Figure things out before making deal
Some advice for owners of recreation properties, as well as for people considering making a purchase:
Types of recreation properties available in Canada: Apartment-style suites; Townhomes; Chalets; Recreational vehicle (RV) lots; Fractional-ownership hotel/ resort-style properties; Islands; Acreages; Cabins; Waterfront properties. Things to consider when choosing a recreation property:
What do you plan to use it for? Will it be strictly for recreation? Are you investing for eventual return on investment, or as a deferred retirement residence?
How often do you plan to use the property? Is it located close enough that you can visit regularly (on weekends) or is it farther away?
What do you want to do with the property when you aren’t occupying it? Are you interested in rental pools, fractional ownership, or both?
Research the locations you wish to consider and consult with realtors and others who are familiar with the area. Be aware of any zoning or legislation that might have an impact on your goals and budget.
Make a list of your most important questions and take it with you when visiting properties.
From The Insurance Bureau of Canada at www.ibc.ca:
How the vacation property is used and how often it is occupied will dictate which insurance packages are appropriate for you.
How much time do you spend there? Do you use it year-round? Do you rent it out at some point during the year? The answers to these questions are important when you are considering what type of coverage to buy.
Most insurance companies will consider providing insurance for your vacation property only if you insure your primary residence with them as well. You can have your vacation property listed on your home insurance as a secondary or seasonal location, or you can have insurance for the property as a separate, stand-alone policy.
Vacation property insurance is almost always provided as a “named perils” policy, instead of a comprehensive policy.
Named perils means you have insurance coverage for specific risks, such as fire, explosion or smoke damage.
Coverage for certain risks, such as water damage or vandalism, may be more difficult or expensive to arrange, because of the part-time occupancy.
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-todate appraisal done to determine the home’s current value.
Getting to a peaceful scene like this means spending time doing the research to figure out what — and where — you want to buy.