It’s that special time of the year – the first weekend in the new year where you pack up your car, grab the best snacks, and head up to open the cottage! The kids are in the back, kicking the front seat with joy. You’re also excited but, in the back of your mind, you know there is a lot of work ahead to get the cottage ready for the season. Lots of cleaning, lots of rearranging, lots of maintenance. But, that’s the price of having a cottage, right!? As this is an annual event in my life, I thought I would share a few tips and tricks with you, because experienced, professional mortgage brokers and financial advisors like myself have more to bring to the table than great mortgage rates.
If you need to renovate….
Did a pesky squirrel chew through your electrical unit? Or maybe your roof didn’t hold up very well over the winter months. Are there trees down on your property that needs to be removed? And let’s hope your water heater tank didn’t seize up over the cold winter months.
Sudden renovations or repairs are something you must consider with your cottage property, like any home. Something is bound to happen, so it’s important to have savings set aside for these annoying incidences. Consider putting some money in a tax-free savings account (TFSA). TFSAs offer the benefit of tax-free withdrawals whenever you want. Another advantage is tax-free growth. Let’s say you save $5,500 per year being added to that account over 20 years, that could mean as much as $39,068 in additional funds in your pocket over time. Removing money doesn’t affect your eligibility for the following Federal benefits: Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Child Tax Credit, or GST credit. This means this is a great way to ensure you have some extra money put aside for unexpected renovations because you might not have a big expense this year, but you should still set aside some savings for potential expenses in the future. Plus you may make some money as well!
Take a look at your mortgage. Is it time to refinance!
Maybe it’s time to look at your mortgage options. This tip might not be about cleaning out the gutters but, your mortgage should be reviewed every couple of years as your finances change. Why pay the same mortgage rates or insurance rates on your cottage when you could be paying less? Plus, there is no need for the hassle of shopping around. That’s where I come in. As your mortgage broker, I’ll help you refinance your mortgage and find the best mortgage rates at no cost to you. That way you can put the extra money towards fixing that old dock you’ve been talking about for years.
Do the hard work now and get it over with – on to the dirty work
It’s time for all those little tasks that need to be done to get your cottage ready for a summer of fun. Make sure you use this handy to-do list so your next visit is worry-free.
□ Open the windows and air it out.
□ Check for any mould or mildew
□ Plug your appliances back in. Fingers crossed that pesky squirrel didn’t chew through any of the wires
□ Turn your water back on and run the taps
□ Check everything that was stored away for damage that could become a safety hazard
□ Unpack and clean all your outdoor furnishings like your BBQ, lawn chairs, water toys, and so on
□ Rake any leaves off the lawn to let the grass breathe. This also makes your cottage look lived-in and deters unwanted visitors from breaking in.
□ Install a home security system on your cottage; is always a good idea so you can keep an eye on it when you’re not there. (Also, it helps you secure a lower insurance rate)
□ Give the inside a thorough cleaning and dispose of any mouse traps you set up for the winter
□ Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
Is your cottage in a different province, or even a different country?
It’s important to be covered by travel insurance in case you twist your ankle while putting in the dock, or if sudden death occurs. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Insurance and incidents aren’t something we like to think about but they happen.
You can find travel insurance plans with different levels of coverage, including:
- Emergency medical only;
- Medical and non-medical vacation package plans (including protection of baggage, personal property, and trip cancellation); and,
- Multiple trip coverage, if you plan on going on multiple trips throughout the year.
There are many travel insurance options out there, but a financial advisor, like myself, can help you navigate through all the options and decide which one is best for you and your family.
At the end of the day, owning a cottage can create hundreds of memories that last a lifetime. I am always here to answer any questions and to help you make educated financial choices when it comes to any first, second, third, or fourth homes that you may have. Call today to book an appointment at 705-315-0516 or book online here and let’s dive into an interesting conversation about how I can help you save money when it comes to insurance and your mortgage!