: Tips on how save money on buying a vacation home!

Tips on how save money on buying a vacation home!

1. Stay off the beaten path.

Look for lakeside homes and cottages that are off the beaten path. There are many smaller lakes that are less traveled to. Sometimes you can pick one of these homes up for a fraction of the cost.

 2. Look at island vacation homes, back-lot cabins, and river homes.

Road-access waterfront vacation homes on big lakes are in greater demand, so their prices tend to be higher. But they aren't your only option.

  • Vacation homes on islands are priced 30 to 40 per cent less than land-access retreats, depending on the area. And many of them offer the same amenities you'd find on the mainland (such as hydro power). If you're comfortable with using a boat (or willing to learn), water-access vacation homes are a great option to consider.

  • Back-lot vacation homes are built on parcels of land not directly on the waterfront. However, most back lots have deeded access to nearby waterfront, or perhaps a public beach area, so you'll be guaranteed a lake at (almost) your doorstep. 

  • One vacation home complex spoke about the lazy pace of life on a river, and the quiet. Although it's a different style of vacation home (no big views, for instance), these vacation homes have a charm all on their own.


3. Look at non-traditional set-ups.

Gone are the days when buying a vacation home meant you had to shoulder the responsibilities of ownership all by yourself. There are new options that help make buying and maintaining a second vacation home more affordable.

  • Maybe the biggest trend in vacation home real estate in the last decade has been the emergence of fractional ownership, when more than one family or individual has a share in a single vacation home, using it on a rotating basis. Each shareholder pays dues to cover maintenance and upkeep costs, and is entitled to a specific amount of time-for example, three full weeks and four weekends-each year for their own use. The other weeks, someone else has the vacation home. It's a turnkey style to get into a vacation home, free of traditional hassles (no worrying about the roof collapsing over the winter, for example, as there's likely a property caretaker included in your share) but it's harder to really make the vacation home feel like your own. Still, fractional ownership is a viable option for newbie or downsizing vacation home owners.

  • Joint ownership is when more than one family or individual collectively buy a vacation property. Since there are more people covering costs, this arrangement can be cheaper by half, or more. However, if you decide to buy a vacation home with someone else, you must be careful to clearly set out the terms of the partnership when you buy, preferably in a detailed legal contract. 


If you would like to know more about owning your own vacation home give us a call!

The Property Finders, your vacation home experts!


By Sean jordan @ One Percent Realty

Comment balloon 3 commentsSean Jordan • April 15 2010 08:46PM



I just bought a vacation home w-a-y off the beaten path. Yuma Arizona.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) about 10 years ago



Good approach, many very good properties are close to Toronto but fall in the same category that you are talking about.


However, everyone likes the big lakes, but the question is affordability.



Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) about 10 years ago

Brian i wouldnt say everyone likes the bigger Lakes.  I have a place up in Haliburton on a small secluded lake and would not trade it for the world.  To me the whole reason to go to the cottage is to get a away from every thing ....and every body!

Posted by Jason Dykstra (As Built Services) about 10 years ago