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Is it better to buy or rent a cottage?

600 315 Nisha Muire
The answer to the question of whether to buy or rent a cottage in Toronto is one that will always be a very personal one. The decision to either purchase your own country place or rent one every year will come down to several factors including your financial situation, your lifestyle, and your goals. Building memories, putting down roots in a community, and knowing your area are a few of the reasons for which people tend to prefer buying their own place, but the financial costs to carrying two properties must be factored into any financial plan.
 
The idea of owning a cottage is very tantalising – escaping on the weekends to a quiet place on a lake where you can forget about the workweek is something that is definitely alluring. But, what will happen to the cottage during the winter and during the week? Will someone still be using it? If not, you will have to ensure that it is properly winterized so that pipes don’t burst and critters don’t enter. If you plan on using it as a part-time rental, then you will also have to budget for a cleaning service and monthly maintenance. The other costs to consider are utilities, cable/satellite, phone service, septic maintenance, snow clearing, taxes and insurance. Then there is the actual maintenance of cleaning the place, moving the lawn, cleaning the gutters, etc… that you will eat into your downtime.
 
Renting a cottage means only paying the rental fees for the time you wish to use it. While such a no-fuss arrangement means that you simply show up and enjoy the property, it also means you share a place that many families use, that you are limited to the time it is available and if someone rents it before you, then you might miss out on your preferred dates. However, the cottage isn’t yours and you can’t decorate it as you want, and you won’t be able to truly make it your own or build the kind of affinity with the community as you would as an owner. On the plus side, you really don’t have to worry about any kind of upkeep.
 
Whether you rent or own a cottage the one thing both options have in common is that you will build beautiful memories with your family that will last a lifetime.

Author

Nisha Muire

All stories by: Nisha Muire