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Cottage Owner? Or Property Investor?

20 May 2012

Cottage sales have been up this year, and sales started going through the roof when most of Canada wasn’t even out of the winter season yet. This was due to a very mild winter that motivated many buyers to get out there and get the cottage of their dreams. But, were some of those buyers also looking for an income property? According to a recent Leger poll, that might have been the case.

The Leger poll suggests that people are buying cottages and then renting them out when they’re not using themselves to help pay off the Toronto mortgages and Ottawa mortgages on those properties.

The poll showed that 51% of those looking for cottages to buy this year had every intention of renting them out when not using the cottage themselves, to help cover the costs of owning and maintaining it. And if you think that 51% is high, just wait until you see how many current cottage owners would ever be willing to rent it out – even when they’re not there. The poll showed that 83% of current owners had never, and would not consider renting out their cottage when it’s not in use. Only 10% said that they have thought about it and that it’s something they’d be interested in.

This large amount of people may be representative of how many people want the cottage of their dreams, and how they aren’t willing to settle for anything less. The survey also showed that 32% of potential buyers said that they would be willing to buy a cheaper property in order to afford a cottage. And less than that, 25%, said that they would be willing to buy a fixer-upper so that they could get a cheaper property.

Phil Soper, president of Royal LePage, thinks that renting out a cottage is a great idea for those who want to own one, but need a little help recovering their costs. He says, “Many Canadians aspire to own a recreational property because of the lifestyle benefit it provides. But potential buyers must understand how they plan to finance their purchase to ensure that they can afford it.”

Soper also says that renting out a cottage may not be profitable for everyone. “While renting out your property is an attractive option to improve affordability, the ability to do so profitably varies by region,” he says. “Some areas have bylaws that restrict rental activity while other regions have strict noise regulations that might limit your ability to attract renters.”

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