Looking for that cottage property

Financing a Vacation Home or Cottage


Cottages / Vacation Homes are Classified as Types A & B

Type A Cottages Requirements:
  • Must be intended for occupancy as some point during the year by the borrower or relative on a rent-free basis (otherwise it is considered a rental).
  • Winterized home with year-round (4-season) access.
  • Potable running water, central heating, plumbing and electricity.
  • Permanent foundation below frost line.
  • Property needs to be readily marketable (easy to sell).
  • Floating homes are possible.
  • Rental pool / timeshare properties are NOT eligible.
Type B Cottages Requirements:
  • Seasonal (summer road only) or boat access okay.
  • Must have a kitchen, three-piece bathroom, bedroom and a common area
  • Permanent heat source NOT required.
  • Has running water, need not be potable.
  • Toilet can be chemical, portable or holding tank
  • Sits on a foundation (concrete blocks or pilings).
  • Generally 850 sq ft or more
  • Off-grid power likely OK if 50% down payment.
  • Must be intended for occupancy as some point during the year by the borrower or relative on a rent-free basis (otherwise it is considered a rental).
  • Cannot be used as your full-time home.
From a Mortgage Planning Point of View…
  • In addition to the property requirements above, you must be able to personally qualify for mortgage financing.
  • Interest rates might be 0.10-0.20% higher than a traditional mortgage mainly because property is not ‘owner occupied’ year round.
  • Given the location of the property, many lenders will insist on CMHC/Genworth insured-lending regardless of the down payment provided, but conventional is possible for quality properties.
  • Type A cottages can be mortgaged as a ‘second home’, similar to mortgaging a permanent residence, fixed and variable terms, minimum 5% down payment (if insured) not to exceed $1mil.
  • Type-B require 10% down minimum down payment as a second home purchase with CMHC/Sagen loan insurance, not to exceed $350,000 (although some exceptions available on case-by-case basis).
  • Type-A can be refinanced provided 20% equity remains in property and a quality property.
  • Type-B generally have limited to no refinance options.
  • The minimum down payment for a non-insured property purchase varies by lender from 20-40%.
  • Insured mortgages may have further restrictions on the maximum loan amount depending on location and access.
  • Many borrowers prefer to refinance their existing primary residence and pay cash for the second home, as it is often easier.
  • Draw/construction (progress-advance) mortgages are available.
  • Financing on raw (un-serviced) land usually requires 50% down payment, though ~25% is possible for prime locations (for example, an un-serviced lake lot).
  • It is important to note that cottages and 2nd homes can not be used for investment purposes or as a rental; lenders do not accept rental pools or timeshare properties under this program.
  • Finally, it is implied that the property is located in Canada.

At Lang Financial, we service customers across Canada. Primarily, we offer mortgages in the Winnipeg, Manitoba area.

I work with Castle Mortgage, Castle Insurance and TMG The Mortgage Group – an award-winning Canadian mortgage brokerage with a national team of over 800 qualified and accredited mortgage brokers, agents and associates providing residential and commercial mortgage services. Since 1990, TMG has helped over a quarter million Canadians get the best financing solutions and mortgage rates through Canadian mortgage lenders from coast to coast.