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Buying A Cottage

Posted On: 17.09.20

Buying A Cottage

If you’re looking for a cottage that’s going to be a four-season property, buying in the Fall is a great idea. The summer sunshine can make anything look good. The question is how does your potential cottage hold up when the leaves start to turn? Here are a few questions to help you with your purchase by Jessica Faulds (for CottageLife), who spoke to Tony Maiorino, Head of RBC Wealth Management Services:

Take a hard look at your budget (and work within it)

It may seem obvious, but if you want to buy property, the first step is to figure out how much money you have. That may seem simple, but there are plenty of pitfalls you can fall into when assessing your budget. For example, you might blow all your funds on the property itself, leaving nothing for repairs and upgrades. Or you may become enchanted by a beautiful property that’s just outside your price range, but buying it may cause financial stress and prevent you from actually being able to relax at the cottage.

“[Keep] in mind when you buy that cottage that there are those nice-to-haves that come very quickly after you buy the property,” Maiorino says. Boats, ATVs, snowmobiles—if you want to have any of these things, you need to factor them into your budget. So before you start scoping out potential cottages, make sure you know exactly how much you have to spend and what’s important to you.

Think of the end at the beginning

Buying a vacation home is a new beginning, but it will benefit your finances to consider what’s going to happen with it in the future. “Don’t just think about enjoyment during your lifetime,” Maiorino says. Instead, consider who the cottage may end up belonging to when you’ve passed away or are no longer able to visit. Will your children inherit it? Will you sell it? If so, says Maiorino, you need to ask yourself, “Does this property also meet the needs of where the demographics might be going?” For example, if you buy a multi-story property with lots of stairs, you may be limiting your ability to sell it to older people, or if the cottage is located at the top of a hill with a lot of steps down to the water, you may not be able to sell it to younger families with children who can’t navigate the steps down to the lake. So when you buy, keep the ability to resell in the back of your mind.

Consider location (location, location)

Let’s face it—vacationing is all about location. And so in buying vacation property, you need to consider its location carefully before you buy. According to Maiorino, if you want to invest in a cottage, you should be “researching where you want to be, understanding the benefits of the area that you’re looking in, and then looking at multiple areas within that area.” He also recommends renting in the area you’re looking at to get a feel for the considerations and benefits it offers. Is it a lake full of personal watercrafts that will make it difficult to fish? Or will fishing boats mean you can’t indulge in your waterskiing hobby? These are important things to know. He also proposes you try out the drive during peak hours. “Do it on a Friday night after work to see, actually, what the commutes to these places might be.”

Check the nearest services and amenities

Your cottage doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The surrounding area, and the proximity of services, can have a huge effect on not just your vacation experience, but also your insurance. “How far you are from things like the fire department and emergency services can impact your premium,” Maiorino says, adding that “not all insurance companies will insure vacation property, and if they do, there are sometimes very specific clauses around how long the property can be vacant.” So before you buy an incredibly remote property, you may want to ask yourself: How close is the nearest fire department or hospital? How long would it take for an ambulance to get there? Is it possible for someone to reach the property and check on it if you’re not there? All of these questions may be relevant not just for your insurance, but for your safety."

These are just a few tips to get you started. If you are interested in learning more about Smart Cottage Buying Tips - contact us at CottageClub, Ghost Lake - just 35 mins west of Calgary.

Credits: Original Article By Jessica Faulds for Cottage Life

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