Feb 2011 11

Is It a Good Time To Buy a Cottage?

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Even in a city like Vancouver with its beautiful surroundings and many recreational possibilities ranging from a vast array of entertainment venues in the city, through many parks to water sports, hiking or skiing in the mountains, many families own a recreational home out of the city, where they escape from everyday life and enjoy the lovely nature and the vicinity of a well-maintained golf course. Maybe you are one of many who consider buying such a property, but still think whether it’s a good time.

Photo by Rick Harris Photo by Rick Harris

When it comes to real estate prices, The Greater Vancouver area is on a long term steady rise, so many investors don’t have second thoughts about buying another Vancouver home within the city limits. However, buying a cottage only for investment purposes should be carefully assessed. Development from the recent years represents a good example. Cottage prices outside Vancouver fell a lot since the recession, e.g. lots in Predator Ridge, a resort near Kelowna sold for $1,000,000 a couple of years ago, but in summer 2010, they sold only for about $300,000. A townhouse golf villa in this resort will now cost you approximately $535,000, which is still very affordable. The plummeting of the prices was a results of the economic recession which hit the recreational properties’ prices hard, as people tend to cut their expenses on things they don’t need right away, like a secondary home.

A lot of developers lost a great deal of money when the values dropped and now, as the market stabilizes slowly, they try to make up for the losses with various incentives, like zero mortgage payments for a year or price cuts.

Before you buy that great looking property near some lake, remember that owning a cottage is a lifestyle choice and even if you rent it, the costs are considerable. The upkeep, insurance and property tax bills can make for a pretty bad headache when you use the cottage only for a few weeks a year. If you don’t want your recreational property to be a snug place for the family at holidays or weekends or you don’t intend to retire there, then you should really make sure that return is guaranteed, as a cottage can easily end up with no buyers when listed.

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