortgage) don’t exceed a certain percentage of your gross income.
  • Employment: Stable employment demonstrates your ability to make consistent mortgage payments.

Understanding Mortgage Options:

While you can secure a traditional mortgage for a second home, lenders may offer different products with varying terms and interest rates compared to primary residence mortgages. A mortgage broker will shop around and compare rates from different lenders to find the most favorable option for your financial situation.

Tax Implications:

Owning a second home may come with tax implications.

  • Speak with your tax planner or accountant to see how owning and/or selling a second home may affect you.

Turning a Second Home into a Rental Property:

If your goal is to eventually turn your second home into a rental property, additional factors may come into play:

  • Municipal Regulations: Research your local municipality’s bylaws regarding short-term rentals (like Airbnb) or long-term rentals to ensure you comply with all regulations.
  • Property Management: Consider hiring a property management company to handle tenant screening, maintenance, and rent collection, especially if the property is located far from your primary residence.
  • Tax Implications: Rental income like all other income must be reported to CRA. Your borrowing costs and expenses may be deductible against the rental income.

Additional Considerations:

  • Location: Carefully consider the location of your second home. Factors like proximity to amenities, potential rental income, and future property value appreciation should be weighed in your decision.
  • Maintenance Costs: Owning a second home may come with additional maintenance responsibilities or condominium fees. Factor these into your budget when preparing for your purchase.


Purchasing a second home in Canada can be a rewarding experience and an excellent investment. By understanding the specific regulations, financing requirements, and tax implications you can approach your investment with confidence. Consulting with a qualified Mortgage Broker like Chris Marriner can ensure a smooth and successful transaction. Now, go forth and unlock your dream of owning a second home in Canada!

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