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.