Spring seems to have finally sprung, and as we are nearly 2 weeks into the season of blossoms and warmer temperatures, it’s not too early to start thinking about whether or not you’re ready to buy a vacation property.

We are truly fortunate to live in such a beautiful, all-season part of Ontario where the market provides suitable vacation property opportunities for both the winter and summer cottage-seekers. Below we give you a few tips and tricks to think about while you decide whether or not investing in a vacation property is right for you.

Can You Afford This?

This seems like a very simple and obvious question, but is an imperative one in the home-buying process. Naturally one could assume that if you are looking to buy a vacation property, you are already a homeowner. That being said, keep in mind one of the most important tips we solicited in an earlier blog on first time home buying: assume you can make at least a 20% down payment on the asking price, and ensure that all of your monthly expenses won’t exceed 36% of your after-tax income. These figures should apply even before you begin to consider factoring in potential rental income later on down the road.

Home Much Extra Are The Extras?

Above and beyond your monthly mortgage fees and down payment, you need to consider additional costs like utilities, home insurance, and property taxes. As is the case with most vacation properties, you will most likely consider renting it out at some point; if you don’t plan on being around much you’ll need to hire a property manager. One of the best ways to figure out exactly how these costs will impact you is to speak with local homeowners, real estate agents, and event companies and contractors who you’d potentially be working with. Investing in a second home can definitely be a joy for you and your family, so doing your research up front can help you maximize the benefits of your new property, thus giving you peace of mind.

Rentable?

Even if you aren’t sure if you would want to rent out the property in the future, it is a wise idea to research the home’s rental potential. Attractive factors that can make potential renters interested would include: beach access or proximity to the ski hill, closeness to town, hot tub or pool, decks & balconies, and ample parking space. Specifically when buying in a tourist area like the one we live in, renting your vacation property is definitely something to consider, and can even add value to your home further on down the road.

Four Season Living

When researching rental properties for potential purchase it is very important to investigate the area you will be moving into in all four seasons. Sure, it’s charming when the beaches or ski hills are in full swing, but can you deal with the ebbs and flows of a tourist area, or one where there are slow seasons with not a lot of foot traffic? Our particular area of homes happens to be flourishing with year round activities and attractions for couples, families, and singles alike; but this is still a practice you should do before you consider purchasing a vacation property.

One thing that makes buying a vacation property easier is dealing with local agents who know the area through and through. Even if you’ve been somewhere dozens of times, your local agents will know the nuances and quirks of each and every neighbourhood you’re looking at.

Contact Doug or Anita today and we’ll help you make the purchase of your dream vacation home easy and hassle-free.