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There are plenty of reasons why people want a vacation property—as a family retreat, a place to retire, to turn it into an income property, or as a way to get into the market if prices in the city are too high. If you’ve been dreaming of owning a vacation home, turning to a trusted Real Estate Agent is the best place to start. Here are important questions to ask your agent.

Where should I buy a vacation property?

It’s hard to narrow down where to buy, but a good agent can share insights about different markets—such as which areas are extremely popular, and where you might find a hidden gem. During the pandemic, people flocked to cottage country turning hotspots close to Toronto into sellers’ markets. That may not end anytime soon, but an agent can point out other options, like lesser-known areas, out-of-province locations, or even places in the United States. 

What should I consider about the home?

While affordability is a key factor, location is still important, and you’ll want to think about how far you’re willing to travel to your new vacation home—especially if you’re driving there on weekends. If you’re looking at out-of-country properties, consider how restrictions impacted travel during the pandemic and kept people from visiting their vacation homes.

You should also pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for in a vacation home: Is it a stunning waterfront view? Access to amenities and shops? A big enough home for friends and family to visit? Are you planning to retire there, and is accessibility an issue? An agent with experience can ask you the right questions to hone in on what you really want.

What are the expected costs I may not know about?

Talk to a mortgage broker before beginning the search for a vacation home. If it’s your second home, qualifying for a mortgage will be different than the first time—you’ll need a down payment of at least 20%, and there may be other stipulations. If it’s your first property, make sure you get pre-approved to make the process easier.

Don’t forget to factor in other costs, like maintenance (especially if the property is larger and has outdoor space), insurance, the monthly bills, and property taxes.

Can I make the vacation home a rental property?

Let your Real Estate Agent know if the goal is to use the vacation home as a rental property for income because it can help determine where and what you should purchase. Factors like location, property amenities, the number of bedrooms, and even the view can affect a vacation property’s rentability. You’ll also want to research any short-term accommodation bylaws before purchasing—for example, Prince Edward County requires owners to acquire a license.

 

No matter what you’re envisioning for your vacation property, our team can help you on your journey. Contact us to get started.

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