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Got Coworking on your Mind? Wait! What is Coworking?

CoWorking on your MIND? Wait! What is Coworking?522 Elizabeth Street

Do you work from home and find it Distracting or lonely? Coworking may be for you. What is Coworking all about? Think of it as being as whole bunch of independent businesses, like you, but all working under one roof. Imagine that! You, the photographer, having your own corner office area for “your stuff” but having access to a professional meeting room for those all-important client meetings and presentations ready at your fingertips.

Or are you a personal trainer and need access to a boutique gym for those private workout sessions that people crave, after all who wants to work out in a huge gym where people gawk at you while you sweat it off… here’s a solution. Perhaps rent the gym from a coworking site, and offer training sessions to the other independents there as well..

Or are you an accountant but don’t have the space you need at home to accomplish a decent days work, well here’s the solution for you as well…

OR are you an investor and want to get into owning a commercial property but are afraid of losing that tenant you need to pay the monthly bills…. Well this may be the perfect solution for you, after all 10 tenants each renting space are better than one big one who decides to move out!!

The Coworking scenarios are endless… if this interests you give me a call let’s get the ideas working and off the ground.  I can be reached at

705-220-8758 or email alroy.brouwer@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Buying a cottage?

Dream of Buying Your Own Cottage? Understand Your Financing Options

After buying a home, cottage ownership is often high on the wish lists of Canadian families. In fact, many of us dream of a weekend retreat to escape the hectic city, make memories with our kids or enjoy a peaceful retirement.

Whatever your inspiration, it’s a good idea to consider the financial implications related to owning a cottage, including your financing options, before you start driving along those country roads looking for ‘for sale’ signs.

Most financial institutions offer financing programs for cottages or second homes. Depending on the type of property, you may be eligible to obtain financing for up to 95% of its value.

Your primary residence is another good place to look for financing for a cottage. For example, if you’ve built up some equity in your home, you may be able to utilize that available equity to achieve your goals. Depending on the amount of equity you have built up, you may be able to borrow up to 80% of the value of your home to finance the purchase of your cottage.

As you research your options, remember to think about your full financial picture, since along with the cost of purchasing the cottage, you must also budget for other expenses like maintenance, property taxes and transportation. You may wish to consider how often you plan to use your new cottage and make sure it suits your lifestyle.

Remember that real estate agents are a valuable resource to help you with planning and budgeting. They understand the market conditions and can give you good estimates of taxes and annual upkeep. Your real estate agent can also assess the rental market, if you are considering renting your new property to help with the carrying costs.

If owning a piece of paradise away from city life is on your wish list, you should talk with your financial advisor for relevant financial solutions to help make that dream come true.

 

Some tips for the Landlord in you!

Here are some tips for the Landlord in you.

http://www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca/strategy/10-tips-for-a-stressfree-landlord-experience-187968.aspx#.VOJLHo5rEno.email

 

 

 

Ever wondered where all those Roses come from?

 

Here’s a friend of mine, Ed Vermolen, showing off his rose growing business! Have a look!

http://www.cbc.ca/1.2953529

 

Basement advice! Read before you tackle the man cave!

Has the Basement been calling your name.. Click on the link for some great advice before building that Man Cave your buddies would drool over…

http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/architecture-coach/article/2014/07/9-basement-revamp-mistakes-avoid#.VNKdkxxTNTc.email

Another farming challenge… harvesting carrots in Canada.

Another interesting story on the Challenges of Farming… harvesting carrots with early winter weather issues.

Nov 24, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Acres of carrots remain in ground after snowfall

Newmarket Era

The Holland Marsh Growers Association estimates there are approximately 200 acres of carrots still in the ground locally and farmers are waiting for the snow to melt before they pull them out.

Eek Farms was only two or three days away from completing its harvest when the frigid temperatures and snow fell on the fields. Now, the local farm is waiting for the snow to melt to pull out about 15 acres of carrots. At full market value, that’s about $35,000 worth of carrots buried under snow.

“These are gorgeous carrots,” said Avia Eek. “They’re beautiful carrots. That’s going to be our best field for carrots and there’s hardly going to be any junk in it. That’s what really hurts the most.”

Eek Farms had already pulled out the majority of its carrots from the ground, but was waiting on the last bunch while their onions cured outside before they were placed into winter storage.

 “We just needed those extra two to three days that we waited to put the onions away,” she said.

Each harvest has its own set of challenges, Eek said. This year, for example, one field at Eek Farms was re-seeded about six weeks after its normal date after the first crop was damaged by hail in the spring. That same field was held off as one of the last to be harvested and got buried by snow.

Holland Marsh Growers Association chairperson and local farmer Alex Makarenko said the weather hit the farmers hard. His farm has less than a day’s worth of carrot harvesting left, but others got hit worse.

“There are farms out there that have 20, 30, some guys have 40, further north, one guy has about 50 acres to go,” he said.

Last year, there was a blizzard Nov. 22 that came through here, so this weather is not uncommon, however, in recent years farmers got used to longer fall seasons with little or no snow into November.

“Years ago, you had to be done by Nov. 3, Nov, 11 at the latest,” he said. “Now we’re pushing it to the 20th,” he said.

“In our case, it was our own fault we put it off. We pushed it a little too late,” he said.

He said other farmers were waiting to harvest their onion crops, which delayed the carrot harvest.

It’s also preferable to harvest carrots and place them into cold storage when the weather is cold.

Despite the snow, Makarenko said farmers won’t be hit too hard

He said this year’s crop yield has been good and the snowfall won’t affect the remaining harvest much, saying some farmers will lose some vegetables.

Eek said the best-case scenario for her farm is for the ground to thaw this weekend and then she can harvest the carrots Monday to Wednesday.

“We’ll have to see what the condition is of the carrots,” she said.

If the conditions are ideal, the carrots will go into cold storage as usual.

Otherwise, the carrots may not be able to be kept in storage until May and will have to be moved sooner.

If there is frost damage, they will have to go to a processing facility where the damaged product will be cut off and the remainder diced, for products like soups and frozen vegetables.

How to make the most of your cottage money

How to make the most of your money

By Kim PittawayKim Pittaway

Empty pockets

Photo by iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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Hazard land. It’s the kind of designation that scares off many buyers—and some mortgagers and insurers. But when Sarah Poole and her husband, Chris Bradley, found their dream cottage on Long Point on Lake Erie, they knew they wanted it, scary designation and all.

Like many cottage buyers, Poole and Bradley weren’t exactly cottage hunting when they found it. They were reality-checking the price on a relative’s cottage property that they were considering buying, looking at comparables in the area. A day in the car confirmed their hunch: The property had been overvalued. As they reached the end of the road on Long Point, they started to turn around—and noticed a For Sale sign. It was in front of an 800 sq. ft. three-bedroom cottage built on stilts close to the water, on property labelled “hazard land” by the province. “Basically, it’s at increased risk for damage by the natural elements,” says Poole. That risk isn’t hypothetical: There were once about 100 cottages along this strip, but because of a ferocious storm in the 1980s, there are now only about 40. “You can’t get traditional financing for it. You can never make it bigger,” says Poole. “So we knew we’d better love it.”

“And if you’re on leased land, the mortgage amortization has to be five years less than the term of the lease.”
The bottom line: “Generally, the more like a house in the city it is, the easier—and more affordable—your financing is going to be,” says Pamela Valent, a mortgage agent with Mortgage Architects 
in Mississauga.

Go local or go home
Will you get a better deal using a banker (or a mortgage broker or an insurance agent) in cottage country or one in the city? Not surprisingly, the experts differed based on their location. Locals 
will have the benefit of specific local knowledge and can help you navigate around unique issues such as flood risks, island properties, and other concerns. But your regular banker or broker will know your particular circumstances, especially if you have an existing working relationship. “It’s not just about mortgaging the property, it’s about finding the right mortgage product for your life,” says Farhaneh Haque, the direc-
tor of mortgage advice with TD Canada Trust. “You need someone who understands your goals and that you trust enough to have an open conversation with.” Either way, the earlier in the 
process you connect with a lender, the more likely it is you’ll get a solution that fits your needs and saves you money.

And don’t forget insurance
If you can’t insure it, you won’t be able to mortgage it. Common insurance hazards, such as old woodstoves and fireplaces, steel oil tanks, outdated electrical service, galvanized plumbing, and uninspected septic systems, can all raise red flags—and possibly insurance premiums —says Cam Guthrie of HJM Insurance 
in Guelph. For seasonal properties, you’re more likely to get “named perils coverage” than a comprehensive policy, meaning that sewer backup, water damage, food loss caused by a power outage (more common in cottage country), and other risks may not be covered. And if you’re thinking of defraying your expenses by renting out your cottage, count on higher insurance premiums.

One option you should consider: Some companies offer bylaw coverage, which offsets additional expenses if, after fire or other damage, the existing buildings can’t be rebuilt on the same footprint (for instance, a building 30 feet from the shoreline might now have to be set back 100 feet).

And as with other financial experts, the earlier in the process that you involve your insurance broker, the easier it will be for her to get you the best deal.

Cottage and lot
“Rustic” was the word agent Steve Lesak of Bancroft Real Estate used to describe the cottage that Stephen Jamrik and Peggy Perkins wanted to view in spring 2011. They’d spotted the Papineau 
Lake property, northeast of Bancroft, on 
a realtor’s website and in a flyer at 
the Spring Cottage Life Show before it appeared on MLS, and told Lesak they wanted to be the first in line to see it. “Rustic” was kind: Lesak wouldn’t let them walk on the deck because the supporting posts had rotted out. Part of the roof was covered with a tarp, there was water damage inside, and the carpet reeked.

“But if the bones were good, we knew it would be worth it,” says 
Perkins of the $275,000 property. “There are $400,000 teardowns on that lake.”

Jamrik and Perkins were smart: They’d been pre-approved for financing, and had built in a portion for renovations. They had lined up contractors who could give them accurate quotes on the fixes required. And so, once they had the inspection done, they were well positioned to offer what they considered a fair price: $260,000. Topped up with $60,000 worth of renovations, the cottage they ended up with was a winterized, year-round road-access, 900 sq. ft. three-bedroom with 800 sq. ft. 
of deck on 1.3 acres, with three outbuildings and 200 feet of sandy waterfront, treed on both sides for maximum privacy.

Aidan Walsh and his wife, Natasha Sarracini, were also in the market for rustic, but saved even more by opting for a water-access property. Walsh had heard about an island for sale on Grey Owl Lake, near McKellar, Ont., through a friend’s realtor. Although it was November and the listing agent wasn’t eager to show it, Walsh and his real estate agent, Shirlene Johnston, made the trip. The one-acre island featured a cabin built 
in 1948. The appliances were propane, the bathroom housed a composting toilet, and the water supply came from both a cistern and lake water. While the couple had a budget of $300,000, the other properties they’d looked at were pushing $400,000. “And they all had their issues,” says Walsh.

But while the listing agent had termed the three-bedroom cabin a teardown, Walsh was charmed by it. “It’s not a looker from the outside, but it’s filled with history,” he says. The price tag? $149,000. Walsh’s offer of $145,000 was accepted. “It’s not ideal for a lot of people, but we love it,” he says. The property had been in one family since the cottage was built. “I can imagine kids in the 1950s running around making the paths that criss-cross the island. Each one leads to a spot with a purpose: the quiet spot with the hammock, the spot for seeing the sun go down. We were lucky to get it.”

Smelly, wet, warm, and dark
Whether your idea of a great deal is a don’t-change-a-thing 1948 cabin or a reno-the-heck-out-of-it fixer-upper, a raft 
of considerations can tip your bargain into a boondoggle. Septic systems are on the list of costly fixes. “Get a septic inspection,” says broker Mike Barkwell of Re/Max All-Stars Realty in the Kawarthas. “If you have to replace it, you could be looking at $20,000, 
plus or minus.” In Ontario, the county health unit may have records indicat
ing whether the septic was properly installed or inspected, but Peterborough lawyer Peter Lillico cautions that the septic inspection record may be filed under the installer’s name. On the flip side, 
he says, just because the county has no record of complaints about a property’s septic, “it doesn’t mean there’s not sewage bubbling up after a heavy rain; it just means no one’s seen it.” A proper inspection by a licensed septic tank installer is essential.

Water systems and water quality are the second significant concern. If you’re not connected to a municipal water system, “is it lake intake, a dug well, a drilled well?” asks agent Sherri Cobus of Royal LePage O’Neil Realty in Renfrew, Ont. In all of those cases, she counsels buyers to insist on water potability tests.

Insurers will insist that fireplaces and woodstoves are WETT-certified (WETT stands for “Wood Energy Technology Transfer”); removing or repairing a noncompliant wood energy source will add 
to your costs. If you’re planning on using the cottage in winter, factor in the costs of winter heating and, in the case of propane and oil heat, ensure that you’re able to keep storage tanks accessible for winter refills. Electric heat may be more convenient, but it’s not cheap and, if you’re in a spot deemed “remote” by your hydro utility, you could be looking at hefty delivery fees, as Sarah Poole and Chris Bradley discovered with their Long Point property. Their hydro delivery charges top $400 every six months.

Of course, going off the grid can cut many of those costs as well as the cottage price—but may also make financing and insuring your property more expensive.

Up above and down below
“Cottages seem to grow, adding one room at a time,” says Roger Frost of Napoleon Home Inspections in Barrie. And since much of that work is done by weekend do-it-yourselfers without building permits or inspections, what you’re buying can be, well, idiosyncratic. Frost has seen roofs built around trees and supported 
by now-hidden original roofs. Since water can be so damaging—especially if it comes in for weeks or months when a cottage is closed for a season—you need a leak-free roof (or a price that’s low enough to reflect the work you’ll have to do). While buyers often comment on uneven floors, those concern Frost less. “Most can be easily levelled,” he says.

Critter gitters
Mice and bats are common in older cottages and typically fall into the category of fixable problems, says contractor Waddell. “You definitely want to get a quote from a pest-control person on dealing with them, though, and that cost should be factored into what you pay for the cottage,” he says.

Goin’ down the road
Access roads and shoreline road allowances both affect cottage prices. Properties with year-round public road access are going to cost more than comparable properties on private roads, which come with their own headaches. Are the terms of access and the road location described accurately in the deed? Who pays 
for maintenance and snow-clearing? 
And have you factored those ongoing costs into your budget?

In Ontario, most waterfront properties have a 66-foot shoreline road allowance owned by the local township. In many cases, those local authorities have let property owners purchase this land, though not all owners have done so. Ensure that the allowance is included in the property you’re buying—or that the price is low enough to cover your costs 
of surveying and purchasing that allowance. “My advice: Buy it if you can,” says lawyer Lillico.
Toronto lawyer Jayson Schwarz advises clients to make an up-to-date survey a condition of the sale and to ensure that the lands being sold match that survey. Yes, the survey costs money, he says, but it can cost far more to deal with problems arising from inaccurate property descriptions of, for example, rights of way and property boundaries.

Water hazards
A swimmable or boatable waterfront will notch up a cottage’s price tag, but there are ways to get water access at a lower cost. Willing to climb steps? “The more elevated the property, the better the price,” says Parry Sound agent Shirlene Johnston. Or, like Aidan Walsh, you can opt for island living—factoring in the costs of boat purchase and maintenance, and mainland boat mooring. If you’re planning on renovating your island find, expect to at least double the costs, says Waddell. “It’s the cost of barging materials in, getting there. It’s just expensive.” Getting rid of the junk left behind by 
the vendors can also be costly, so make it a condition of the sale that they remove what you don’t want (something that applies to mainland cottage properties too, though it can be less costly there).

One key consideration: Do you really want to swim or boat? Kathy Belcourt was fixated on lake living as she searched for a cottage with her husband, Paul, but eventually they settled on a cabin in the woods on the Muskoka River. “I realized that the lake didn’t matter to me, the water did,” she says. And so for $185,000, they got a 1.25-acre lot with 210 feet of river waterfront and a cabin with three bedrooms, living room, kitchen, bathroom, and an enclosed porch on town sewer and water in Baysville, Ont., just over an hour’s drive from their home 
in Creemore.

A boater’s poor mooring may be a naturalist’s dream, says Lisa Scott, a broker and the president of the Bancroft and District Real Estate Board. “A weedy 
or more natural shoreline means you’re going to see blue herons and frogs and all sorts of wildlife,” she says. “That might appeal to someone who just wants peace and nature.” And it will likely come with a lower price tag. For boaters looking for a deal, opting for a canal 
or smaller-lake location with access to a larger lake can reduce costs, says real estate broker Mike Barkwell.

One other piece of advice: What you see isn’t necessarily what you’ll get. Water levels shift, so Renfrew agent Sherri Cobus advises asking where the high-water mark is. You can also get 
a lake-bank assessment from the local conservation authority to ensure that your bank is stable, advises Dianne Alexander of Re/Max Land Exchange 
in Bayfield, Ont.

Neighbours and the ’hood
Karen and Dan Bycok had a wish list: Haliburton Highlands; a lake big enough for water sports; and a level lot with good access and shoreline. After 
a couple of years of hunting for a place in the low $200,000s, they realized that their budget didn’t match their 
list. Fortunately, their financial picture had changed: Karen had completed 
her last maternity leave, and their oldest child was out of daycare and in school, giving them more budget headroom. They bumped up their range to $275,000 to $350,000, but still struggled to find what they wanted.

Then Dan spotted a property on Haliburton Lake. The three-season cottage had been listed in fall 2011 for $329,000, and then been dropped to $319,000 in February. “We knew the lake,” says Karen. “I’d gathered information from the lake’s cottage association website as well.” After visiting the snow-covered property, they were confident it was what they wanted. “Even in winter,” she says, “the cottage was dry and well maintained.” They ended up paying $295,000.

Buying in winter can net you savings because sellers may be more eager to sell before the next cottage season and there are typically fewer buyers competing for properties, but you’ll be buying blind when it comes to whether the shoreline matches your needs. You’ll need to rely on a realtor who knows the lake, photos provided by the vendor and, like the Bycoks, your own knowledge of the area.

Party time!
A winter buy also means you can’t judge the cottage neighbourhood you’re buying into. Even when you’re looking in summer, Toronto lawyer Schwarz suggests that you do a weekend midnight drive-through of your chosen cottage areas. “It could be the only way you’ll find out if your dream property is next to a party-all-night neighbour,” he says.

What’s going on
Look through local newspapers for articles about potential developments and other issues that may reveal the real reason that cottage you’re considering is such a bargain: First Nations land claims, mineral prospecting, and proposed wind farms, quarries, and garbage dumps can all prompt current owners to sell and may not be evident on a weekend drive through the area.

Enjoy the trip
“The further you are from civilization, the more likely you’ll find a bargain,” says Smiths Falls Royal LePage broker Pauline Aunger. Properties within a two-hour drive of major centres and those closer to the amenities of smaller towns will typically command a higher price than those off the beaten track. That’s what Hope and Dwight Strong opted 
for when they bought their Star Lake cottage, 20 minutes from Parry Sound, more than two hours’ drive from their Oakville home. They picked up their fixer-upper for less than $200,000 and were able to invest more in renovations. “It’s not a million-dollar place,” says Hope, “but it’s ours.”

4 mistakes to avoid when renting out your cottage

4 mistakes to avoid when renting out your cottage

By Van WaffleVan Waffle

Keys

Photo by iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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Hard economic times are forcing more cottage owners to cover the cost of paradise by renting out their properties. Inviting complete strangers to rent your cottage will help cover the mortgage, taxes, and insurance, but turning a family haven into a rental property can also lead to nightmares. Janice Bishop, owner of All Season Cottage Rentals Inc. in Haliburton, Ont., points out some common mistakes to avoid.

1. Don’t skimp on communication.
The worst problems arise from breakdowns in communication. Renters are eager to please, Bishop says, but owners must make their expectations clear. Provide instructions on use of appliances, boat safety, respect for wildlife, pet conduct, clean up, and garbage disposal. Try to look at it from the perspective of someone not accustomed to life in the country. A friendly user’s manual may help guests enjoy a hassle-free stay while protecting your property. Take particular care about informing them what not to flush into a septic tank, which may be unfamiliar to city residents. As an agent for people renting out cottages, Bishop requires renters to sign an agreement outlining their responsibilities.

2. Don’t allow renters to use your motorized vehicles.
This applies to both watercraft and ATVs. If renters use them, it increases safety and liability concerns. Bishop suggests that if they want a motorboat, they should rent one separately. A marina can provide the appropriate training course, boat license, and insurance. Make sure boaters are aware of rocks or other dangers on the lake.

3. Don’t provide children’s life jackets.
Insist that parents bring their own properly fitted lifejackets for their children. Bishop explains, “If we supply children with life jackets, we are assuming liability for the fit.” However, she encourages owners to provide at least two adult life jackets. Grownups will usually think to protect their children but may not consider their own safety. If devices are available and you stress their importance, people will be more likely to wear them.

4. Never leave a dirty cottage.
Cleanliness is one of the most common sources of misunderstanding. Bishop says guests expect, “to arrive at a cottage that is hotel-clean.” If owners cannot check the place between rentals, they should hire a reliable local cleaning person to check in. Guest instructions should also clearly indicate what level of cleaning is expected on departure, with specifics such as whether the fridge should be cleaned out. Bishop warns that good housecleaning is a dying skill. She does not penalize guests for improper cleaning, as long as no damage is done.

The do’s and don’ts of listing your rental property

The do’s and don’ts of listing your rental property

By Cottage LifeCottage Life

Cottage

Photo by iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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If you’re a cottage owner looking to rent out your property, one of the keys to your rental success is the strategy you use to put together your listing on a holiday rental website. Your listing is your first line of communication with potential renters, so your goal should be to create a listing that stands out and makes a lasting impression. Your listing is your “elevator pitch” to potential renters, so make it count. You don’t have to be a literary genius to build an effective and engaging listing, but you should stick to certain standards. By choosing high-quality images and providing thoughtful and thorough descriptions, you can ensure your listing does its job. To make your listing stand out from the other rental strategies, follow these helpful tips.

Do write an attention-grabbing title
The title can make your listing stand out and compel visitors to click through. The first few lines of your listing should have equal impact: this is when visitors will decide to keep on reading or move on to another listing.

Do be brief
Stick to short sentences or lists instead of prolonged paragraphs. By crafting your listing to be easy on the eye, you’ll reduce the risk that potential renters lose interest. Try to be super informative in as few words as possible. It might take a few tries to come up with sentences that pack a big punch, but after a few rough drafts you’ll have a seriously slick and user-friendly listing.

Do sell your surroundings
Provide a bit of information about the vicinity of the property, such as attractions, activities, and climate. Keep in mind that travelers often choose their accommodation based on a destination.

Do highlight the highlights
Describe in detail what makes your property unique. Write about features and amenities guests can anticipate, such as an upgraded kitchen and bathrooms, pet-friendliness, private pool, or sports or recreational equipment

Do tell a visual story
Post as many photos as possible, and make sure they provide an accurate portrayal of your property. And remember that it’s not just about quantity of photos; the quality is of utmost importance. It’s best to post professional-looking, good-sized, hi-resolution
photos, not blurry thumbnails. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Do spell check
Travellers often interpret spelling and grammatical errors as a red-flag that the property owner is disorganized or lazy! Doing a vigilant spell check is a smpile ayw ot aiovd htis stiuatoin.

For extra gold stars on your cottage-rental listing, avoid these common errors that can raise red flags for potential renters.

Don’t paint a false picture
When building your listing, don’t produce a work of fiction. If you’re dishonest you will receive negative reviews and complaints from guests claiming that you falsely advertised your property and gave inaccurate and misleading information.

Don’t edit your photographs
Using editing tools to erase imperfections, such as peeling or cracking paint, is another big no. Photos are a means of virtually transporting potential guests to your home, so the images you upload must be true to life. There is a difference between professional and pretend.

Don’t leave out details
Provide as much information as possible, such as number of bedrooms, occupancy, restrictions, and amenities. If you provide more information, you’ll receive higher-quality inquiries. Travellers who inquire after reading your detailed listing are probably intent on making a booking.

Don’t spam
There is usually a designated place on a listing to display personal information (i.e., contact info and separate URL). Don’t try to stick in personal information into the description if this is explicitly against policy – if you spam you may lose your listing and hence lose access to untapped travellers.

Top reasons for renting out your cottage

Top reasons for renting out your cottage

By Cottage LifeCottage Life

For Rent

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The demand for cottage rentals is on the rise. What this means for cottage owners is that your property could be a cash cow. It was recently reported that demand for cottages is on the up and up among domestic and international audiences (one figure suggests that the demand for Canadian cottages is nearly four times greater than the supply). One reason demand is rising is that the baby boomer generation is on the brink of retirement, meaning there is an entire Canadian cohort bound for cottage country. There’s also a demand generated by publications like the New York Times, which have put Muskoka in an international limelight. It’s crystal clear that countless Canadians want to realize the cottage dream while the rest of the world wants to get this great Canadian past time on their calendar as well.

This market reality has implications for cottage goers, with the simplest rules of supply and demand dictating a hike in property prices. It should come as no surprise that buying a cottage costs the prettiest of all pennies, with cottage property prices having risen 30-40% between 2008 and 2011. Yet as property prices rose, the economy receded, and the pool of potential buyers has largely become a reservoir of promising renters. What does this mean for current cottage owners in an uncertain economy? A few things.

For cottage owners who have thought about selling, you may want to think twice. Why sell when you can rent? Renting out your cottage may provide you with the extra income you need to confront financial constraints, while allowing you to hang on to your cottage as it continues to appreciate in value—as demand continues to grow so will the market price of your property. There is a world of potential renters out there who can supply you with a stream of rental revenue, which can be a solid supplement to your annual income and a big help in covering the costs of owning a cottage, such as mortgage payments, property taxes, and infrastructure maintenance.

The traditional means of renting out a property range from classified ads to commissioned agents, but the online rental by owner model provides a more modern and proprietary way for property owners to find renters. CottageCountry.com is one such channel that empowers cottage owners to take the rental process into their own hands by supplying owners with a custom webpage for their property and giving them all the tools and support they need to market, manage and make money from their rental. By using CottageCountry.com, cottage owners connect directly with travellers, retaining a larger share of rental income (i.e., holding on to the chunk of revenue that would otherwise constitute an agent’s commission dollars) and enjoying security and support that is missing from free advertising platforms, such as classified sites.

Vacation rental by owner websites have been hugely successful in the context of condos and apartments, and the results for cottage properties have proven to be just as profitable.  Take these numbers for example:

  • Basic Listing with CottageCountry.com = $199.00 + tax
  • Average Weekly Rental Income = $1,000.00
  • Average Seasonal Income (16 weeks) = $16,000.00
  • Return on Investment = over 80X your initial investment

Keep in mind these numbers are a ballpark figure, with many properties renting for above $1,000.00 per week and well over 16 weeks per year. The take-home message: the online rental by owner model provides property owners with enormous income potential for a low initial investment.

Learn more about renting out your cottage at CottageCountry.com