Fig­ure out all the an­gles first

Re­search deal be­fore pur­chas­ing

Calgary Herald New Condos - - Recreation & Investment Properties -

Some ad­vice for own­ers and po­ten­tial buy­ers of re­cre­ation prop­er­ties:

Fi­nanc­ing

From RBC Royal Bank Canada at www.rbc.com:

There are three main fi­nanc­ing al­ter­na­tives for pur­chas­ing a va­ca­tion home:

A con­ven­tional mort­gage al­lows you to fi­nance up to 75 per cent of the pur­chase price of the home, thus re­quir­ing a down pay­ment of at least 25 per cent.

An in­sured mort­gage makes it pos­si­ble to fi­nance up to 95 per cent of the value of a sec­ond home. If you hap­pen to al­ready own a cot­tage that has no debt on it, then you can also re­fi­nance that ex­ist­ing prop­erty for up to 90 per cent of its value and get an in­sured mort­gage to pur­chase an­other va­ca­tion home.

A home eq­uity line of credit makes use of the eq­uity built up in your pri­mary res­i­dence to let you bor­row up to 75 per cent of the value of the home less the debt still ow­ing on it.

You will need to have an up-to-date ap­praisal done to de­ter­mine the home’s cur­rent value.

Rent­ing

From High Coun­try Prop­er­ties Man­age­ment Ltd at www.high­coun­try prop­er­ties.com:

There are three main ways to rent out your re­cre­ational prop­erty. If you buy a condo- minium, it’s likely there will be an on-site rental pro­gram. Sim­ply sign up, make a list of when the prop­erty is avail­able for rent and you will re­ceive a cheque, ei­ther monthly or quar­terly, for rev­enue less ex­penses and a man­age­ment fee.

You can also ar­range for the ser­vices of an out­side prop­erty man­age­ment com­pany that spe­cial­izes in va­ca­tion rentals.

Again, you will need to come up with a sched­ule of when you want to use your va­ca­tion home. Then, the man­age­ment com­pany will look af­ter mar­ket­ing your prop­erty, han­dling reser­va­tions and pay­ment, pro­vid­ing linens, clean­ing and main­te­nance, and send you a cheque for rental rev­enue, less ex­penses and a man­age­ment fee, usu­ally about 40 per cent.

You can do it your­self, but first you will need to make sure zon­ing by­laws al­low short-term rentals in your area.

Then, ar­range ap­pro­pri­ate in­sur­ance and keep suit­able ac­count­ing records. Also, ar­range for some­one to han­dle clean­ing, emer­gency re­pairs, or any check in dif­fi­cul­ties that your guests may ex­pe­ri­ence.

Se­cu­rity

Many of the same tips that ap­ply to home and prop­erty se­cu­rity in the city also ap­ply to re­cre­ation prop­er­ties in the coun­try.

In­stall timers to turn lights and ra­dios or TVS on and off pe­ri­od­i­cally.

Ask a neigh­bour (or the prop­erty’s pri­vate se­cu­rity, if ap­pli­ca­ble) to check in on the site oc­ca­sion­ally. Just as in the city, mow­ing the grass and shov­el­ling the walk gives prop­er­ties that lived-in look. The neigh­bour can also check for prop­erty dam­age or signs of mishaps such as wa­ter­line leaks.

Re­in­force win­dows with me­tal grates, and in­stall sturdy doors. The more work a thief faces to break into a prop­erty, the more likely they will give up and choose an eas­ier tar­get.

Turn off water and electricity be­fore leav­ing a prop­erty for an ex­tended pe­riod.

Don’t leave valu­ables in an unat­tended prop­erty. Also avoid leav­ing items such as liquor, hunt­ing ri­fles and ex­pen­sive equip­ment be­hind.

If pos­si­ble, in­stall an alarm sys­tem that is ei­ther mon­i­tored or pro­grammed to no­tify you in the event of a break-in or other emer­gency.

Con­sider join­ing — or start­ing — a crime preven­tion pro­gram such as Ru­ral Crime Watch.

Clearly la­bel any pos­ses­sions left on the prop­erty with non-re­mov­able stick­ers.

In­form lo­cal po­lice or RCMP when the prop­erty will be unat­tended, and pe­ri­od­i­cally con­tact them to find out if there have been any se­cu­rity is­sues near your prop­erty.

Cal­gary Her­ald Ar­chive

An in­sured mort­gage makes it pos­si­ble to fi­nance up to 95 per cent of the pur­chase price.

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