A recent RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger found that 40 per cent of Canadians are in the market for a recreational property, and a whopping 56 per cent of millennials are interested in buying into the Canadian dream. The reasons for buying a cottage or cabin vary, from relaxation to retirement. Thirty per cent of survey respondents said they would purchase a recreational property as an investment. When it comes to a cottage rental, the purchase is only part of the process. Being able to rent it out in order to generate positive cash flow is an entirely different kettle of fish.
As with any investment property, when investing in a cottage rental, understanding the local housing market, tourism and rental demand in the area is key. Then you have to weigh these against your expenses, such as mortgage payments, property taxes and maintenance.
With a plethora of online cottage-booking services popping up, making sure your cottage rental stands out this summer is a must. A surefire way to do so is to include a bevy of family-friendly bonus items on that “what’s included” features list. Guests will be so excited to get cabining at yours, it’ll be hard not to stay there yourself.
Cottage memories are made around the campfire, so build out an area where people can practice their marshmallow-roasting skills. Also, by providing a safe, consciously constructed (read: fully insured) fire pit means people won’t be tempted to build their own willy-nilly along the beach or in the forest. But before you start digging, check with the local municipality to ensure fire pits are allowed.
If the stereo system at your cottage still holds your Dirty Dancing cassette tape from 1987, it’s time for an upgrade. When it comes to choosing portable Bluetooth speakers and mini sound systems, there are a ton of affordable designs out there that simply link up to guests’ smartphones and laptops — some are even solar powered and splash proof, making them totally dock-ready.
If your cottage rental property is on the water, a dock is well worth the investment. Most cottage renters want the full cottage experience, so don’t skimp on this feature. Think multi-level docks for sunning and diving; waterslides; a dining area; and a sitting spot to take in the sparkling sunrise and sunset.
This one’s a no-brainer. You bring the heat, they bring the burgers — or whatever else they crave. A great barbecue area encourages your tenants to spend time outdoors, and less spending on pricey restaurants or take-out every night. Take cottage meal-time a step further with a well-equipped outdoor food-prep and dining area.
It’s a great idea to equip your cottage rental with some toys and tools that allow renters take advantage of everything the place has to offer. This can include a canoe, kayak or paddle boards (and don’t forget the life jackets!), fishing gear, birdwatching equipment, hiking maps and the like.
Yes, most cottage renters are looking to get away from the everyday. But these days, totally unplugging is next to impossible. A cottage rental with a solid internet connection will go a long way top keeping renters connected — and content!
These features are sure to tip the scales in your favour, helping you to offset the cost of ownership. When the place isn’t being enjoyed by a renter, you’ll be able to reap all the rewards of your own fully decked-out cottage rental.