It’s a curious fact that we Canadians, depending on where we live, call a vacation home by different names – a cottage, chalet, country house, camp or cabin. But what they all have in common is that so many owners call their vacation property a source of cherished family time and lifelong memories.

If you ever consider such a purchase, it’s important to weigh the enchantment of vacation property ownership against the commitments of owning a second home.


Numerous financing methods are available, but often the choice boils down to three options, sometimes used in combination. You can take out a second mortgage, using your principal residence as collateral. You can refinance your existing mortgage to access the equity in your home. Or you can use the equity in your home to take out a home equity line of credit. You’ll want to come up with a plan and examine dollar figures to determine whether your dream property is affordable.


You must also account for all of the costs, and there are many, beyond the purchase price. To start, you’ll have the costs of beds, furniture, appliances and watercraft – and moving expenses. Then you’ve got to budget for the ongoing expenses of property tax, utilities, insurance, major repairs and any renovations.

Keep in mind another cost of ownership – time. Consider that some weekend getaways could include chores like fixing the broken downspout, mowing the lawn and driving to town to refill the propane tank. For some people, spending time on upkeep is reason to consider renting instead of buying. But others believe it’s a small price to pay for all of the relaxing, fishing, swimming, boating and roasting marshmallows.


It’s important to know that purchasing a vacation property typically means that down the road you’ll be adding tax and estate planning matters to your plate. A potentially large tax bill on a property’s capital gain is payable upon transfer of ownership, whether it’s a sale or handed down to children in a will. At some point, you’ll need to choose which of several transfer methods best suits your tax situation, and decide how to cover the tax liability.


One of the most important components of your wealth plan is saving for retirement, which may be affected by the purchase of a second property. We can look at the financing and other costs to help you determine if you can manage the purchase comfortably – without placing the timing or nature of your retirement at risk. Of course, we can also factor in whether the vacation property is part of your retirement plan. With our financial advice and guidance, you can feel confident that your final decision was the right one for your circumstances. 

This material was prepared for and published on behalf of your financial advisor and is intended only for clients resident in the jurisdiction(s) where their representative is registered. This material is provided solely for informational and educational purposes and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities or as providing individual investment, tax or legal advice. Consult your professional advisor(s) prior to acting on the basis of this material. Insurance products are available through advisors registered with applicable insurance regulators. Individual equities are available only through representatives of Assante Capital Management Ltd. In considering any particular investment, please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Although this material has been compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. All opinions expressed and data provided herein are subject to change without notice. Neither CI Assante Wealth Management or its dealer subsidiaries Assante Capital Management Ltd. and Assante Financial Management Ltd., nor their affiliates or their respective officers, directors, employees or advisors are responsible in any way for any damages or losses of any kind whatsoever in respect of the use of this material. CI Assante Wealth Management is a registered business name of Assante Wealth Management (Canada) Ltd. Assante Capital Management Ltd. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Assante Financial Management Ltd. is a member of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada and the MFDA Investor Protection Corporation (excluding Quebec). © 2022 CI Assante Wealth Management. All rights reserved.