Never too soon for a summer home

by Olivia D'Orazio05 Mar 2015
Our Canadian winters can be brutal, leaving many people to dream of a warm summer, drink in hand, lounging on the dock of their lakeside retreat.

Here are some tips to help your clients make the right choice when it comes to buying a recreational property – after all, summer’s not that far away, right?

The first step to finding your clients the perfect weekend getaway involves getting to know them personally. Does your buyer enjoy golf? Then find a property in a region with a lot of quality golf courses. Maybe your client enjoys hiking and camping; something in a mountain range would be great. Or, if your client prefers water sports, a lakeside cottage is your best bet.

Of course, when you’re dealing with especially specific landscapes, like waterfront properties, it’s important to know the intricacies of the area.

Ross McLean, a sales rep who specializes in waterfront properties in Ontario’s Muskoka region, says agents should know about the issues facing property owners in any region.

“Spend time in Muskoka learning the waterfront,” he says to his peers. “[Agents ought to know about waterfront issues – septic systems, water sources, zoning – and often they don’t.”

Many of those issues will factor into your client’s decision to purchase the property – and a lot of those issues boil down to cost. For example, if the property has a septic tank that needs to be emptied at a cost of $600 a year, will that impact your client’s choice?

Other monetary issues to consider are mortgage rates, which can be higher for second properties, as well as insurance and maintenance.

Finally, consider travel distance. Most people don’t want to spend several hours in the car just to enjoy a weekend away. Talk to your clients and determine what distance they’re willing to travel to their recreational home.

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