So the crown jewel of our budding little empire is the family cottage. ‘Up north‘, as we say around these parts. The cottage was originally bought by my wife’s grandparents in the 1950’s for $6,500.
The cottage sits on 50 feet of waterfront.
This lake is 3 miles by 10 miles, spring fed, sand bottom and all around awesome.
Four generations of our friends and family have been visiting the cottage as a home away from home. But like most lake houses, the cycles of death and inheritance had taken their toll.
Certain family members, aka the Dura sisters, caused the house to be put up for sale. This was several years before I was really in a position to make a play for it. This was heartbreaking for our clan, but the Fates were not done weaving with this heirloom.
Soon after the cottage went on the market, came 2008 and the economy collapsed.
Seems nobody was in the mood for a second home. (Vulture Note* Economic downturns are a great time to buy people’s expensive toys, these luxuries are the first to go in a downsizing) This downturn lasted until 2012 when my wife and I decided to make a plan and try to will ourselves into sole ownership.
We took out a mortgage and paid the aunts off. After consolidating the cottage, we put $58,000 into it to really bring it up to date and started making it available on VRBO. I did a post about our experience on VRBO, so far it has been all positive.
The cottage nowadays almost pays for itself (only a $3k difference per year). We plan on retiring here and hoping that our kids will continue the tradition long after we are gone.
There is an updated post about our $58,000Renovation of the Cottage, if you like watching HGTV, you’ll like this Update!