Tips for Cottage Investors
If you live in the city but enjoy spending time at the cottage in the summer, you may have thought about buying a summer home. Perhaps you feel that you would save money by owning your own place, rather than renting a cottage. Or maybe your family owned a cottage when you were growing up, and you consider it a normal part of family life. Whatever your motivations, the decision to buy a cottage is one that should be approached with caution and some trepidation. Owning and running a cottage may be more expensive than you imagine. And keep in mind that there are certain differences between owning a house in the city and owning a cottage.
Here are five tips for anyone who is considering a cottage purchase.
Make sure you know what transportation and infrastructure links are available. Owning a cottage isn’t like owning a home in the city, and there are several questions you should ask. Is there an all-season public road providing access to the cottage? Is there a dock or marina providing access by water to the cottage? Is the cottage connected to a sewer system? Is municipal garbage removal service available?
Make sure you know what communication connections are available. Just as important as transportation and infrastructure, assumptions cannot be made regarding communication links in cottage areas. Is Internet service available? What is the quality of cell phone reception in the area? Is cable television service available?
Consider carefully the location. Are you pretty sure you’ll be living in the same city for the foreseeable future? As long as you’re relatively stable, it’s fine to choose a cottage that’s within a comfortable driving range of that urban center. However, if there’s a strong possibility you could move to another city in the next few years, buying a summer home near your current location may not be a good idea.
Understand the realities of renting out your cottage. If you are considering renting out the cottage part of the year, look into all aspects of the situation before you buy. You should be realistic about the ease of finding suitable renters for the periods you don’t need the cottage. Renting out your cottage may not be as lucrative as you assume. Be aware that renting out any sort of housing makes you a landlord, with all the associated responsibilities and tasks (such as maintenance).
Be realistic about how much time you would spend at a cottage. As well as considering what you want in a summer home, you should think carefully about how much time you would spend there. Realistically, how often would you visit the cottage and for how long? This entails a consideration of your habits, your family status, your available vacation time, and various other factors. If you only have a few weeks available every summer for cottage stays, renting a place would be less expense and have fewer headaches.
Owning a cottage is a dream for many people. However, before you buy a summer home you should consider carefully the questions discussed in this article. Otherwise, your dream may turn into a nightmare.