Recreational Property

That cabin on the lake you’ve always wanted? Buy it!  

Well let’s face it, we’ve all dreamt of having a cabin or condo where the family can gather and unwind from our busy over-stimulated lives, and now for the first time in a long time you may just have a prudent excuse to make it happen! 
Reports are coming out across Canada that recreational property sales are set for a period of sustained growth as Canada pulls its way towards a stable economy. What’s causing this trend? Many Canadians are sitting on healthy equity gains from Canada’s run in property prices, and the stock market’s frothy trajectory over the past few years. In addition to this, the baby boomer generation is looking to buy a secondary, less maintenance heavy property that will allow them to transition to their retirement travel plans. Many will split time between multiple destinations and a condo in the Okanagan is a great way to achieve that! nudge nudge… 
Other factors driving this trend are that many areas in BC in the recreational property category have sold off since the peak in 2008. They are now as close to bargains as they will get during this cycle. Along with this motivation, is the overall pent-up demand from years of buyers sitting on their hands.
Pitfalls to watch for with recreational properties are: How is that septic system functioning? and that well the owner says is artisan and provides  60gpm… yes, it may have 25 years ago when it was first drilled but time = change. Have these things thoroughly tested! Sources of water throughout BC have been known to fluctuate in volume and quality and it’s good to know the true history of a property’s source. Are you going to be in trouble next time those drought conditions return? Take this process on slowly and speak to experts, yes you will pay more at the beginning for proper reports (sometimes a few thousand) but in the long run, there’s no joy owning property with no water! 
When buying a condo unit the important details to consider are: how is the contingency reserve fund? Have they been paying into it adequately to compensate for future expenditures? What does the maintenance picture look like; is there a pile of deferred maintenance items just waiting to explode on the strata or has it been properly managed over the years. Simply reading two years worth of minutes can give immense insight into the quality of management within a strata. If you see them constantly deferring items as they arise, it may be a sign of a dangerous long term trend. 
If the intention is to enjoy the property part time, being part of a rental pool, such as the Summerland Lakefront Resort is a great way to go; carefree and low maintenance. 
However, if the family requires more space such as a cabin, there are property management companies offering service for those circumstances too. 
Getting to and from the area has become even easier as Westjet now has direct flights from Edmonton and Calgary with Air Canada offering direct flights from Vancouver. 
This has allowed the Penticton area to become a great launching pad for all of your vacation fun! Head to the wine trails and enjoy some of the most spectacular wineries in the world. Spend a day boating on the lake, or playing at one of the many beaches. 
After 5 years of declining real estate activity we are seeing a significant balancing occurring in the marketplace. The South Okanagan offers up tons of opportunity for those willing to explore.

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