Thursday, June 26, 2008

To Cottage Or Not To Cottage - That Is The Question

I'm not sure why but as far back as I can remember I have always had the desire to have a cottage. If I close my eyes I can picture it: a place out on the water, far from civilized life; a place to escape and renew myself and the fam. A place to send friends and family who are burnt out or just need some time to themselves. A place to enjoy creation, recharge, and contemplate the ludicrousness and sacredness of life.

Ah yes, a cottage.

Yesterday I was thinking about this dream of mine and wondering if it really is such a good idea. Apparently cottages cost a lot of money to buy (money of course is something I don't have lots of). Also, for the amount of money a cottage would cost you over its lifetime you could probably do a lot of crazy trips, see a lot of beautiful places, and see a great variety of outdoor spaces without spending nearly as much money. Also, camping (the low impact kind I like to do) has a lot less of an environmental footprint then a cottage or cabin does.

I see a few different options of things I could do:
1. Buy a cottage/cabin on the lake. (not much work to do, LOTS of cash necessary)
2. Buy some land, put up a cottage or a cabin. (LOTS of work, much cash necessary).
3. Buy some land, put up a yurt. (medium work, medium cash necessary, environmentally OK)
4. Go camping lots, occasionally rent a cottage. (no work/hassle, cost effective, no ownership)
5. Do nothing, buy a Wii and stay home. (no cost, no work, possible excessive weight gain)

Now just because money is tighter right now doesn't make some of the more expensive options impossible as I have ideas/schemes that could use to help finance them (I could for instance rent out a nice cottage and pay most or all of my mortgage costs that way). As well, I don't have to get a cottage - we live nicely without one now. But if we do get one, I think it would be best to get it within the next couple of years as I believe prices on them will only get higher and higher. So what do you think?

May Light increase!


Lee said...

how about buying an acre or two out of the city and building one of these:

Lee said...

oops - sorry the link didn't update - it is worth a copy and paste!!

Keith said...

I was going to say, buy a Cabin, rent it out and put one of those Excel machines you used to have in it.. imagine the double income you would receive ;)

Or do what Lee and I do, have an Uncle and Antie that has a cabin and mooch off them. Best of both worlds (we go to the cabin once or twice a year and spend the rest of the time on our Wii)
Da,Da.. Da!

Jay Boaz said...

You should put up a yurt and then rent it out. I know how much you love yurts and rental properties. :) I'd rent it!


JC Lussier said...

I've thought about this before and seen renting someone elses cabin as a good option. From what I've heard one big downside to owning a cabin is your summers become all about maintaining the cabin. It makes it difficult to go anywhere else or do anything else. Someone has to mow the lawn every weekend and do regular maintenance. Not Counting another roof to fix or more windows to replace. The other bonus about renting is your stuck to one location. You can rent a different place every year. Depending on how much time you plan to spend at the cabin you can usually get a couple of weeks rent for the price it would cost you in property taxes.
Just a thought.

Mark said...

Lee: That hobbit house is pretty cool, not sure if I could see myself vacationing there though.
Keith: Mooching off people is definitely a possibility, yet I would always feel bad (what's the etiquette here - do you offer to pay in those cases)
Jay: I think your suggestion is a sign! I just need the property.
J.C. Yes, lots of benefits to just renting but I gotta admit I'm leaning towards ownership. And it's not just because vacation properties have been increasing in value like crazy the past few years. OK, maybe that's part of it. I just really want a place I can go away to anytime I want. Is that such a bad thing?

JC Lussier said...

When you get that cabin, how much will you charge to rent it for a week ;) Or maybe I should take Keith's approach. Hey Mark you're the best, can I borrow your cabin :)

Jobina said...

No, no, no. Renting someone else's cabin...all the way!!! The last thing I want to do is spend my summer cleaning another house! No thanks! Falcon Trails here we come!

Mark said...

Another option which I have looked into in the past is joint ownership. You get 4 families together and buy a cabin. Then you split up the ownership duties and the weeks of the year and then decide if you want to rent out any weeks after that. Done right it can be a much more affordable and time efficient way of getting a cottage. Anyone want to go into it with us?