The idea of purchasing a recreational property can be a large undertaking that involves a lot of weighing of pros and cons. Whether it is a mobile home, a cottage or even a lakefront house, many factors need to be considered – for example, the price, taxes, upkeep and of course the idea of maintaining another household!
Also, a vacation property rarely provides a monetary return five years later; in fact, according this website, most people buy vacation properties as a lifestyle investment, as opposed to a financial investment.
Here are some particulars and figures for you to consider before you take the plunge and buy a recreational property.
Before purchasing anything, you should do some serious financial calculations to see if you can afford the property. Depending on where you are buying, some cottages can be almost as much as a house – costing anywhere from $200,000 to $600,000 or more. This cost usually will require a mortgage, as well as other expenses such as insurance, property taxes and upkeep costs.
Also, these upkeep costs can tend to be more expensive for a cottage that is in a secluded area than a regular home, and can include rotting wood, septic tank maintenance, critter invasions (racoons and squirrels) and more.
You should also evaluate the resale value of the property, should you decide that you want to sell. For example, a saleable property on the waterfront within a few hours’ drive of a major city will usually be more appealing to buyers, as opposed to a secluded cabin in the middle of nowhere with limited access.
One way to offset the cost of having a recreational property is to rent it out. With word of mouth and websites such as VRBO and AIRBNB, which offer a database of vacation rental properties across the globe, having a recreational property can be a very lucrative income generator – especially if your property is appealing to renters (waterfront, beach access, etc.).
Before you purchase a recreational property, you should ask yourself if you are going to have a chance to spend time there. Take into consideration whether or not the property is close enough to your home. If it’s within a few hours’ drive, you will be more likely to visit it.
If it’s a long distance away, you may not have the time to get there. Also, consider the needs of your family – do you have small children that require more care or more supplies that need to be packed back and forth to the property?
Will they not be capable of making that long trek in the car every weekend? Or perhaps you have children that are heavily involved in sports, which takes up much of your weekends all summer long, thus making it difficult to visit the property at all. These are all factors that need to be considered before purchasing.
Land and Property Specifics
Before purchasing a recreational property, it’s important to evaluate certain criteria, such as land boundaries, zoning bylaws, road access, sewage resources and such.
All of these factors can determine whether or not you can expand the property if necessary, reside there permanently should you decide to retire there, and even if you need to update septic or sewage systems before purchasing.
As mentioned above, having a vacation property can be a lot of work and financially taxing. However, if you commit to using it to the best of its abilities, and you’re willing to make the variables work, having a cottage away from home can be an absolute dream.
It can be a place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the rat race, where you can relax in a hammock at sunrise with a coffee in hand, or most of all, where you can make the best memories of your life with your loved ones.
It’s more important now than ever to encourage your children to engage in outdoor play. The fresh air, the sunshine, the exercise and the skill development that comes with creative and imaginative play outdoors is not only amazing but essential to your child’s development. If you have a backyard, and you’re looking for some ideas to make it a great play space for your child, consider these fun ideas sourced from Outdoor Living Today:
Create a Sandbox or Dirt Play Area
The saying is that the less a toy does, the more a child will learn!
Sand is such a great sensory plaything for kids. Touching, dumping and sifting sand is wondrous as they explore their sense of touch and play, feeling the amazing texture of sand and dirt.
Your child can scoop, pour, measure and make designs for hours in these mediums. A sandbox can easily be made and filled with basic sand from any hardware store, and a dirt pile can become a road, a mountain, a construction site and more! Sand and dirt provide hours of fun.
Outdoor Play Structures
Whether it is a simple swing set or a more complex unit with a slide and a treehouse, an outdoor playset is a place where to run, jump and hide, and explore, while learning risk-taking, fine and gross motor development and physical exercise.
Outdoor playground equipment is essential for the child to learn his or her limits as well – how high can they swing, how fast can they go down the slide, or how high can they climb – without feeling fear, or before we experience our limit? It’s wonderful to learn about cause and effect through the exhilaration of a swingset or the speed of a slide.
Playhouses provide an opportunity for a child’s budding imaginations to flourish. Not only are they engaging in imaginative play, but they are also mimicking what they may see in their homes, which helps them to make sense of the world around them and assist them later in life.
They may make a garden around the house, or decorate the inside with bits of material, rocks and flowers. Even the simple act of pretending to cook a mud pie in their playhouse can be an educational experience for a child.
Kids love trampolines – and even better, they are a great source of exercise in disguise! There are many health benefits associated with jumping on the trampoline, among other benefits. For example, learning skills such as bum drops or flips on a trampoline requires practice and persistence, and because it’s so fun to learn, a child will usually persevere to do so.
Once they have mastered that skill, they have improved their self-esteem! It also helps with motor skill development, balance, coordination and strengthens muscles. Add a bit of fun to the equation by throwing some balloons into the trampoline and watch them bounce around while your child bounces! Trampolines offer hours of fun.
Outdoor Imaginative Play Area
This type of play area could be anything you imagine in your back yard – for example; you could use a few old tires filled with soil, plants and toys, or an old garden box filled with rocks and wood shavings for an imaginative area.
Essentially, any contained receptacle with a variety of sensory mediums inside will provide a fantastic imaginative play area for your children. They can take their dolls, their toy cars or any other items that they’d like and create a pretend world of their choosing in this area. Make it even more intimate by hanging a hammock or an old sheet from some branches and make a tent for a lovely, cozy area to play in.
Regardless of what structure or idea you choose, providing your child with an opportunity to play outdoors is essential and beneficial to their happiness and livelihood.