Some peo­ple like it hot

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Recreation & Investment Properties -

Some ad­vice for own­ers of re­cre­ation prop­er­ties, as well as for peo­ple con­sid­er­ing mak­ing a pur­chase:

Hot spots

Some signs to look for that an area is primed for re­cre­ation prop­erty growth:

Sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment, in terms of peo­ple buy­ing prop­er­ties, de­vel­op­ers build­ing prop­er­ties, and gov­ern­ments in­vest­ing in in­fra­struc­ture.

Up­grades to trans­porta­tion that al­low im­proved ac­cess from a wider area, such as the es­tab­lish­ment of Cal­gary-to-Co­mox flights.

Talk to lo­cal real­tors for their take on the lat­est trends in their area.

Prox­im­ity to other hot spots (such as Kelowna, B.C., or Can­more) can cause a rip­ple ef­fect where lo­ca­tions far­ther out (such as Pen­tic­ton, B.C., or Crowsnest Pass) ex­pe­ri­ence growth.

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.

Bud­get­ing

Some tips for mak­ing sure buy­ing a re­cre­ation prop­erty doesn’t leave you with un­ex­pected sticker shock:

Be aware of clos­ing costs, such as lawyer fees and home in­spec­tion fees.

An ac­coun­tant can help you nav­i­gate the tax­a­tion im­pli­ca­tions, both in terms of what taxes you have to pay up front, whether any taxes like GST can be de­ferred, what taxes are ap­pli­ca­ble if you rent out a prop­erty, and if any re­bates/wri­te­offs are avail­able.

Lo­ca­tion and ameni­ties play a role in de­ter­min­ing on­go­ing costs, such as condo/ strata fees.

Contact lo­cal real­tors, mort­gage bro­kers, etc. to find out if an area has unique taxes or other fees that need to be fac­tored into the pur­chase of the prop­erty.

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