As the warm weather approaches, so does the desire to pack up and take off to a cottage by the lake. Somewhere you can relax and enjoy the nature around you. However, we don’t all have a beautiful lake home that we can whisk ourselves away to on the weekends. Owning a cottage seems wonderful, a little personal paradise, but the reality of owning a cottage, may not always be so glamorous. The work and money that goes into maintaining a property can be overwhelming. Owning a vacation home isn’t for everyone, and it can be difficult to decide whether buying or renting is for you. Before making your decision, there are few simple questions you should ask yourself.
This beautiful family cottage can be found in Innisfil, overlooking Lake Simcoe. Photo Source: Style at Home
Can I afford it?
Before investing in anything, it is important to look at your financial state. Ask yourself what you can afford and what you are willing to spend. For most, cottages are a second property, which means paying double in terms of bills and taxes. There are also added expenses that are not typical of your average home, for example maintaining a dock, keeping your boat running smoothly, etc. Everyone is different, so it is important to determine what is best suited to your lifestyle financially. Adding up the costs of both buying and renting a property for one year and comparing them can help you make an informed decision. If you plan on purchasing a property of your own, renting out your cottage when you aren’t there is also worth considering. This is a great way to make some extra money and help keep costs down.
Nestled on the shore of Georgian Bay and designed by Sarah Richardson, this stunning cottage features a modern exterior and an eclectic and colourful interior. Photo Source: Luscious
How often will I visit?
Are you the type of person that loves to travel to new places, or do you prefer staying put? This is an essential question to ask yourself when deciding whether or not to buy a cottage. Although it sounds wonderful to have a lakeside property of your own, it’s also important to be realistic with yourself. If you’re a traveler it may not be in your best interest to buy, as you will be less likely to visit and may feel tied down to one location. Alternatively, if you enjoy the comfort of a consistent vacation spot, then it may be more sensible to purchase your own property. The location of your cottage also plays an important role. The shorter the drive, the more often you will visit. It’s important to ensure your property is close enough that you’re able to drive up as you please.
The owners of this gorgeous estate built a lakeside boathouse to get the most of their Lake Joseph view. Photo Source: Style at Home
Am I willing to put in the work?
Cottages can be beautiful and relaxing, but they can also be a lot of work. Maintaining a property, let alone a second one is a huge responsibility. Before purchasing a cottage of your own it’s important to ask yourself if you are willing to put in the time and effort that is required of maintaining a property. Aside from typical home maintenance such as mowing the lawn, cottages require extra work such as winterizing for the cold weather, dock repairs and spring opening. Making choices that compliment your lifestyle is extremely important, and purchasing a cottage is a large lifestyle decision. Consider how many other commitments and responsibilities you have on your plate, is the extra work feasible?
The fresh and clean coastal style of this cottage on Lake Rosseau makes for a dream getaway. Photo Source: Style at Home
What am I looking to get out of a cottage?
What you are looking to get out of your cottage? This is one of the biggest determining factors in deciding whether to buy or rent. Buying a cottage is suited to those who are seeking a place they can consistently retreat to on weekends. Owning a cottage creates a place to host friends and family, and create memories for years to come. However, if you are searching for a property to visit on the occasional long weekend, or for a week in the summer, renting would be more beneficial to you. Renting allows you to visit only a few times throughout the year without feeling obligated to drive up constantly or the added stress of maintenance.