Alternatives to Owning a Cottage
Before I move to putting an offer on a property I think it would be best to mention a couple other options that may meet your weekend needs and not hurt your wallet as much. Fractional ownership and Renting
Fractional Ownership is not a new concept, however it seems to have taken off here in Ontario. With the cottage market skyrocketing year after year it is becoming less and less likely for young families to be able to afford a cottage property. On top of the high market prices owning a cottage includes maintenance costs such as a new septic system, a new roof, or a new dock. These items are serious strains on one’s budget. Then of course there is the time spent to actually fix all these things. I have seen time after time people getting rid of their cottage because it just becomes too big a chore.
Fractional Ownership alleviates these common issues. Owners only have to pay a 1/10 of the cost of the cottage. A small maintenance fee, compared to full ownership, will cover any repairs or upgrades and you don’t have to do any of the work yourself! Buyers into the fractional ownership can purchase more then one share, but 1/10 gives the owner 5 weeks out of the year to use the cottage. 1 week a season plus 1 random week in the year. Owners can sell their share the same as selling a fully owned cottage.
Renting allows many families to enjoy a week’s vacation by the water for $800 to $1200 CAD. There are a lot of cottages available to rent here in Ontario and most of them end up fully booked for the summer. The advantages of renting are that there is no annual commitment, you can go to different cottages year after year. Renting, however, sometimes means not getting what you expected. Sometimes the cottage hasn’t been cleaned from the last renters. If the weather doesn’t cooperate with you, your one week could be spent inside instead of on the dock.
In general the advantages of these options over fully owning a cottage is that you will probably be able to stay at a ‘nicer’ cottage then what you can afford to own. You don’t have to worry about doing any chores or maintenance, just enjoy yourself. The disadvantage is that you can’t go whenever you want and if the weather is bad then you will be seriously disappointed. Figure out which option best meets your needs and your budget then go enjoy yourself this summer!