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Pros & Cons Of Buying A Cottage Near Lake Huron

Pros & Cons Of Buying A Cottage Near Lake Huron

Have you ever thought about taking the plunge and diving into buying a cottage on the shores of Lake Huron?  I know it can be exciting to dream of that lakeside living but I’m here to share the good, the bad and the ugly before you make a large investment you could come to regret with a list of Pros & cons of buying a cottage near Lake Huron.

I’ll be straight with you, this list is going to contain more cons than pros because let’s face it. Our minds naturally understand the pros of buying a cottage but seem to neglect the downfalls. So let’s get into it, starting from the top here we will go with the pros of buying a cottage.

The PROS of Buying A cottage

FUN

The fun of course. No one buys a cottage without the full intention of making some great memories playing by the lake, swimming, fishing, building sand castles, roasting marshmallows by the campfire and so on. I don’t think I need to go into depth on this, you get the point.

SUNSETS

Pro number two that draws people to Lake Huron are the undeniable breathtaking sunsets you will experience. All beaches face west on the lake so you can enjoy evening activities taking in mother nature’s spectacular sunset.

Pros & Cons Of Buying A Cottage Near Lake Huron

RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

Pro number three is your return on investment.  If you’re not buying a cottage for retirement, you are most likely purchasing one to build on your portfolio of hard assets.  A cottage can be a great investment especially if you find a good location, are able to rent it, have easy access to the beach, are able to make a few updates to the property, and sell within an affordable price bracket. Always be prepared to keep the property for a few years to build the equity and the possibility of longer days on market when you’re ready to sell. Overall waterfront properties hold their value well.

The CONS of Buying A cottage

As I could individually list more pros, all I would be doing is pulling apart the category of “fun” to make this list seem larger. So let’s dive right into the cons.

Pros & Cons Of Buying A Cottage Near Lake Huron

SEASONALITY

Not all cottages are operational year round. Since Huron County is primarily located in a snow belt, you need to make sure you know if you’re purchasing a 4 season or 3 season cottage.  If you are open to a 3 season cottage, is it possible to convert it into a four season to use all year long?  If it’s not, make sure you know how to winterize it or you could have bursting pipes along with other damage from not properly taking care of your investment.

ACCESS

While searching for a cottage near Lake Huron, you are going to come across cottages that are located on unmaintained roads, shared roads and shared driveways. Additionally you need to know at every property how the beach is accessed.  Many cottages have a large staircase leading down to the water. One, are the stairs safe, because many of them get damaged by erosion and may not even make it down to the water. If they are in good shape, are you prepared to trek your beach stuff up and down 100+ stairs everyday at the cottage? With those, you need to understand the costs associated with any of those possibilities.

THE BEACHES

Why are beaches on my cons list.  While, this is why I’m here.  Lake Huron can have amazing beaches, but they can also have really crappy ones.  Erosion is really taking a toll on our shorelines.  Many areas have very rocky beaches, and our lakes have risen thus eliminating a lot of beach area.  If you are buying a cottage strictly for the beaches. You need to have a realtor who knows what areas will have the sandy shores you’re looking for.

TOPOGRAPHY

 If you’re looking for a cottage with a beach you can walk out to without any incline or stairs you need to be looking closer to Grand bend or up to Port Albert, Kincardine way.  Most of the in between cottages like Goderich, Bayfield and Central Huron are going to be situated on a large bluff.  When looking at a property online, see if they have photos of the staircase, or mention anything in the listing about the access to the water.  Something along the lines of a few short steps to the beach can sometimes translate to “ 30+ steps down” from my experience.  Have someone on your side to know and investigate how easy it is to get to the beach.  Also, some of these properties won’t have flat yards so if you plan to play lawn games, or let the kids run around. You need to know the area well or it could be dangerous for a young family.

PARKING

I have seen way too many cottages have the weirdest parking situation.  I even saw a cottage during the covid rush that went crazy over asking and had ZERO parking.  If you see some listing that say 123 “B” cottage road, Huron county.  There is a possibility that the property has an A&B which can mean the property is super close to the neighbour and might share a driveway.  I’ve seen a lot of properties have next to no parking or maybe 1-2 spots which aren’t going to work if you are able to rent it or plan to host family gatherings. Because of the topography we talked about, it’s also common to see parking at these cottages on heavy inclines which is not easy to access, maintain or park in the winter time. It is also possible that the parking is at the top of the property and you need to carry all your belongings down the stairs to the cottage which is super inconvenient or not possible if your body can’t handle steps.

Pros & Cons Of Buying A Cottage Near Lake Huron

RENTABILITY

Pros & Cons Of Buying A Cottage Near Lake Huron

If you buy a cottage to rent it out full time or once and a while to offset the mortgage you need to verify that the bylaws permit this.  Some municipalities in Huron County have strict rules around this such as Bluewater. Therefore, don’t get yourself in a financial pickle if you need extra income to offset your new investment. If you want a more in depth explanation of this check out my blog on 5 Things That May Prevent You From Buying A Cottage.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

 It’s a good idea to think about who can help maintain your property while you’re gone, especially if you’re hours away. Finding service companies or a property management team isn’t impossible but it’s definitely going to take time to build up a list of contacts that you trust. Anything from snow removal, cleaning services, arborists, and just someone who can check in on the place from time to time incase of emergencies.

WILDLIFE

I would consider most of this topic a pro, escaping the city, but it could be a con for some. Having a cottage usually means you’re away from the city and surrounded by nature which can mean critters, animals and bugs.  For example, be prepared to see animals getting into your garbage if you don’t secure them well or lots of bugs such as flies and mosquitos. 

EXTRA COSTS

Number one is a list of additional costs you need to account for such as furnishing the property, insurance, possible capital gains tax, and erosion which I go into more depth in my video about 5 Things That May Prevent You From Buying A Cottage.

SUMMARY

That wraps up my list of pros and cons of buying a cottage. Financials aside, if you decide to buy a cottage just keep in mind that if you like to vacation to different destinations, the second you buy a cottage you will feel obligated to spend as much time as possible there since you spent so much money buying it.

From personal experience of my family, most of our cottage days in the first year or two were spent on fixing problems. If you want a truly relaxing vacation, take a long hard look at your personal pros and cons list of why you want the cottage in the first place. 

If you’re ready to buy or need help working through that pros and cons list feel free to reach out.

CLICK the photo below to take my free quiz to find out if your ready to buy a cottage or not.

If you own a cottage and are ready to let it go and move onto your next chapter, I would be thrilled to help find a new family to enjoy it. Check out my listing services here.

- MEGAN PROPER

top 5 reasons to love living in huron county

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Thinking of relocating? Why not explore why Huron County has such a high overall happiness rate with 5 Reasons To Love Living In Huron County. COMING SOON

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