We are learning that the world is truly a small and interconnected village. Although we are currently going through some rough patches in the economy, those of us who have been on the planet long enough know that today’s Bear Market also represents an opportunity that has not been duplicated for more than a decade. At the core of all purchase decisions is “value” and “risk”.
Waterfront Real Estate Investment is Different
Generally you have to apply “triple bottom line accounting” to your consideration of a waterfront property purchase. The primary motivation for most people for entering the market, up or down sizing a waterfront property is the lifestyle value that the purchase decision conveys to them. Often it is hard to put a value on serenity, peace and quiet and pure natural surroundings. Once you live by the water, you will know instantly because your soul will tell you that the decision was wise beyond description. Moving to quieter more peaceful digs from an overheated cottage party scene atmosphere can have the same long lasting soothing effect on the soul.
Unless you are an island living unto yourself the pass through quality of life benefits extend to family and friends. You have to ask yourself the value of sharing the cottage lifestyle with those you love. If you have ever taken a child to the beach or seen a child playing by the water either alone, with siblings or friends, it’s hard not to be moved by the joy the experience brings to them.
More pragmatically one must look at the purchase of a waterfront property in terms of finance and investment. What do we know about the investment value of waterfront real estate? The track record of the growth in market value of waterfront real estate in Ontario has been spectacular. In many locales it is not uncommon since 2000 to have witness 10 to 15% compounded growth and in the case of premium locations and prime lake waterfront the results have seen 25-30% year over year increases.
According to one prominent recreational property realtor who specializes in waterfront property in south central Ontario, pricing of waterfront real estate grew in 2007 to record high levels. In 2008 listings were up overall by about 12%, but pricing although under pressure, is holding in most areas. Such has been the case with waterfront real estate for two decades. Because the supply of waterfront is relatively scarce pricing tends to accelerate faster in good economic times and deteriorate much more slowly in difficult times. If one takes the long term view typical of real estate purchases, the evidence is that real estate, particularly waterfront, real estate is one of the most reliable and safe havens for investment.
Like any good investment decision buying is the key. Making the investment with the purse and not the heart will provide a platform for long term success. The old adage of “buy low sell high” is a useful tome for all economic times. In the time ahead there will appear in some markets once in a lifetime opportunities for those who have the means. There are many strategies in addition, that can mitigate your real estate investment exposure. You can share risk by making the investment with a family member or friend. You can rent your property and afford yourself an income stream and certain tax benefits that can lessen the effect of mortgage payments.
At the end of the day though, you can count on several important points that are key to waterfront real estate investments.
Real property doesn’t wear out or go out of fashion.
Medium to long term experience shows that supply – a lack there of – invariably puts upward pressure on price(value).
You can comfortably and peacefully ride out the vagaries of market conditions on a dock or on your own private beach.
There are no loons calling nightly to owners of equity paper.
There has never been a better time to look at waterfront real estate investment. Elliot Lake waterfront has exploded in the last few years as the number one choice for new cottage property buyers because average families can own the cottage of their dreams – NOW! – based on the ultra competitive pricing of its real estate – still a fraction of the pricing in more southern markets.