A cabin in Alberta can be a wonderful place. It can be a family getaway where you can enjoy days out on the lake, or it can be a place of quiet solitude away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whatever you’re looking for, searching for the perfect cabin is different from regular house hunting. Here are some things to look for when buying a cabin.

1. Research the Area

A recreational lake is very different from a fishing lake. One allow motorboats and jet-skis while the other is only open to paddle canoes. The lake may be near to needed amenities, or completely inaccessible in heavy rains or winter. All of these details need to be figured out before you buy. If possible, rent a cabin in the area before settling on a purchase. This will help you get familiar with the area and how people use it, so you know if it’s part of why you want a vacation home.

2. Get Mortgage Approval First

Vacation homes will vary quite widely in price, which is why you’ll need to have a firm budget before looking. Get a mortgage approved before anything else. Then, when you’re looking at listings, you’ll know what you can afford, and what you can’t.

3. Think About Rental Income

If you’re planning on using the cottage a lot during the summer months, rentals may be out of the question, but if it’s going to be a rental property some of the time, then make sure you look for something people will want. Multiple bedrooms will be a must, as well as a full kitchen and easy access to the lake. People who rent cabins want a relaxing getaway with most, if not all, the amenities. If they didn’t care about that, they’d simply go camping. Make sure the property you buy, if it’s going to be a rental property, is more “comfortable” than “rustic.”

4. Lake Access and Boat Maintenance

Is the property right on the water? If it is, do you or can you have a dock? Will the facilities on the lake support your kind of lake experience, whether that’s a nearby gas station or a full dock for unloading motorboats. All of these questions are important when you’re looking for a summer getaway. Look for something that, if necessary, won’t need much work, but be sure you put money aside for maintenance. Boat maintenance, both the boat itself and the many things it requires, is one of the largest unexpected costs of owning a cabin. So before you sign off on the place, ensure you can afford the costs both now and in the future.

Finding the perfect cabin is very different from regular house hunting. It’s important when looking for a vacation home in Alberta that you consider why you want a cabin in the first place, then look for a lake or area that’s most conducive to that lifestyle. If you do, you’ll have an easier time finding a place that works for you now and in the future.

Posted by Gurpreet Ghatehora on


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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. Copyright 2023 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All rights reserved.

Listing information last updated on March 24th, 2023 at 8:46am CDT.