I can’t believe it been a month already since we did our last answered questions blog. I am also surprised at the response to asking the questions, so let’s get started.
Question Number One: We are considering looking for a cottage. How did you pick your location?
I knew the area we are in. When my children were small a very good friend had a cottage minutes from where we are today. We spent many weekends each Summer there. When I convinced husband it was time for him and me to start looking, I took him back to that area because I knew it and liked it. He fell in love with the area in only a few hours.
What attracted us back to the area and what everyone should consider when purchasing is: What are your expectations for the cottage? Do you want to use it often? How much are you willing to drive and what amenities do you want or need? These need to be considered before you start looking at cottages. Spend some time in the area before you buy. Make sure it’s where you want to spend time before you buy.
Question Number Two: You have had a lot of challenges at the cottage. How did you find out who to hire to fix the problems?
The challenges at the cottage never end. It will always be something. It helps if you have a bit of handyman experience or are willing to learn. But, even with that, you will still need things done that you can’t do yourself. There are other things that you will need to be done regularly and will always have to hire out for, like emptying your holding tanks.
The upside of the cottage area, most are small towns. If you have never grown up in a small town, they work differently than the city does. There will only be one or two people in the area who do certain types of jobs. They will have a good or bad reputation and your neighbors will know both.
Most of the businesses will be generation owned and they care about the people they do the work for. Their business is repeat customers. They also all know the people who do the other work in the area and are happy to refer you to someone you need or sometimes will even take care of that for you.
Unlike the big city, the small town store will give you a name. So will the local hardware store, the marina or the neighbors.
Things work on trust. You will be leaving a key or dropping one-off. You will trust them to go in and they trust you will pay them. Also, remember to make sure you do. Unlike the big city, they all know each other. If you don’t pay one person or take too long, your line of credit will disappear fast and you will be paying up front. The trust works two ways.
Payment is also different in cottage country. There aren’t a lot of people who take credit cards and you might be stopping by to drop the payments off at the wife’s hairdresser business or at the farm they live on and putting it in the barbecue (when it’s off) because they are away for the weekend.
Question Number Three: You seem to love it at the cottage. Would you ever live there?
This is an interesting question and one we have been talking about for some time now.
The Love Shack is too small to live in. It is just under 700 square feet and does not have enough land to turn it into a full-size home. Many of our neighbor’s who have retired and whose cottages are about the same size, come up and stay from May till Oct. But they go home when the weather gets bad, like this heat we have had all Summer.
I do see us moving up to the area at some point. It has become home for us and for me who did grow up in a small town it feels like life should be. I am not a fan of the city.
When that is going to happen is still up in the air. But that lake and I will be spending our retirement together. That’s a for sure.
Thank you for your questions. Keep them coming and I will keep answering them.