Why Owning a Cottage is Not for Me

After having a long, harsh winter it looks like spring has finally sprung. The weather is nicer; people are outside doing yard work, out for a jog or walking their dogs. Everyone just seems happier in general. With the first official long weekend of summer coming up in Canada, known as  May 2-4 weekend, I often hear talk of people going up to their cottage for the long weekend or “getting their cottage ready” for the summer.

paying rent with a credit card

Growing up with immigrant parents, I never spent summers at the cottage.  I don’t thinking owning or renting a cottage was ever one of my parents’ priorities.  I had actually never been to a cottage until I was in my early 20s. I’ll admit it was nice to sit on the dock and relax, but I can only do that for so long. My alcohol tolerance is quite low, so I wouldn’t be able to spend the whole weekend drinking, unless I wanted to be passed out and severely hung over the next day. So, no thanks.

The idea of buying a cottage and splitting the cost with several family members has been brought up more than once in conversation from both sides of my family. While they seem very enthusiastic and eager to buy one, I am totally against the idea. The only reason why I would want to buy a cottage is if it was going to be used as a rental property.

Let’s face it. Buying a cottage means buying another house, except it’s much further away and you barely live in it. It means another mortgage. It means another house to maintain which can translate into spending a lot of your precious summer weekends, (which are far and too few when you live in Canada) fixing stuff.

I already have a house of my own to clean and maintain. I don’t want another headache and unnecessary work that isn’t going to help me out in the long run.

I understand that if you have kids or are planning on having kids, having a cottage would be a great idea. It could be something that you could keep in the family for future generations.  Since we are a DINK (dual income no kids) couple and most likely will stay one, having a cottage is not in our best interests.

Unless you are paying someone to maintain it for you, I feel that owning a cottage is a lot of work, which is why I would rather rent it out to people to use and help pay down the mortgage. Sure, you run the risk of having crappy renters who trash the place, but you have the power to decide who you want to rent it out to.

I love travelling. Not just cruises or going to an all-inclusive in Cuba or Mexico, but REALLY travelling. I would rather go somewhere exotic and explore a new country, than drive four hours to the cottage. I don’t even think that would change in 30 plus years when I retire.  I can’t sit still for long periods of time, which is why neither of my jobs are strictly desk jobs. I know you do things such as hiking or canoeing, but even that gets boring for me as well.

If you don’t have a cottage in the family and you want a cottage experience, but don’t want the work involved, then it’s best to make friends with someone who has a cottage or just rent one out with a group for the weekend. That way, the only costs you have to worry about are gas (which right now is a HUGE cost), food and alcohol.


Do you have a cottage? Do you think owning a cottage is worth it?

11 thoughts on “Why Owning a Cottage is Not for Me

  1. It’s interesting how different regions have there little summer weekend escapes. Here in NJ people have beach cottages in the Jersey Shore. In NYC it’s the Hamptons. I’m with you on this one. Now that i own a house I don’t need to own another. Plus the traffic to head down the Shore is crazy here. I can’t imagine spending hours on the road each weekend to enjoy a mediocre beach. I have to admit that because I was born in the caribbean I was spoiled by beautiful beaches at a young age. I’d rather spend that money on a trip back to my lovely island.

  2. we have a similar concept in the US midwest, except we call it a cabin, and it’s usually on a lake. People head to their cabins for the weekend, and engage in water sports or fishing on the lake. I understand the desire and the attractiveness to want to ‘get away,’ but it essentially locks you into what you’re doing on the weekends during the nice weather season – if you want to get your money’s worth anyway. I’d rather go someplace different for a week or two on vacation each year.

    • I think it makes more sense if you really into those types of activities. I’ve never fished a day in my life and have no desire to. But I still like to eat fish! 🙂

  3. We are the same the cottage life is not for us. We have no interest nor did we grow up with the cottage life in our family. Our friends had a cottage for years but recently just sold it because they outlived it. They just said it was getting too borning. We aren’t big drinkers either. It’s the same with camping. Why pack up your life to go hang out in a trailer or camper? I’d rather save our money and travel the world. That’s just us though.

  4. I agree. I don’t think it’s worth the headache and responsibility. It’s best to just simply rent or, my favorite option, find a friend who has a timeshare that they aren’t going to use and get a super cheap place to stay. I apply this to other recreation as well. If you are only going out on a boat a few times a year just rent one! Don’t buy a $15,000 boat to use a few times a year and have to maintain it. Great post!

  5. I have kids, and this is really something I’ve never understood. I’d rather just rent a place for when we need it. Having one property (our house) is hassle enough! If we were obscenely wealthy we’d be able to have someone else take care of all those details and never have them cross our minds, but even then we would probably just rent what we wanted when we wanted it instead of owning. You can visit more different places that way, with less waste.

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