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Buying a second home: Tips from Real Estate Experts

Dreaming of buying a second home? Here’s how to make sure you really live the dream.

Always preclude your property search by listing your needs: travel time, property criteria, budget, wish list and more. Just as importantly, think about what you absolutely don’t want: perhaps it’s the sound of a nearby highway or neighbours that are just a bit too close.

These little details can be easy to overlook when you’re under the spell of a cottage’s charm, but it’s important to always keep them in mind. Otherwise, you may end up regretting your decision.

Our real estate experts share other important points to keep in mind when buying a second home:

1 – Why you want to buy a second home.

Owning a cottage or chalet means wanting to enjoy weekends and vacations at home. It means creating a new, more restful family bubble. Enjoying some peace and quiet on your own, as a couple or with the family. Having a place to create those special memories that last a lifetime.

2 – What kind of investment you want to make:

Some buyers get a return on their investment by renting out the cottage when they’re not using it. Others renovate or enlarge the property, adding new features such as a pool, spa, workshop, etc. Whether you want to build capital or boost your income, you should keep costs and profitability in mind during your search.

3 – How you will use the chalet or cottage:

Planning on spending the odd weekend and perhaps just a few of your vacation weeks at the cottage and then renting it out the rest of the time? Or will you be spending all your free time there and never rent it out? This might change your list of must-haves.

Some people buy a second home leading up to retirement to enjoy during vacations and weekends (or to rent out to help cover the purchase cost), and then live there full-time after retiring. If that’s your plan, you’ll want to add local services and shops your must-have list.

There are all sorts of good reasons to buy a cottage, but it still has to meet your needs!

4 – Where you want to buy:

I can’t say it often enough: The three most important things in real estate are: Location, location, location.

Are you drawn to the mountains or to the countryside? Would you rather be tucked away in the woods or perched on a lake? Do you care if the lake allows motorized boats (and their noisy engines)? Distance also matters. If the cottage must absolutely be no more than a 90 minute drive away, this will influence your search radius and perhaps options.

Second homes can come in all shapes and sizes: Single-family detached home, condo, housing complex, hobby farm, woodland lot or even an empty parcel of land to build on.

Buying a second home is always a fun and exciting project. They key is to keep your head when you’re heart tries to take over. It’s the surest way to live the dream, not a nightmare.

REALTA brokers can make all the difference. We know cottage country and what’s on the market. We help you make sure the property meets your needs and tastes. With a REALTA broker, you only have to explain what you’re looking for once. We’re by your side throughout the entire process to ensure you avoid the common pitfalls of buying a second home. We’ll obtain all the necessary documents from the seller to fully advise you about the property’s condition, including its site plan, easements, certification of the septic tank and leach field, well and water quality, and more. We gather and analyze all these conditions to give you a clear sense of the property, along with any additional costs you might run into after the purchase.

Helping you make an informed decision with complete peace of mind is what we do!

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