Vacation Home Ownership in a Period of Climate Change

Thinking Strategically

November 9, 2017

It’s that time of year, when legions of vacationers decide they want to take the plunge and buy a home away from home. And this year, it may especially be true: the Canadian economy is solid, interest rates are still relatively low, and investment accounts are healthy.

Owning a vacation property in the sunny south is a dream many of us aspire to and work hard to achieve. However, the recent reports from the Caribbean and south Florida about damage from climate change, including hurricanes, rising seas and storm-driven flooding are troubling.

People in British Columbia and Alberta tend to favour California, Arizona and Hawaii as destinations for sunspot properties, whereas our counterparts in Ontario and Quebec gravitate more towards Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean – the hardest hit by rising sea levels and hurricanes.

In no way do we wish to deter you from following your holiday home dreams. We just felt it could be useful to share some of the vulnerabilities associated with some of the most popular destinations – California (rising tides in coastal areas), Arizona (projected water shortages due to rising average temperatures), Hawaii (rising tides in coastal area and hurricanes).

Think strategically about vacation home ownership

All of what we have mentioned is to suggest we should be thinking more strategically about vacation home ownership, especially about buying in areas vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.

One way to approach the problem is to recognize the proliferation of websites sourcing vacation rentals in just about every part of the world, making the process of finding a property – for a week, a month or even longer – possible in just a few keystrokes.

Exclusive websites for home rentals

Luxury Retreats (www.luxuryretreats.com) offers a fabulous collection of over 4,000 professionally inspected villas in Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico’s Riviera Maya and California’s Lake Tahoe, and in several other exclusive destinations.

Time and Place (www.timeandplace.com) offers a selection of exquisitely curated luxury villas in virtually every island in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Hawaii, several Greek islands, Bali, Bora Bora, and Thailand.

The Thinking Traveller (www.thethinkingtraveller.com) is a heaven sent source for those interested specifically in the Mediterranean. From Sicily to the Sporades Islands, Corsica to the Ionian Islands, accommodations are so special from this supplier that the organization won the Favourite Villa Rental Company at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards in 2016 and 2017.

Of course you can also look to the big names in vacation home rentals such as Airbnb, VRBO and Home Away.

Conclusion

What we’re inviting you to consider are strategic vacation rental options, as we want to see your hard earned dollars put into a property you can enjoy to the fullest! For many, vacation home ownership – either in Canada, the USA, or somewhere more exotic – remains a non-negotiable dream. If that is you, go for it!

While there’s a lot of negativity out there, the research findings from a London-based company, The Eco Experts, throws some interesting light on the countries best equipped to cope with climate change. It turns out that North America as a whole will be able to cope with the effects of climate change, thanks to high readiness scores for both the USA and Canada. It’s pretty neat we’re positioned near the top of the table!

The Wooding Group at CIBC Wood Gundy, 780 498-5047