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Canadian Fractional Cottage Ownership

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 23 March 2004 00:00

Canadians who cannot afford the cottage of their dreams or who do not want to put all their financial eggs into one recreational basket may find that shared arrangements offer a viable variation on solo ownership.

One Ontario project describes its cottage ownership alternative this way: "Fractional ownership comes with lower out-of-pocket costs than buying a traditional cottage, without maintenance, security and housekeeping worries of a second home."

Developer Spruce Tree Resorts Inc., the owners of Muskoka's Delawana Inn , reports that the concept of fractional ownership, which is relatively new to Ontario, has been providing alternative vacation ownership opportunities in the United States and Europe for more than 15 years. Each owner has the option of purchasing 5- or 10-week fractions, providing summer fixed weeks, and additional rotating weeks throughout the year.

If a few fun-filled luxurious weeks a year appeal more than the rights and responsibilities of full ownership, one of Champlain Shores' 51 cottage suites may be your new summer get-a-way.

Spruce Tree Resorts recently announced plans for this C$25 million dollar development that they describe as the largest private sector project in Haliburton's history and the first of its kind on the Shores of Lake Kashagawigamog in Haliburton County. Better know by visitors as "The Haliburton Highlands," Haliburton County encompasses more than 600 lakes, thousands of miles of shorelines and wilderness terrain bordering on the legendary Algonquin Provincial Park. The historic village of Haliburton is a short minute drive away and can be reached by boat via the lake which is part of a 5-lake chain providing more than 35 miles of boating.

Champlain Shores is named after Canada's mapmaker and explorer, Samuel De Champlain , and comprises 107 acres of recreational forest and 1600 feet of Lake Kashagawigamog waterfront. This Private Residence Club includes two beach areas, outdoor pool, hiking, cross-country ski trails and the 7000 sq. ft. Champlain Lodge clubhouse, complete with health and fitness centre, Great Room and hot tubs.

The four Cottage Country Residences® at Champlain Shores are named after great canoe manufacturers: The Chestnut, The Langford, The Peterborough and The Algonquin. A variety of canoes are provided with each Residence for the use of the owners. Developers insist that each cottage suite, some one-floor and others two-level layouts, has been optimized to provide privacy and the best waterfront views. The four cottage residences sit on a natural peninsula. Each Residence contains six private suites with three-bedroom layouts, private screened porches and open balcony decks.

What does your money buy you?

Each owner acquires an undivided one-tenth deeded interest and title to a waterfront luxury three-bedroom cottage residence, the property on which it sits as well as 100 private and pristine forested recreational acres that are adjacent. Each interest entitles each owner to five weeks of unlimited use of the cottage residence throughout each year. The cottage residence is part of a condominium so the roads, pathways, beachfront, recreation center, pool and boat slips are owned and maintained by the condominium corporation. Your tenth share can be kept in the family for generations or sold at any time after registration subject to the procedures set out in your ownership documents.

The cottage suite is yours to enjoy and to share with your friends and family whenever you like, to a maximum of eight people. Each unit has one parking space in the designated parking area for the building the unit is in and one unassigned parking space in the general parking areas.

This type of ownership is not eligible for mortgages but purchasers can use personal lines of credit or other personal loans to finance the purchase. Cottage residence maintenance fees are approximately $165 per month, and include a maintenance fee for the condominium corporation and the shared expenses attributed to the cottage residence. The combined charges include everything except long distance calls. It covers the taxes, insurance, hydro, grounds maintenance and upkeep, cleaning, equipment and reserve fund for major repairs and replacement, snow removal, administration costs, property management, garbage removal and even television and high speed internet as a satellite dish will service all cottage residences.

Lakeside living without the drudgery of cottage maintenance does sound appealing, especially with Canada's all to short summer season. Just make sure you understand what your rights, responsibilities and recourse for satisfaction are before you sign on the dotted line.

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