How to Get a Mortgage Loan for a Second Home: A Comprehensive Guide by Shelto Mortgage Brokerage


Whether you’re eyeing a vacation property, an investment opportunity, or a place for an aging parent, buying a second home comes with unique challenges. Fortunately, with the right approach and understanding of Canadian mortgage regulations, securing a mortgage for that second property can be streamlined. Let’s delve into the process step by step.

Step 1: Define the Purpose of Your Second Home

1.1 Vacation Home: If you’re looking for a getaway spot, lenders often view these as lower risk because they won’t be rented out and will typically maintain their condition.

1.2 Investment Property: Purchasing a property to rent out can generate income but may come with higher interest rates due to increased perceived risks by lenders.

1.3 Property for Family: Whether for a college student, an older family member, or another relative, this type of purchase can sometimes be viewed more leniently by lenders.

Step 2: Review Your Financial Health

2.1 Credit Score: Lenders will scrutinize your creditworthiness. Ensure your credit score is in good shape; a score above 680 is typically favorable.

2.2 Debt Ratios: Your Gross Debt Service (GDS) and Total Debt Service (TDS) ratios should be within acceptable limits. Lenders prefer GDS below 32% and TDS below 40%.

2.3 Cash Reserves: Lenders may want to see that you have enough reserves to cover property taxes, insurances, and potential rental vacancies.

Step 3: Understand Down Payment Requirements

In Canada, the down payment for a second home can range from 5% to 20% based on its price and purpose. For instance:

3.1 Owner occupied home under CAD$500,000 require a minimum 5% down

3.2 For those priced between CAD$500,000 and CAD$999,999, it’s 5% on the first CAD$500,000 and 10% on the remainder.

3.3 A home priced at CAD$1 million and above requires a 20% down payment.

3.4 Investment properties typically require at least a 20% down payment.

Step 4: Consider the Additional Costs

Owning a second home comes with extra costs such as:

4.1 Property Taxes: These can be higher for second homes if they don’t qualify as your primary residence.

4.2 Insurance: Second homes, especially if they’re located in vacation spots, might have higher insurance premiums.

4.3 Maintenance : Factor in regular maintenance, especially if the property is older.

4.4 Property Management: If it’s an investment property, consider management fees if you won’t manage it yourself.

Step 5: Shop Around for the Best Mortgage Rates

Consult with various lenders and mortgage brokers (like us at Shelto) to find the best rates. Given our expertise and extensive network, we can often secure better rates than individual banks offer.

Step 6: Choose the Right Mortgage Option

6.1 Fixed vs. Variable: Fixed offers predictable payments, while variable rates can fluctuate with market conditions.

6.2 Term Length: Decide between short-term (often lower rates but more renewal frequency) and long-term (higher rates but more stability).

Step 7: Finalize the Property Purchase

7.1 Once you’ve selected your property, submit the offer. If accepted, notify your broker/lender.

7.2 The lender will evaluate the property for approval, and you’ll need to finalize the documentation.

7.3 Once the mortgage is approved, you’ll move to the closing process, finalize payments, and the property is yours!

Step 8: Review Tax Implications

A second home, especially if it’s an investment property, can have tax implications related to rental income and capital gains. Consult with a tax professional to understand your responsibilities.

Step 9: Regularly Review Your Mortgage

Especially if you’ve chosen a variable rate or a shorter term, keep an eye on market conditions. Refinancing or renegotiating your terms in a few years might save substantial money.


Purchasing a second home in Canada is an exciting venture but requires meticulous planning and understanding. Trust in professionals like us at Shelto to guide you through the complexities. We prioritize transparent, client-centric solutions, ensuring that you find the perfect second home within your financial comfort zone.

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