Thursday, February 26, 2009

To Buy Or Not To Buy - That Is The Question

People often remark that it must be nice to own a cottage, to be able to go up and enjoy it any time, and relax, as if it is the perfect instance of utopia on earth. Well in a way it is, but in a way it is not. Like any property, there are chores that need doing, equipment that needs replacing, and things that need fixing. To be honest, probably the only thing better than owning a cottage, is being able to rent someone elses, never having to worry about paying for repairs, service, taxes, insurance, or the mortgage.

From a simple economics standpoint, with the average price of a lakefront cottage in Canada being over $400,000, that is the kind of money that can keep you renting someone elses cottage for 3 weeks a year for the next hundred years, or take an incredible vacation every three years or so for the rest of your life, or anything else you can imagine. But in defense of owning a cottage, yes the value will rise as it is an investment, and yes you can use it much more than say three weeks a year. What it all boils down to is the fact that many people don't really think about all the costs or benefits of doing something in a particular fashion (in this case cottage ownership, versus renting): Is the grass really so much greener on the other side of the fence?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yes, Some People Love The Place

As with any cottage, the cost of ownership and upkeep can be challanging to manage. That is one of the reasons we rent the place for those weeks we don't use it during the summer. The other reason, to be honest, is more altruistic. We love it up there, and don't think it would be fair to keep it just to ourselves, sitting empty when we are not using it. A fair number of people we know also enjoy and love the cottage nearly as much as we do! I received this email recently from a guest who rented it for a long weekend last September:

Thank you for the invitation back to a little paradise. It is truly beautiful and the perfect getaway from the hustle of everyday Toronto. The drive alone to Barry's Bay is absolutely fantastic as the fall colors had started to come through. The cottage was very comfortable, neat and tidy. It's a cozy place where you feel relaxed and at home as soon as you walk in. I wanted to thank you and Katherine again for a great weekend last fall.

Nancy G. Toronto

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Barrys Bay, Ontario

Barrys Bay is a small town of about 1200 people, located two hours drive West of Ottawa, or two hours North-East of Peterborough. It is quite well served for a town its size, probably as it is the hub of the local geographic area. It has two large grocery stores, an LCBO and a Beer Store, as well as a couple of banks, a regional Hospital, and the usual array of professional services. There is also a newspaper, the Barrys Bay This Week, which does a wonderful job reporting all the local events, as well as the usual OPP reports of drunk persons and snowmobiling accidents!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Welcome To Our Cottage!

Well this is it, our little piece of paradise near Barrys Bay Ontario. The cottage is on one of the larger lakes close to town, and is actually a proper four season house, fully liveable year round. As can be seen in the photographs, there is a nice fine sand beach, which slopes very gently into the water, before dropping off into the deep around 200 feet from the shore. The house itself has a kitchen, livingroom/dining area, a full bathroom, two bedrooms, and a sunroom. There is a door from the sunroom onto a small deck, and steps from the deck onto the lawn. The basement has full laundry facilites, a spare room, and an unfinished area for storage, which also houses the woodstove. Water is provided by a well near the lake, and it is brought to useful pressure with a new pump and large pressure tank. It is also filtered, and UV treated so is always safe to use and drink. The location of the cottage is very private, with no neighbors on one side. It is near the end of a paved road with access to an abandoned rail line that is now a public community trail, suitable for walking, offroad biking, and ATVing, as well as skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. It is about 6 km via the rail line into town, and roughly 10 km by car along the lake road and highway. Click on the pictures for a better look, they are high res 10Mbyte taken with a Nikon D100.

photos: D Chiles