Written by Ashlee Juneau   |   Posted on   |   40 views

Location is everything

One of the first things you’ll want to consider when choosing a vacation home is its location.  Think about these questions:

  1. How far do you want to travel to get to your cottage?  Remember, driving to Muskoka or Haliburton on a long weekend can add hours and hours to your drive, so you may want to consider closer cottage destinations like along Lake Erie in Norfolk County.
  2. What amenities are your “must haves”?  Do you want to be on a lakefront property with private beach?  Does the local town need decent shopping and amenities?  Or do you want total seclusion from neighbours and civilization?
  3. Will you be using this cottage year-round?  Will this location be accessible during winter months when roads aren’t always plowed?  Is the home insulated and meant to be used even during cold months?

Start researching what you’re looking for in a second home.  In Brantford, Brant County and Norfolk County, we are very lucky to be close to so many cottage areas without having to go too far north.  Your vacation could just be minutes away!

Maintenance and Repairs

Second homes, like any property, require ongoing maintenance and repairs.  Be honest with yourself!  Will you be spending all your “vacation” time doing things like repairing the deck, cutting grass or maintaining its cleanliness?

The key is to strike a balance between wanting a “perfect” cottage that requires just as much work as your current home, and being okay with if the grass gets a little long for a week here and there. 

If it’s in your budget to hire someone to do routine upkeep, that might be the way to go! Unexpected expenses will always arise, such as repairs to the structure, systems, or appliances but as long as you can budget for this and be prepared, you won’t be caught off guard.

Generating rental income

To offset the cost of owning a second home, many cottage-owners like to rent out their property when they aren’t intending on using it.  This may be an option but brings with it a few other considerations:

  • How comfortable are you with allowing strangers to sleep in your bed, use your appliances and create general wear-and-tear on the home?
  • What is the demand in this particular area for cottage rentals?
  • Are there any bylaws or regulations in that area that govern short term rental properties?
  • What are the tax implications for earning rental income?

Consult with a tax professional to understand the specific tax considerations and potential deductions.

Related:  Starting an Airbnb Checklist For Beginners

*All information provided by the Brantford Regional Real Estate Association (BRREA) and ITSO for the highest sales volume and highest number of completed transactions since January 1, 2015. All Brantford MLS® House Listings come from the various systems operated by Real Estate Boards and Associations across Canada. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used underlicense. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service®, and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.



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