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Buying Recreational Property In B.C. What Type Of Recreational User Are You?

Relaxing in your hammock under the forested canopy by the side of a glistening lake shore may be what fuels your recreational property dreams. BC has the most unique waterfront and recreational properties for sale, located in breathtaking settings across of the province. Finding the perfectly located recreational property that suits your lifestyle, budget and outdoor activity needs now and into the future can be a challenge. The ultimate location will allow you to enjoy the maximum amount of recreational time, with the minimum amount of travel time, maintenance and money. Remember that the rest of the family may have very different ideas about how they want to spend their weekend getaway time, and making the most of your recreational time is what having rec-property is all about.

That being said the location of your recreational property to your full time home can be the biggest consideration. If you have to travel overnight or more than 5-6 hours to get to the property, you are likely to spend less weekend time there and only make a handful of planned trips a year. Realistically determining which regions of the province to look in should be the starting point to finding your recreational dream land. Vancouver Island has breathtaking mountain and ocean view properties, a mild climate, and year round ferry access from the mainland. The Fraser Valley’s Harrison Hot Springs and Harrison Lake area offers Lower Mainland residents an easy to commute to semi rural paradise of lake view and lake front homes that make ideal rec properties. The Thompson Okanagan and Similkameen regions are famous for their lakes, beaches and summer sunshine and some of the best winter ski and snowboarding mountain resorts. If your soul craves a more remote natural setting the vast Cariboo Chilcotin region of the province is within a days drive from Vancouver and boasts many hideaway cabins & acreages set amongst countless lakes. The Cariboo has long been sought after as an outdoors man’s paradise where you can explore, fish, ATV and hunt in rugged remote beauty.

Once you have selected your region of choice the next step is to Identifying what it is you see yourself doing at your property for recreation fun? One must consider that you and your families needs will grow and change, and so will the activities and hobbies you will want to partake in as years go by. The first step is to make a list of the things you want to do when you are at your property and this will determine if you are seeking a seasonal property for spring/summer/fall or if you require a property with winterized accommodation and year round access. Making sure your rec property location is adjacent to or very close to your main activities will allow you to spend more time doing whatever it is you love to do. For many folks being on the water is what recreation is all about, being out on lake in the boat fishing or kayaking and paddle boarding is what fills their soul. If being on the water is where you will want to spend the majority of your time then finding suitable waterfront or lake-view property is where you will want to focus your search. Outdoor motorsports enthusiasts need access to trails and remote roads to ATV and dirt bike on, and snowmobile on in winter. If you are going to want to spend the majority of your time on your ATV exploring, then finding property that has direct trail access will save you countless hours of packing up trailering loading and unloading your unit just to enjoy your favourite pastime. We are spoiled with endless year round outdoor activities and every family is as unique in their interests. 

Now that you have identified what types of outdoor recreation you will be partaking in and where in the province you are going to start looking the next step is to contact your bank or mortgage provider to find out exactly what you can afford to spend on a recreational land. Many recreational property dreams are quickly dashed when buyers learn that the lending rules for secondary and bare land holdings are extremely strict. As secondary and rec property mortgages are gauged by a different set of rules that your existing home mortgage. Buying bare land without any current services or dwellings on it is an even stricter process, as banks and mortgage lenders deem these purchases as “high risk” and qualifying under these strict guidelines means that you will have to put down anywhere from 20 to 50% down payment on bare land to secure the rest of the financing, and even then you may have to seek a private lender to obtain it. Furthermore, you will have other expenses in setting up the new location to your liking. 

Once you have determined the mortgageable amount you can borrow you can narrow your search and determine what properties in what areas you would like to book viewings at. That said, this is just the beginning of scrutinizing each of these properties to ensure they are actually worth pursuing. Before your initial visit to the area it is important to research nearby towns, amenities and even when you are there your should investigate potential neighbours. The pristine environment surrounding the property you are planning to purchase may be slated for a new 20 lot subdivision or planned logging activities will be removing most of the surrounding forested areas in the near future. The property could offer you that hammock in the trees by the lake shore, but if the waterfront is crowded and noisy most weekends or the access road has constant traffic your relaxation level just tanked and it may be a sign to keep looking. Extensive due diligence in rural land ownership is now your next step in vetting which properties suit all your needs and will remain a great investment for now and into the future.

Join me again here next month as I continue to give explanation and insight into selecting and vetting recreational land investments, starting with purchasing waterfront propertry for a second home, cabin or RV lot.

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