Owning a family cottage is a must have for many families. Before you make this big purchase and sign on the dotted line, make sure you do your homework. A cottage is costly and requires just as much up-keep as a home and requires regular maintenance. Though it is difficult to put a price tag on the memories, making a smart investment needs to be your number one goal.
Buying a Cottage:
Many couples and families debate whether or not to splurge and purchase a luxury cottage or a smart real estate investment. If you were lucky enough to inherit or able to purchase a lakefront property decades ago, then you are likely to do well if you decided to sell it.
Purchasing a winterized property is a wiser investment than a summer home with no insulation and limited access. Factors such as these will allow cottages to range in prices. For example, being less than a two hour drive from the city on a large lake is the most desirable but also the most expensive option. It might be a better option to invest in more affordable alternatives if you’re willing to travel a little farther or settle on a smaller lake.
Putting a little work into your cottage is a must, as it will require regular maintenance. You will want to choose a property that is manageable and leaves room in your finances for you to put in a dock for your boat so you and your family are able to enjoy the cottage lifestyle.
Sharing a Cottage:
In recent years; there has been an increase in new properties that include many features, which costs under $100,000. The catch? Normally, you only stay there for a few weeks out of the year. Be prepared to share the cottage with other owners when you’re not there. Partial ownership may not be the right choice for you and you’re family, but it’s something to consider. Make sure you check with the association or property management company to ensure it allows you to rent out the weeks you won’t be using the cottage, for example when your children are in school or working. Though having a cottage is a great way to pool resources and advance your buying power, its important to have a real estate lawyer to write up an agreement. The agreement should state who is allowed to use the cottage when, along with other expectations such as maintenance, mortgage payment, and property taxes. It might be a smart idea to consider sharing a summer rental to see how the potential arrangement will work before you make the financial commitment.
Renting a cottage:
If you want to get away to relax this summer with family and friends, but don’t want the expense or commitment of owning your own cottage, you may want to consider the option of renting a cottage. Many rental companies advertise cottages at different price points. This is a great option if you and your family want to explore a new area, town, city, or province. Most cottage rentals are typically rented months in advance, therefore its better to plan early because popular vacation spots have a high demand. July, August and long weekends are the most expensive and difficult to book. It may be a better option to take your vacation in June or September. Although the weather may be unpredictable, you may be able to rent for a reasonable price. If you and your family own a cottage and don’t mind sharing your summer getaway, this might be a way to help you cover your taxes as well as other maintenance costs.
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