Simple steps boost security
Some advice for owners of recreation properties, as well as for people considering making a purchase:
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.
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/write-offs 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.
Make sure you have enough in your budget to cover costs.