Cottage Ownership

Cottage season is upon us in full force, and if you're looking to buy a vacation property, keep in mind it's very different than buying a home in the urban sprawl. Here are just a few key - of many – things to consider when making the leap to owning your dream cottage.

Know what you're getting into
Research the area in which you want to buy. Check out the commute times to and from your home. Is there road access in winter? Talk to local owners. Check out what stores and amenities are nearby. What's the terrain like? And what about the wildlife? Find out if the lake has a cottagers' association and talk to them about pros and cons. Renting a cottage in your desired area is a great way to get to know its flavour.

Go local
Definitely use a local agent who is experienced in not only the area, but in cottage life. They will understand municipal zoning and building laws, septic systems, how to test the quality and supply of well water, shoreline access and allowances, winterization, boat traffic, and various other quirks of cottage country.

Inspection, inspection, inspection
You likely didn't buy your home without having it professionally inspected, nor should you purchase a cottage without sending in a pro-in-the-know. Hire an inspector well versed in rural homes and properties and all the systems required make it run smoothly and efficiently including septic tanks and wells.

Buy off-season
Beware, owners can over-value property prices in the spring and summer. Scouting the market while cottage season is in full swing will give you a clear snapshot of what you're looking for and a lay of the land, however, try to hold off the actual purchase until the fall and winter.

Talk to MCAP
Get your financing in order. MCAP can help turn your cottage dreams into reality through its Secondary Home Program that lets you finance up to 95% loan-to-value on the purchase of a second home or vacation property.

July 2014

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