Category Archives: vacation homes

How to Start a Successful Airbnb in the Country, from Scratch

AirBnB in the Country

Have you dreamed of designing and renting out a country retreat through a popular site like Airbnb.com? One family shares how they made their rural Airbnb home a success.

The Hartman family live on a small piece of acreage just outside the Asheville, NorthCarolina city limits.

The Hartman family

Despite their proximity to one of the South’s most popular tourist destination cities, their land is rural in every sense.

Walk outside at the right time of day in the right season, and you may catch a glimpse of a black bear, wild turkeys, deer, a bobcat, some turtles or any number of birds. They’re less than a mile from several world-class hiking trails and the winding road to their home is surrounded by pasture and nature.

It’s the ideal blend of mountain-country-living with hip-city convenience.

So, when their neighbor’s home burned down about four years ago, the Hartmans leapt at the chance to buy up the 2.5 acres that abuts their current home.

Their plans for the land were vague, but after much planning, discussion, decision-making and brainstorming, they decided to build an Airbnb-style minifarm retreat: Blue Turtle Farm.

The only thing was, neither of them had any experience running a microfarm OR a hospitality business…nor did they have much spare time to learn. Meggan is a psychologist, sleep consultant and faculty member at Meridian University and Brody is an executive at a leading branding agency, as well as a Purpose Guide, mentor and a meditation teacher.

Yet they forged ahead and have managed to exceed their Airbnb business financial goals in just one year.

How did they do it (and could you do the same)? Read on to find out.

It All Started With 2.5 Wild Acres, A Chicken Coop And A Concrete Slab

Chicken in a chicken coop

Brody and Meggan knew they had something special in their new property (it’s not every day 2.5 acres with an existing house foundation and driveway go up for sale in your backyard). The trick was discovering the best use of that wild 2.5 acres.

“We sat on it for two years because we knew we had to get the overgrown land in order first,” Brody says. “So we got some chickens, got out there on weekends with the weed wacker and just dreamed about what we could do.”

Meggan adds, “We also had to set a clear intention for the property—do we want to have someone come in and do flowers, do we want to grow herbs or create a market garden? So we had to look at what we could feasibly do and manage with our limited time, andwhat made the most sense for income. We also knew we wanted continued access to the land.”

While they knew they wanted to care for the land by starting a sustainable “pocket farm,” they also knew the existing homesite would be perfect for an investment home.

“We always knew we’d build on that land someday and possibly move there,” Brody says, “the question was: just what type of structure to build and when?

“And if you’ve never managed or developed even a small piece of land, it’s a HUGE learning curve. So we had a ton of people come out to assess the soil, the water situation and where to place the home visually for functionality, off-grid capability and aesthetics.”

The Hartmans also talked to their neighbors about their plans and studied the local zoning laws.

Once the land was in order, they’d chosen the best homesite and decided on a short-term rental business, the next big choice was: what type of house to build?

Figuring Out What To Build: Tiny Home, Cabin Or Designer House?

Butterfly on a sunflower

The Hartmans originally thought they’d build something small and simple to keep costs low, but after talking to two real estate experts, they changed their minds.

“We consulted two of our friends in real estate and they both recommended we build-like we-needed-to-sell,” Brody says.

With that in mind, they began researching comps and found most buyers in the area were looking for a 3 bed, 2 ½ – 3 bath home with “X” amenities.

Brody says 3 other factors weighed heavily on their decision:

“#1: If we flip it one day, how do we get the most out of it for resale? #2: If we were to move over there, what would we want in a home? And #3: what would an ideal Airbnb experience be for our guests?”

In the end, the Hartmans hired a reputable local high-end builder to construct a modern 3-story, 3 bedroom/3 bath home with a separate basement suite on the existing foundation.

“Having a good architect or good house plans and finding a reputable builder is key. You also need to think about parking when designing your space,” Meggan says.

Next, They Turned Their Attention To Learning Their Local Airbnb Market

With a reputable builder in place and home design underway, the Hartmans re-focused on learning the local short-term rental market.

“We researched local Airbnbs and VRBOs for going rates, we read the reviews and drew on our personal experience as guests of Airbnbs,” says Brody. “We also talked to a lot of people who had Airbnbs. Knowing the market in your community is essential.”

How they determine competitive pricing:

While there are Airbnb-centric consultants, articles and content available, Meggan offered this advice on pricing:

“We knew we had to cover our costs and make a profit, and at the end of the day you’re working backwards from your mortgage—and it’s a bit of a moving target in the beginning because you know that number will change once you’re finished building.

“The Airbnb suggested rate for our area is lower than we decided to charge. But, we had a clear intention: we wanted to create the best experience in the best environment, and we knew people would pay for that.”

And they have. To-date, the Hartmans’ Airbnb earnings have already exceeded their monthly mortgage…and it’s been open for short-term rentals for less than one year.

“Pricing also depends on how you want to run your rental. For example, will it be a year-round rental or do you really want to crank it for just 4 months out of the year? So again, your intention and goals are everything.”

Tips On Creating The Best Experience In The Best Environment (without breaking the bank)

When it comes to creating an optimal guest experience, attention to detail is everything.

Bedroom

 

However, when you’re floating a mortgage and a construction loan you can’t typically do everything high-end. Here’s how the Hartmans furnished and decorated their Airbnb without breaking the bank:

  • Don’t go high-end on all the furniture. “Fortunately, the gentleman at our local furniture store runs his own Airbnb and told us where to invest,” Meggan says. “For example, he said not to invest in rugs, like use outdoor rugs indoors, and to think about high-traffic vs. low-traffic areas.”
  • Put your money where the details matter. “This means quality of the sheets, towels, beds, soaps and sundries. We’ve even gotten good reviews on our toilet paper, so little things like that matter to people.”

Once The House Was Complete, There Was Still A Lot To Do To Prepare For Guests

“In addition to getting the professional photography and branding/descriptions done, furniture had to be moved in and put together, detailed cleaning had to be done, window treatments installed, etc.,” Brody says. “It’s important you build in extra time to complete those details.”

When the house was finally done, the Hartmans invited friends and family to stay and critique the home.

“We told them to bring it! And thanks to their feedback we wound up replacing the downstairs bed and making some further improvements,” Meggan says.

To buy some time (and secure some more feedback) the Hartmans also rented the home to a local family of four for the first 3 months.

“That gave us a buffer and their feedback was extremely helpful.”

How They Promoted Their Brand New Short-term Rental Property

The Hartmans listed their home on Airbnb and VRBO and paid special attention to branding.

“Professional photography is very important,” says Brody, a branding expert, “as is getting the descriptions and owner’s manual just right.

Stairway and living room

 

“I’ll never forget when I got that first notification from Airbnb, then the first booking. It was so thrilling to see. I still get excited when I see them come in!”

Since Airbnb is all about recommendations and ratings, the Hartmans are vigilant about responding to guest requests, addressing any concerns and rating their guests promptly.

This attention to detail earned them “superhost” status in October. “It’s really important to get those milestones met, and it’s a high bar—no cancellations, at least 4.5 stars every time—but if you deliver, then superhost status will come,” Brody says.

While they are listed on both Airbnb and VRBO, they’ve found each application has its own distinctive audience and find Airbnb’s interface more intuitive and easy to manage.

To avoid double-bookings, they use an integrated managing calendar.

Running The Day-to-Day (Without Quitting Their Day Jobs)

For day-to-day, the Hartmans highly recommend hiring an exceptional cleaning service that specializes in short-term rentals/hospitality.

“Our first service was good, not great,” Brody recalls. “They didn’t get all the details or what it meant to be a superhost. I spend a lot of time in hotels for my job, so I know what those details are!”

One day, their cleaning service didn’t show up and Brody and Meggan had to run over to clean the house themselves. After that, they found a better service.

“We wound up hiring a husband and wife team who also does basic maintenance, which has been a game-changer,” Brody says. “They know what it means to care for a short-term rental, for example, she brings local magazines and keeps them up-to-date, and keeps the house impeccable.”

They’ve also given the cleaning service access to their booking calendars, which automates the entire process.

“Now we could leave the country for a month and would not worry.”

With the cleaning and maintenance dialed in, there’s very little other day-to-day work.

“The only other thing we do regularly is bring over wine, crackers, cheese and a custom welcome note,” Meggan says.

Technology also helps keep the day-to-day tasks at a minimum.

The Hartmans have set up their online booking so guests can book automatically—provided they meet certain requirements. Then they send a personal reply.

They also use an app that tells them if the doors are locked or unlocked, and they are out on the farm regularly should the guests need them (which they usually don’t).

How To Avoid Negative Reviews

Negative reviews are the plight of any modern short-term rental business, here’s how the Hartmans have maintained a nearly unblemished review profile:

“Airbnb lets you communicate with the guests before your mutual reviews are published. So we always take that opportunity to ask the guest if there’s anything we can do to improve hospitality. says Brody.

“With that approach, we’ve only had one 4-star review on one attribute saying we weren’t truly 12 minutes from downtown, so we changed the listing to 15 minutes.”

They also recommend being clear about the role you will play as host.

“Some hosts live off-property, some hosts live next door and personally greet every guest,” Meggan says. “We let people know we’ll be on the property and will be as available, or not, as they want. Most of our guests want to be self-sufficient and just say hello if they happen to see us, and we’re fine either way.”

How Long Did It Take The Business To Become Profitable?

“Our profit goal for year one was to exceed our mortgage costs, and we managed to do that within the first month of full-time short-term rentals,” says Brody. “There are months now that we’re more than doubling our mortgage.”

The Hartmans believe their location plays a role in this, as does the quality of the home and the natural beauty of the land.

Dining room and kitchen

 

Insider Startup Advice: What They Wish They Had Known

When asked their biggest startup challenges, the Hartmans offered these lessons learned:

  • “Money out vs. money in while building is a roller coaster—I mean you’re furnishing an entire house. It creeps up on you, and then once you get caught up in it you know you can’t skimp, so there’s that sense of having faith in the process.”
  • “Don’t skimp on construction! We did this right, but it’s still good advice. Our construction company came in on time and on budget. They landed that ship nicely.”
  • “The initial house set-up is crazy, so be prepared! That was a lot harder than we anticipated.”
  • “Be prepared to let it go,” says Brody, “I remember going over to answer some questions for our very first guests, and I walked in and saw this young man lying on my couch with his shoes on. I wanted to say, get your shoes off that couch! But I knew in that moment, I had to surrender the house. And that was quite a moment.”
  • “It pays to set your intention for the place,” says Meggan. “We really wanted to create a retreat and respite for people to unplug and connect with family…and it’s proving to be the perfect spot for families.”
  • “In the beginning we were so worried that the whole house would not get rented that we built that additional basement suite. Now I wish we hadn’t, because we’ve never not rented the whole house,” says Brody.
  • “Get your house rules figured out right away. This will keep your house in good condition and your neighbors happy.”

Where Will They Go From Here?

Based on their success and excellent reviews, the Hartmans’ property is now being considered for “Airbnb Plus” status.

This means they have to meet a 100-point inspection list and have a certain level of aesthetic value which caters to a higher-level guest. Airbnb pays to have the home re-photographed, and if they pass inspection, the property gets a special badge.

They also plan to add a hot tub and possibly a wood stove to increase winter rentals, and will use the property for purpose-building workshops.

To learn more about the Hartman’s property and view the rental, check them out at: www.blueturtlefarm.com or on their Airbnb page.

 

Source: Rethink Rural – Posted by Kristen Boye on April 15, 2019

 

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St Lucia Closer to Launching Citizenship by Investment

saintlucia

St Lucia is closer to launching a proposed citizenship by investment programme.

The country’s new Citizenship by Investment bill was approved by the island’s senate last week.

St Lucia Minister for Legal Affairs, Home Affairs and National Security Victor Phillip La Corbiniere said the bill would “boost Saint Lucia’s economy.”

If launched, it would make St Lucia the latest Eastern Caribbean country to offer citizenship by investment, along with countries including St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica.

“We know that the Citizenship by Investment program has the potential to generate significant sums of money, and it is important particularly at this time—in terms of the economic realities of the world and economic realities of Saint Lucia—to look at various modalities such as this to raise the requisite revenue,” La Corbiniere said.

“We cannot sit back as other countries participate in this process,” he said. “I would suggest perhaps that down the line, it may well be that countries in the Caribbean that have citizenship by investment programs may want to look at coming together in some kind of standing committee. Perhaps a standing committee of CARICOM to keep this matter under constant examination and to be able to keep the government properly advised on developments taking place in this area, and how we need to be proactive in addressing some of these issues.”

Source; CaribJournal.com August 9, 2015 | 11:29 pm |

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August long weekend 2015: What’s open and closed in Toronto

The August long weekend – Simcoe Day in Toronto – is a civic holiday and a long weekend for many people in the Greater Toronto area.

The holiday goes by many names across the province, and it goes by different names and is often celebrated with different traditions across the country. In Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island the day is known as Natal Day, while it is Regatta Day in Newfoundland. In Ottawa the Civic Holiday is often referred to as Colonel By Day.

Businesses are not required to close Monday under the provincial Retail Business Holidays Act, so they may open at the discretion of the municipality.

Below is a list of what’s open and closed in the GTA:

Open

  • Tourist attractions (ROM, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Zoo, Ripley’s Aquarium)
  • Major malls (Eaton Centre, Yorkdale, Fairview, Sherway Gardens, Square One, Vaughan Mills)
  • Select Beer Store locations (Click here for a full list)
  • LCBO (378 stores across the province will be open. Click here to find your store)
  • Movie theaters
  • City-run facilities like pools, splash pads and golf courses. (Click herefor details)
  • Riverdale Farm
  • High Park Zoo
  • Toronto Islands and ferries

Closed

  • AGO
  • Banks
  • Government offices
  • Post offices and mail delivery
  • All Toronto Public Library branches

Weekend Events

Source: 680News.com by NEWS STAFF Posted Jul 31, 2015 5:07 am EDT

U.S. buyers flock to Canadian vacation homes – The lowly loonie means U.S. buyers get a 20% discount

vacation homes

TORONTO – Real estate agent Priscilla Sookarow rang in the new year in a novel way, brokering the sale of a $3-million vacation property in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley to a family from Texas.

In addition to the region’s natural beauty, the buyers were lured by the low value of the loonie relative to the U.S. dollar, said Sookarow who, along with realtors elsewhere, says an increasing number of vacation property buyers are coming from south of the border.

“When you buy a $3-million property with U.S. dollars you’re saving a fair bit,” said Sookarow, an agent with ReMax Vernon.

Sookarow isn’t the only agent in the recreational property market to report an influx of U.S. clients. Realtors in B.C.’s Gulf Islands and Ontario’s Muskoka and Niagara regions say they are also observing the trend.

“In all of my offices we’re seeing more U.S. inquiries,” said John Jarvis, a ReMax agent in Ontario’s Muskoka region. “Americans are definitely shopping more than they have been in the last three or four years.”

For U.S. buyers, recreational properties north of the border represent a good deal, said Jarvis.

“They’re getting a 20 per cent discount, roughly,” he said, noting that the loonie has been hovering at around 80 cents U.S. in recent weeks.

Americans also perceive Canadian lakes as being cleaner and “more pure” than those south of the border and believe that Canada’s economy is stable and strong, said Jarvis.

Meanwhile, many Canadian buyers who went south to pick up properties when the loonie was around par are now looking to return home, according to a number of agents.

Janet Moore, an agent at Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty, says many Canadians raced south between 2007 and 2011 to snap up vacation homes in places such as Palm Springs, Calif., Phoenix, Ariz., and Hawaii.

Rising property values and the rally in the U.S. dollar have allowed them to make a profit, said Moore. Now, they’re looking to use those profits to buy vacation properties north of the border.

Realtors say these trends are likely to continue.

“As long as the dollar stays this way, we anticipate more of the same,” Sookarow said.

Source: Money Sense by; by Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press  June 25th, 2015

Mike Holmes: Summer’s not just for major renovations — sweat the small stuff, too

Check exterior lighting and switch to environmentally friendly LED or solar bulbs.

Summertime is the best time for building projects and renovations, such as refinishing the deck, putting up a fence or painting outdoors. Mother Nature is on our side, in terms of weather (for the most part), so we can really dig in and get our hands dirty to get that project done and checked off the list before fall.

But sometimes people forget about simple home maintenance that we should also be checking off our list, to help keep our homes safe and healthy.

1. Change your furnace filter

You should change it every at least every three months minimum (so, at the start of every season).

Everyone remembers to change their furnace filter in the winter, because when we think winter we think heating and the furnace. But for some reason, we forget that we use our furnaces over summer, too.

Every time we use the A/C (central air, not the window units), we’re using the furnace. That means many furnaces might be working overdrive this summer, so change your filter. It’s a simple way to help keep the air in your home healthy and clean, and it also helps reduce allergies.

2. Stop pests

Summertime is when most insects make their way indoors, looking for cooler homes. Go around the exterior of your home and look for any potential entry points, such as around window and door framing, venting, tears in window screens and door screens, and cracks in the foundation, especially below windows and doorsteps.

I’ve seen swarms of bees and wasps find their way into homes through the tiniest cracks and openings. One house had a massive swarm of bees that made a home behind the kitchen cabinets (which were along an exterior wall). In another home, wasps found a tiny crack in the foundation below the front door steps that led directly into the cold room.

Also, watch for insect wings. If you see a bunch of wings around the exterior of your home, there’s a good chance you have termites. (Termites have wings, and once they find a new home they drop them.)

Gaps around window and door frames, as well as any venting, should be sealed with rubberized exterior caulking. Any cracks wider than a half inch (1.3 centimetres) should be filled with expanding foam — there are special low expanding foams that don’t put too much pressure on framing. Small foundation cracks can also be filled with an expandable foam or epoxy injection.

Torn window screens should also be replaced, and refill any gaps in your mortar (also known as tuck-pointing).

3. Be green to save green

During summer, we water our lawns, wash the deck, wash our cars, etc. Don’t use clean water that you pay for. Instead, talk to a pro about installing a greywater re-use system that collects the rainwater that comes off your roof. Not only is it environmentally friendly, it also helps protect your home. Rather than flowing down your eavestroughs to the side of your home and possibly flooding your basement, you can use that water the next time you water your lawn or wash your car. It’s free and you help the environment.

Also, think about switching to LEDs outside your home and using solar exterior lights.

Another trick to help you save is reversing ceiling fans. During winter, ceiling fans should turn clockwise — this helps circulate warm air trapped along the ceiling. But in the summer, if the fan works in reverse (so, counter-clockwise), it can help create a breeze.

4. Check for mould

That musty smell in your basement, crawl space or attic is mould. In fact, that smell is mould “digesting.” Address the problem by taking care of any moisture issues, for example, by stopping leaks, getting a dehumidifier, increasing air circulation, sealing around the building envelope and possibly boosting your insulation.

If you find surface mould and it’s less than 10 square feet, you can clean it yourself using proper safety gear (i.e., respirator and gloves) and a safe and effective product (like Concrobium). Do not use bleach! If you have a big mould issue, you will need to call a pro.

5. Enjoy the summer!

Summer lasts only three months of the year, so make the most of it and make it right!

Source; National Post | June 27, 2015 Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information, visit makeitright.ca.

Affordable cottage living remains within reach

All the luxuries of home in a quaint cottage setting.

Many of us have, at some point, dreamt of one day owning a family cottage. In the last few decades those who have yet to fulfill this dream have likely seen the opportunity of cottage ownership slip away due to what is no longer an affordable reality or a purchase price worth the financial burden or risk.

What goes up may eventually come down when interest rates rise, however, as will the cost of borrowing, and we’ll never see prices return back down the glory days when you could purchase a cottage for a few hundred thousand dollars or less. Even your average two-bedroom fixer-upper can go for $500,000 or more, unless you’re willing to travel much further north. Good investment? That’s debatable.

What other options are there to choose from, aside from fractional ownership or timeshares? Those words haunt most people’s dreams; after all, the only time you should be sharing is with your family around the campfire.

The alternative, more affordable option many people are discovering is Park Model Cottage ownership at Cherry Beach Resort in Prince Edward County, steps away from Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Brand new 2015 Park Model summer cottages at Cherry Beach Resort start at $59,900* for a two-bedroom open-concept model. The highest-priced three-bedroom model sells for $129,900*, with add-ons available. All models come with shingled roof tops, low-maintenance vinyl siding and windows, and are fully furnished throughout with appliances, window treatments, air-conditioning and choice of tasteful décor.

It only takes three to four weeks on average before a family is ready to enjoy their first day at the resort — and for many, the start of years of building great family memories, with some new friendships along the way.

As for cottage resort living, what does that mean? Let’s start with what most likely springs to mind with respect to a traditional cottage; imagine a cute little cottage nestled away in a forested area with a few neighbours, a dock, maybe a boat and a nice view of the lake.

Now how about a heated saltwater pool, multi-sports court, playground, recreational pavilion, daily Kidz Klub activities, wine-and-cheese nights for the adults, movie nights under the stars and, of course, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating and all the traditional amenities we all love about cottage country?

One more thing: How about a maintenance crew that will cut your grass and maintain the rest of the grounds while you’re busy shopping at the local farmers’ market and exploring all the local wineries across the island along one of the world’s longest bike trails?

Let’s face it – where are your kids going to have more fun? Where are you going to spend less time and money on upkeep and entertainment for the family? Where are you going to meet new friends, feel a little less isolated and safer? At Cherry Beach Resort.

We know what you’re thinking: What about all the running costs and hidden fees? What’s the catch? We get these questions a lot, actually. The reality is virtually all your running costs are included for less than or equal to the cost of a single-family vacation. Water, hydro, grounds-keeping, family entertainment, full use of amenities, security, an on-site management team, unlimited guest passes – it’s all included. Looking to save on half or more on your running costs? Join their rental program and you’re free to keep all your weekends if you want. Want to sell your Park Model Cottage down the road? They have you covered. Cherry Beach Resort makes it easy with their assisted sales program.

Between land taxes, maintenance and upkeep, interest payments on a hefty mortgage loan from the bank – all this excluding amenities, — purchasing a traditional cottage is certainly not for the faint of heart these days. It’s time to look at a much more affordable alternative; an option that will allow you to have your cake… and put more in your RRSPs, RESPs and TFSA account.

For more information on Park Model cottage ownership and resort-style cottage living, visit www.CherryBeachResort.com.

* Prices will be increasing as of July 1, 2015

Source: Special to National Post | June 25, 2015 9:11 AM This story was provided by Great Blue Resorts for commercial purposes.  Postmedia had no involvement in the creation of this content.

Need a mortgage on a cottage? Here’s what lenders look for

Ottawa — The Canadian Press

Whether you call it a cottage, a cabin or a camp, when the temperature begins to rise, the dreams of sitting on the dock at a place of your own start this time of year.

But if you don’t have the cash on hand to buy one outright, you’ll have to borrow the money.

And while the basic process of applying for and qualifying for a mortgage are the same, lenders will look at many more variables when assessing a property before lending money to buy a cottage.

Barry Gollom, vice-president of mortgages and lending at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, says while your strength as a borrower is important, banks will also take a close look at the property being acquired when determining how much they are willing to lend.

“Lenders will look at the location, proximity to a major market, sometimes is it on a big lake, is it on a small lake, access to the property, year-around is best, paved roads is a plus,” Gollom said.

“Lenders will want to ensure that there’s a safe and consistent water source as this can sometimes materially impact the marketability and value of the cottage.”

Mortgage broker Frank Napolitano says most lenders want a cottage to be a four-season property if they are going to loan you money, but he says some will finance three-season cabins.

“It is difficult to get financing if you can only access the cottage by water,” says Napolitano, managing partner at Mortgage Brokers Ottawa.

“The property has to be marketable.”

If you aren’t putting down at least 20 per cent, you’ll need mortgage default insurance just like an ordinary home purchase.

However, CMHC changed its rules last year so that it would no longer insure mortgages on second homes. That means you’ll have to go with a private mortgage insurance company which can provide the necessary coverage if your lender requires it due to the size of your down payment.

Insurers may also have limits on the amount they will cover for a vacation property, depending on its characteristics.

Depending on your situation, you could also consider refinancing your home or using a home equity line of credit if you have paid off enough of it to use it to borrow the cash you need.

Gollom says it is not uncommon for buyers to use a combination of financing through their home and the vacation property to make the purchase.

However, if you only made a small down payment on your home when you bought it and haven’t owned it for very long, you may not have the room you need to finance your new purchase.

Joe Walsh, a mortgage broker with Bedrock Financial Group in Toronto, says no matter how you choose to finance your purchase, for the lender it is about whether you can repay the debt.

“You need to have a lot of room in your income to be able to service the additional, what $200,000, $300,000?” he said.

Gollom said it’s important to make sure the decision to buy a cottage fits within your overall financial plan.

“It is a decision that really does require very thoughtful planning,” he said. “It is so important to understand the broader implications of the purchase of a vacation property as it relates to your other goals.”