8 Tips to Finding the Perfect Recreation Property

This time of year always makes us yearn for a retreat from the hustle and bustle and long for a place to go to make those winter memories with family and friends. For those of us in Calgary, Airdrie, Strathmore (and of course Drumheller) we have a multitude of locations to choose from right here in Alberta and just inside BC, so here are some tips for preparing to buy a winter vacation property in Alberta.

1 - Find a REALTOR®. (Assuming you are reading this post, you already have this step checked off!) Real Estate Associates have immediate access to all new listings and can send you instant email notifications. They can provide you with great advice on any extra costs associated with such properties and handle many of the technical issues of the purchase. Your agent very likely also has associates who work within the smaller centers, who can be more readily available for showings. We can refer you to a top real estate professional in the area you are seeking.

2 - Decide what you want in local amenities. Do you want mountains and trails for skiing and snowshoeing? Are you after the best in spa and shopping opportunities? Or are you looking for a property that offers seclusion and quiet? You may want to book a hotel room for a night to get a feel for the area first.

3 - Make a prioritized list of things you want in the property itself. The wishlist can be as long as you'd like, but now you have a plan for which items are the first to go if you have to make compromises. Keep in mind items such as storage if you have sports equipment, parking for when the weather is cold and extra space if you plan on using the property for hosting guests. If you search the internet for "fully furnished rentals" in the area, you will get an idea of what others have in their units that they rent out.

4 - Determine how far away from home you want to be. Will this be used for a weekend getaway where a short drive will be important, or do you plan to take longer vacations where the extra travel time is worth it?

5 - Decide if you need to be looking for a furnished option. Having to furnish a space can be pricey and may have to be factored into your budget. If you are looking to rent the property to strangers, buying a place that is fully furnished may be a smart option (also make sure to check the condo bylaws).

6 - Set your budget. You've decided what you want and how far away to look for it, now you need to determine what and where you can afford. Talk to your lender and get pre-approved. Nothing crushes that vacation property dream quite like being unable to meet the financing conditions. Don't forget to include the cost of monthly condominium fees if applicable.

7 - Based on affordability, choose 2 or 3 areas at most to focus your search. Browse listings, check out internet sites for community information and talk to people you know who have stayed in the area
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8 - Be patient. You never know when that dream property may be listed, sometimes good things are worth the wait. A lot of effort goes into purchasing your home-away-from-home, so you want to do it right the first time!

Century 21 has helped our clients purchase vacation properties in Sylvan Lake, Pine Lake, Canmore, Three Sisters, Banff, Golden, Kelowna, Vernon, and more. If you are thinking of buying a recreational home, call 403.342.2222 or email power.realty@century21.ca to get pointed in the right direction.

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