This is the time of year most people who are looking for a cottage as a place to go to on weekends and for holidays, but also as a place to retire to one day. Before you start looking at cottage/land for your summer getaways, check out some of these tips below . . .
What To Look For When Buying A Cottage.
1. Create a 'wish list,' a 'want list' and a 'must-have list.
Are you looking for just land to build your own cottage, a fixer upper or a completely finished ready to use place? Do you want waterfront so you and your family can have some fun during the summer months?
For partners or spouses, "You both have to create these lists and somewhere in between they should merge."
2. What are any extra costs?
Besides your loan payments, you will have additional expenses, like taxes, fuel costs, snow removal and lawn care, to name a few.
Taxes can vary widely from town to town, and province to province so make sure you know what they are ahead of time.
You never want your second dwelling to be a financial burden. Try to buy below what you have, so you have some money for anything that may come up.
You have to maintain the cottage in all kinds of weather: will you hire someone to help, is there help near by or do you have to hire someone from the city? Will you have access in the winter if the cottage is an all season place. You may want to use it for your snow machines.
3. How long will it take to get there?
Most cottagers want to get there as quickly as possible after work on a Friday if they plan to go up every weekend. How much traffic will there be on a Friday afternoon? Is it tolerable? Take a drive out to a property area you are looking at, at the times you think you may want to go out on. This will give you a good idea of what you’ll be dealing with each weekend.
4. What is near by?
Do you want a grocery store, bait shop, restaurants or bank near by?
It's important to find the closest place where you can buy a bread or water if you need it.
5. What activities does the town offer?
Read the local newspaper, talk to local shop owners and go to parks and pubs to find out what the vibe is like.
6. Do you have cellphone service?
Make sure you have cell service if this is important to you.
There are so many communities that don't have cell phone service.
7. Are there emergency services near by?
Whether you are a young couple with a family or someone looking for a cottage as place to retire one day, having emergency services could be a huge concern. Let’s face it, accidents happen. Find out if the area has fire, ambulance or police services and how long it would take any of these services to reach you.
8. Consider renting before buying.
Make sure you like the town and area before you decide to make a big investment.
Try renting something in the area first to see if you like going out every weekend. The reality is: for some people, renting a place gets this “out of our system” and end up not buying a permanent place in that area.
It's a costly mistake if you really don't like the community or having to take care of a second property.
Are you looking for a second property? Irene has been in the Real Estate field for a long time and has assisted people in second home purchases. Give her a call at 613-858-1151. Buy smart!!