Tips & Articles
When to Start Thinking About Buying and Building a Cottage
Some view cottages as something to aim for during their retirement years. It is often possible to realize such a dream well before then. However, there are some important things to consider before buying and building a cottage. Think about all of the following factors before making your decision.
What are your current financial commitments? Do you already have a mortgage? Can you take on a second one? People in the market for a cottage are often at a stage in life where they no longer have a home mortgage or other major monthly expenses. They could also have a regular income that still allows such a step. If you are in such a position, a cottage is a very real possibility and this is a great time to think about taking the next step.
What is the status of the real estate market? Have property values gone up recently and does the current market suggest prices will remain high? In cases such as these, you might want to wait a little while.
That said, you also still have the option of shopping around until you find a lot that suits both your wallet and your structural needs. Location remains the top priority. You can change your mind about the appearance of your cottage, but you cannot change the location once you have committed to it.
Know the Costs
It is important to know all of the costs that come with cottage ownership. In addition to taxes, insurance, and utilities, remember to factor in possible expenses you don’t have in the city, such as docking fees and ploughing costs. As you likely know from your current home, having a comprehensive budget always helps to ensure smooth sailing.
How Much Use Will the Cottage Have?
If you opt for a cottage unsuitable for use all year, you only really have it available for five to six months annually. Is this enough to justify the costs of operation, maintenance, and taxes? This is one drawback of buying an older structure from the days before winterization became common.
If your cottage is suitable for use throughout the year, you still need to consider this question. It would be better to rent out an empty cottage rather than let it sit unattended. That income is taxable, but there are some applicable write-offs and the money would help with other expenses.
Buy or Build?
You will need to buy land. However, you have a choice: do you wish to buy a lot that already comes with a cottage or do you wish to build your own?
An advantage to already having a pre-existing cottage is the ability to quickly rent it out to help with the costs of your mortgage and utilities. On the downside, older cottages often require a lot of maintenance. While some changes are possible, you are also stuck with a design that doesn’t necessarily match what you might prefer. Fixer uppers may seem like a great bargain at first, but they can also end up costing a great deal of money in the long run.
Royal Homes knows that cottages are an important investment and we are here to help our clients make the right choices. We have an entire line of cottage designs available to help you choose one that best suits your desires. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help to make your cottage dreams a reality.