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Few things are more romantic than spending a pleasant summer weekend or a special holiday week in the heart of winter at a cabin. While buying a cottage may appear to be attractive, ideal real estate investments on the surface. They need a lower initial investment than other types of housing, and they can be used for both long-term and short-term vacation rentals.
Cottage country in Ontario, notably around Lake Muskoka, is known for its idyllic location and reasonably priced real estate. The potential of Ontario’s cottage country is being recognized by residents of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and beyond. They’ve been buying properties to utilise as short-term rentals recently, especially during the summer months.
However, it is important to note that like other investments, buying a cottage takes a fair amount of planning and strategy. That is why we want to help you get started the right way.
To learn all about how property financing can make buying a cottage a smoother, more successful process, simply click the link below to get started today.
Cottages have a lot of charm in Ontario
Because the demand for short-term rentals in cottage country is so strong right now, many people feel it’s conceivable to own a cottage in North Ontario and earn enough rental income to pay off the mortgage plus their own high Toronto rent!
Unfortunately, investing in a cottage is significantly more complicated than you may imagine. Real estate investors frequently make the mistake of purchasing a cottage. When you buy a cottage, it might be difficult to repay your investment costs for a variety of reasons.
Cottages are frequently subject to particular sorts of property easements, making it difficult to improve the site, and restricted rural ordinances and seasonal zoning rules can make it impossible to use the land as you see fit. Prior to putting down any money, it’s critical to understand the disadvantages and constraints of investing in a cottage property.
Buying a cottage has several drawbacks
You may believe that because cottage country is rural, you won’t have to deal with the same costly city regulations and municipal codes that make investing in the city difficult.
However, some parts of Ontario’s cottage country, particularly the Lake Muskoka region, have difficult zoning requirements and municipal laws that make it difficult to profit from your cottage investment. Here are just a few of the many disadvantages of investing in cottage country:
Most lenders will only lend money to a cottage if it fits the criteria for a primary residence. This means the cottage will need to be built on a solid foundation rather than cinder blocks. A heated water pipe and a furnace will also need to be installed in the cottage.
If you want to make money from your cottage all year, keep an eye out for cottages that have seasonal zoning. Roads in cottages with seasonal zoning aren’t maintained during the winter months. As a result, once the first major snowfall of the year arrives, they’ll be virtually inaccessible.
Many cottages have hydro easements, both registered and unregistered. The property owner must accept financial responsibility for the maintenance of electrical lines crossing their property and let the local hydro supplier access the land. You’ll have to do some digging to uncover unregistered easements because they don’t appear on the title.
Short-term rental restrictions
Some communities in cottage country, notably those near Lake Muskoka, are enacting regulations prohibiting short-term cottage rentals, particularly through internet platforms such as Airbnb. Zoning limitations and noise ordinances might also make it difficult to rent out your home for a short period of time.
It might be difficult to insure a cottage, especially if it is located long from a fire station. Before making a purchase, try to get a quote for insurance charges. If you buy a cottage without first calculating insurance prices, you may end up paying exorbitant premiums.
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Alternatives to Buying a Cottage in Lake Muskoka
The area around Lake Muskoka is undoubtedly Canada’s most well-known cottage country. There are, however, several more affordable options within a day’s drive of the GTA that are worth exploring. Here are a few other cottage country options to consider investing in that may have lower startup costs and fewer restrictions:
Equally rough and with fewer big-name resorts than Lake Muskoka, Haliburton is an appealing choice for many people looking at buying a cottage and becoming investors. Unlike Lake Muskoka’s population centres, Haliburton offers a more pristine natural setting free of tourist trappings. As a result, real estate in Haliburton is generally less expensive.
With breathtaking sunset views over Lake Huron’s east shore, Huron County’s cottage area has something for everyone. Grand Bend, for example, is a lively, dynamic party town, while Bayfield is a more tranquil setting. While Huron County cottages are less densely wooded, they nevertheless have magnificent views of Lake Huron’s sandy shoreline.
Located less than two hours from Ottawa, Mont Tremblant is a Québec village with all the charm of an alpine chalet town surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. Mont Tremblant is a culturally active alternative to Ontario’s cottage region, renowned among Ottawa and Montréal for its beautiful scenery and attractive centre-ville.
The Kawarthas are less than two hours from Toronto and allow you to avoid the worst of the traffic leaving the GTA. The Kawarthas have some of Ontario’s most cheap cottage country for investors looking at buying a cottage, which, along with its proximity to the city, makes it particularly appealing to investors. This area contains some of Canada’s top cycling paths.
If you’re still convinced that a buying a cottage is the appropriate investment for you, talk to several local real estate investors in your area. They may be able to direct you to areas of cottage country with fewer laws and limitations, or they may be able to refer you to a short-term rental property management business that may help you maximize the value of your cottage.
Before buying a cottage, as with any other property investment, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. You’ll be able to avoid mistakes and uncover value if you have a firm grasp of the advantages and disadvantages.
So, if you are ready to try buying a cottage, let us set you up with the strategic financing you need today by offering you a free strategy call at the link below.