You’d be hard pressed to find a Canadian who hasn’t dreamt of having their own slice of lakeside heaven. Owning a recreational property is a big responsibility – think mortgages, maintenance and extra taxes – but the lure is strong. Here are some solid economic (and emotional) reasons why investing in a property now could pay off down the rural road.
Avoid financial frustration by owning a recreational property as a lifestyle choice – then commit to going most weekends and seasonal holidays. To make the initial (and continued) investment worthwhile, you and your family need to be there, using it, whenever possible.
If you’re in the market for a recreational property, you should also be thinking about retirement. Look for a piece of land or a home in an area that makes sense for summers now and your golden years down the road. By buying property that ticks all those retirement boxes now (while you’re still earning), you’ll be ahead of the game come age 65.
To put your recreational property in the path of increasing value (for a potential future sale), it’s all about location. Being within three hours of a major city and on a body of water are the two highly sought-after features for cottage hunters. If you’re feeling savvy, research up-and-coming cottaging areas and buy ahead of crowd.
Renting out your recreational property when you’re not using it is a solid way to recoup some of the yearly maintenance costs. Marketing, bookings and housekeeping, being a landlord does increase the workload, but there are rental agencies that can help with that. Proximity to quaint towns, beautiful beaches, interesting landmarks and hip hot spots can help to increase your by-the-night price too.
When thinking through what type of recreational property best suits your needs, look for one with land. While a low-maintenance condo may seem more appealing now, it’s land – not necessarily the structure – that appreciates in value. You’ll get a better return on your investment if you buy a property with solid ground under it – plus, it gives you flexibility.
Speaking of flexibility, find a recreational property that allows for extra structures, significant renovations or the replacement of an outdated structure. This will give you so many more options to work with in the future, which could help boost the property’s value. To avoid any surprises in the future, be diligent about looking into local bylaws and zoning restrictions in your desired area.
As the World Turns
When most people think of “the cottage,” they imagine lazy summer days lounging on a lakeside dock, beverage in hand. But if you want to invest creatively, think beyond the summer season and consider buying a recreational property that can be used and rented year-round. Think swimming in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter, with fall colours and spring hiking to fill in the gaps.
When thinking about whether it’s worth investing in a recreational property, you need to look at your desired lifestyle. If creating quality memories with your family is valuable to you, then what the property does in your investment portfolio isn’t the priority. Luckily, there are ways to make that cottage work for all the family fun times as well as your future financial success.