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?

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