Buying a Cottage: What You Need to Know
Each year, thousands of Quebecers buy a cottage or country house. The reasons why are diverse: to have a peaceful oasis and refuge on the weekends and holidays, to enjoy their retirement away from the bustle of the city, or to purchase a property which will provide rental income.
Purchasing a country home requires as much planning as the purchase of a property in a more urban setting. Before buying, it's just as important to consider the surroundings, available services, quality of construction and municipal regulations concerning rentals as it is to evaluate your needs and the consequences this purchase will have on your budget.
Step One: Define Your Needs
In order to make an informed choice, first think about your preferences and lifestyle. How often will you use your cottage? Do you prefer water sports or winter sports? Do you like to invite friends over or do you prefer a quiet place to be alone? Are you a do-it-yourselfer? How far are you willing to travel between your main residence and your cottage? Do you want to use it year round or rent it from time to time?
Step Two: Find the Perfect Location
The value of a cottage or country house is greatly influenced by its environment and accessibility. In general, buyers look for a comfortable home in a location where they can both enjoy nature and practice their favourite winter and summer sports. Make the most of your investment by finding accessible surroundings that match your lifestyle.
Step Three: Do The Math!
Remember that a second property entails significant fixed costs: insurance, taxes, heating, telephone, internet, electricity, water, not to mention the investment in time and money for travel and upkeep. Caring for the lawn, flowers or garden, as well as renovations as years go by can represent substantial expenses. The golden rule for buying a cottage: be realistic in your calculations! Make sure that the amounts required for your secondary residence are compatible with your budget.