As the weather becomes warmer, it always gets people thinking about buying a cottage. It can truly be an excellent family experience with memories everyone will cherish for a lifetime, but there are often problems encountered that you should be aware of. The first is the amount of work involved in the maintenance. It is hard to realize how much time and effort it takes to maintain and upkeep the property, but in no time you may find yourself working five days at your job and two at your cottage…and before you know it, a relaxation venue becomes a working holiday. Another problem to be aware of is riparian rights. These are simply rights concerning the body of water, or the flow of water surrounding your cottage property.While the waters edge may appear logically as the extent of ownership, various legal complications arise. Shorelines change over a period of time as they can increase or decrease, and rights of ways are often in place. Be careful that when you build your dock or boat house, that you are not infringing on crown land. The complications can add up fast, which is especially overwhelming for us being used to municipal water and sewers. Septic tanks, although legal when the previous owner bought the cottage, may require the new owner to comply to new standards when a change of ownership occurs. There are lots of things to consider when buying a cottage, so do some research! A real estate professional can always assist in answering questions regarding your rights, and you should consider consulting various professionals in the process.
If you have always wanted a cottage getaway but cannot justify the expense, why not consider fractured ownership? This is now becoming more popular as vacation home expenses continue to add up. Fractured ownership refers to when two or more parties join the purchase and upkeep ofyour chosen retreat. You may be afraid of the perils you will encounter, but at Valley Ridge Realty we feel that with a strong contract in place, this could bean enjoyable and financially beneficial experience for all parties. Just besure to decide in writing prior to closing a few important details, as follows:
-A schedule of who stays at the property and when.
-How the expenses will be paid.
-Who decides what maintenance has to be done.
-A solution if the owner doesn’t pay.
-An exit strategy- if someone wants out of the deal, or worse, a death.
We also suggest putting a termination date on the contract of 5 to 10 years at which time a new agreement will be drawn up. If at this time no agreement can be made, the property simply gets sold to the highest bidder.
Whether looking to purchase a cottage by yourself or with multiple parties, be aware of the problems and risks, but keep an open mind and enjoy what can truly be a wonderful experience!