There comes a time in many people’s lives that they start to wonder if they should buy a cottage rather than looking into expensive summer vacations. After all, a cottage is an investment and can be used at any time, rather than renting something for one weekend each year. It’s a getaway that can be sold later or passed down through generations.
While you are considering the purchase of a cottage, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some questions to ask yourself before taking the leap into cottage ownership.
Is it Financially Feasible?
The main thing to consider is whether or not purchasing a cottage is financially feasible. Granted, cottages don’t usually cost as much as a primary residence, but it is still a significant investment. There are budget-friendly approaches to securing your private escape, such as keeping an eye open for bargains or investing in a prefabricated building (see more at RiverwoodCabins.com). However, maintenance, land taxes, and the cost of the space itself require spare funds.
Before making any decisions, take a moment to draft a budget and see what you could potentially afford. If you find that purchasing a cottage isn’t feasible right now, you can make a plan to save for one down the road.
Location, Location, Location
Do you have a specific getaway destination in mind? The benefit of renting a cottage for an annual retreat is that you can change your destination every year, should you choose to do so. If you find yourself in love with an area and return there annually, it might be worth finding your own space in the vicinity.
Your location will ultimately impact the cost surrounding your cottage plans as well. Highly desirable areas on the shore of a scenic lake will be substantially more expensive than the same cottage in a wooded area away from the water. Decide where you want your cottage to be located so you can mitigate budget expectations.
Frequency of Use
Before investing in a cottage, be realistic and consider how often you’ll really visit. What is the threshold to make the investment worth it for you? Would you consider listing it for rent when you aren’t using it? If you purchase a cottage that only gets used once or twice a year, it might be worth sticking to your original plan of renting an annual getaway. If you know that you’ll be able to visit multiple times over the summer, your investment could be worthwhile.
You might also want to think about purchasing a cottage that is accessible year-round. If you purchase something that you can stay in all year, it widens your window of opportunity for escape. Furthermore, it may be viewed by the bank as a second residence and thus eligible for better loan or mortgage opportunities. Many cottages and cabins aren’t eligible for traditional mortgages.
What stage of your life are you currently in? If you are single with aspirations of traveling and eventually owning a house, perhaps it isn’t the right time to buy a cottage. If you have a busy job and a lot of debts to pay, the same consideration applies. Someone who is financially stable and has young children who will take advantage of getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life may find a cottage advantageous. However, if the kids have various extracurricular activities, it may be hard to visit. Retirees may have ample time to visit but struggle with the maintenance.
Ultimately, your life stage and how it impacts your decision is subjective to your personal experience. If you find that the pros outweigh the cons, start your shopping experience and enjoy your private retreat!