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So you want to buy a cottage. Your head is filled with visions of canoeing on a placid lake and roasting marshmallows over the fire. Well, snap out of it, because when it comes to cottage buying, your emotions will cost you big time. Throw a wet blanket on that fire for a moment, and dip your toes into the chilly reality of capital gains, estate planning, and the other financial issues of recreational properties.

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Scarcity boosting Ontario cottage prices

People from the Toronto area who are looking to buy a lakeside retreat north of the city are finding relatively few sellers in cottage country this year

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The lure of the cottage – can you afford it?

The price of a cottage is just the beginning: Property taxes, utilities and maintenance can really add up. Before you buy, know what you can afford by following the 32-per-cent guideline

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Mulling investing in a vacation home? Here are Canada’s top 5 markets

Investors looking for recreational property have numerous options to choose from in these sought-after areas

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The joys of cottage life, at a fraction of the costs

Fractional ownership is essentially the old-fashioned time-share: A number of people each pay for the right to use a facility for a specific period of time each year

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Is a cottage a good investment?

Buying a cottage is most often an emotional purchase, so don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s also a sound financial investment

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A vacation retreat vs. a stock: Which is the better investment?

Let’s set aside intangibles such as pride of cottage ownership and the benefits of family time for a moment and crunch some numbers

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Vacation property: emotional buy or sensible investment?

The decisions you have to make before buying a cottage aren’t necessarily financial. They’re lifestyle questions

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Six tax mistakes cottage owners should avoid

If you own a cottage, or are thinking of buying one, be mindful of the following cottage-owner mistakes that can cost you big tax dollars if you’re not careful

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Plan to earn rental income from your cottage? Consider these tax implications

Whether it’s a cottage, cabin, camp or chalet, more Canadians are looking to defray the cost of ownership by earning some rental income, or trying to deduct some of the costs related to their vacation homes

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Need a mortgage on a cottage? Here’s what lenders look for

While the basic process of applying for and qualifying for a mortgage are the same, lenders will look at many more variables when assessing a property before lending money to buy a cottage

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A cottage agreement can save the family headaches

If you own a cottage and are thinking of leaving the property to your heirs one day, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to share the place successfully. But you can stack the odds in favour of a happy co-ownership through use of one terrific tool

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Leaving the family cottage to children will cost you – or them

Whether you gift a vacation property, sell it to your heirs, put it into joint tenancy, or you give it by will, there will be a capital gains hit for the owner of the property

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Transferring a cottage after you’re gone: Five options

No matter how you bequeath a cottage, there will be tax to pay. Here are five options explained

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How to keep the cottage in the family

Estate planners recommend having frank discussions about the cottage to avoid stress, family feuds and potentially hefty bills down the road

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The feud-free way to co-own a cottage with your family

Owning a cottage with a family member means sharing the work and expenses, so having an agreement to cover ownership, upkeep, cleaning and costs is important

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