There is an interesting couple of posts on MSN today about cottage prices across Canada, as well as a comment forum where folks have left their opinions on cottage ownership. It is interesting to read the opinions of people, both for and against, owning a cottage.
So the long and short of it is, cottages ain’t cheap….but they aren’t completely out of reach either. The MSN post has more detail, but here is a synopsis…these prices are for “land access waterfront” and are from a Royal LePage 2009 Report.
Newfoundland – $ 80,000
Nova Scotia – $ 78,000 – 325,000
Prince Edward Island – $100,000 – $500,000
New Brunswick – $59,000 – 90,000
Quebec – $400,000 – 500,000
Ontario – $170,000 – 300,000
Manitoba – $250,000 – 360,000
Saskatchewan – $300,000
Alberta – $$250,000
British Columbia – $328,000
It’s interesting to read the opinions of cottage owners and past cottage owners and cottage owner wannabees. A lot of folks say they are not worth the work and the money that goes with it. Others say they don’t know how they could live without one.
What many folks don’t understand is that cottages are a lifestyle, perhaps a lifestyle choice, and at the same time a hobby, like golf or fishing or car racing.
Money, although a necessity for cottage ownership, is not a consideration. Sure we spend money that we could be saving for a rainy day, sure we spend money that we could use to buy our kids a car or even an education, but we have a cottage, and it needs money.
Buying a cottage as an investment is risky too, because there is a risk you will fall in love with it, and never want to sell, for any price. As a cottage owner, ask yourself, how much would it take to get you to sell your cottage? Really?
There is also the risk that the price will fall out the bottom of the barrel depending on the economy and other influences. When gas prices rise for example, buying a cottage three hours drive from home becomes less desireable to many.
As for the work involved, successful cottagers are usually pretty good do-it-yourselfers. It’s not easy to find someone willing to risk climbing under the cottage with a porcupine to prime the water pump, not for any price.
Rural locations can make finding tradespeople difficult, so neccessity becomes the mother of invention. Doctors, lawyers, bank clerks, computer geeks, and other non tool-type folks become pretty decent cottage plumbers, carpenters and electricians.
But being a handyman isn’t for everyone, many folks just don’t want to face shoveling gravel on the cottage driveway or climbing on the roof to repair missing shingles.
Ask cottagers and you will find many that will tell you the relaxation comes in the form of working around the place. No matter what you see in pictures in magazines, there is not much laying around in hammocks sucking back Margarita’s at the camp, for one thing you have no ice cubes because you have to fix the old fridge….
That’s why you hear people say things like, “for the price of a cottage I could take three or four family trips a year” or “I could buy a lot of nice things and have a big home in the city” That’s fair, those are the words of folks who aren’t cottagers…If you told me you just spent $4000 on a trip to Europe, I would immediately think of the new roof and wharf that money would buy….
In my opinion, and yes I have an opinion, what blog writer doesn’t? If owning a cottage appeals to you, go for it.
Don’t buy it as an investment, don’t buy it because property 3 hours from the city makes a cheap home, and you figure you can stand the daily commute….buy a cottage because you want a cottage, and let the value come from the many pleasures you will receive when you are there, and even when you are not….yes…for some of us, day-dreaming about the cottage can be quite a nice pasttime….gets me through many a long boring business meeting.
You can read the full cottage prices post and the reader’s forum at Cottage Prices
The Cottage Ownership Guide: How to Buy, Sell, Rent, Share, Hand Down and Retire to Your Waterfront Getaway
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