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A self-funding retirement plan

by Neil Sharma on 22 May 2018

Greater Toronto Area residents are scooping up vacation properties hours north of the region and turning tidy profits.

The North Bay region, in particular, has born witness to swelling prices.

“I’ve sold a number of properties just in the last year alone, where we have autoworkers living on the north side of Toronto who have bought investment properties,” said Shannon Unger, a RE/MAX Legend Real Estate broker. “One of my clients actually sold a couple of investment properties down south, generated cash and bought a retirement property up here to retire in, but renting it out in the meantime.”

A major reason the value of vacation and rental properties has increased is the region surrounding North Bay has become a year-round destination.

“We get rentals, not just during summers, but during winter fishing season as well,” said Unger. “Winter fishing season is becoming a popular time of year for our cottage rentals.”

As working remotely becomes increasingly commonplace, cottage country, in all its bucolic glory, will continue attracting droves of people. However, the buy-in cost is escalating rather quickly.

“We have families that have come into the area, especially with people who are more mobile and only have to be at a desk in Toronto a couple of days a week, and who have secondary accommodations in Toronto,” said Unger. “I listed a beautiful waterfront property in 2016, and there was an offer on it in the $550,000 range, but that buyer was unable to close on it. A year later, that same buyer came back and paid $635,000.”

According to Toronto-based Jay Fleming, buying power goes so much further outside the city now that he’s noticed a growing cohort of people planning their retirements outside of The Big Smoke.

“There are so many great little lakes around the Kawarthas and you can get places for around $400-450,000,” said the Royal LePage Your Community Realty sales rep. “Why put it all in the city when you’re funding your future retirement home that you can use right now? If you’re not using it that frequently, you can use it as an income-producing property that you rent out, which, if you go that route, will self-fund.”


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