Winter Cabins: Tips & Insights for Prospective Buyers

Let’s assume, for a moment, that you enjoy the cold weather.

That you’re a mountain person, not a beach person. That you love brisk morning walks through the woods, quiet evenings on the back porch under the stars—all that jazz.

If you fit this description, then we’ve got a question for you: ever thought about investing in a winter cabin? A cozy little snow-bound hideaway?

Well, if what we’re describing is your idea of a good time, then you’re in luck. Here are a few helpful things to keep in mind as you begin your search for that perfect plot of paradise.

Get a home inspection done first

As with any property purchase, it’s best to get a home inspection done before you sign on the dotted line.

Why? Well, when you’re dealing with property in very chilly climes, you’re much more likely to run into issues like frozen pipes, weakened roofs (as a result of heavy snow accumulation), and so on.

Hire a home inspector to help identify any potential problems, and then assess whether you’ve got the budget—or the time and energy—to tackle necessary renovations.

Remember: things can get isolated (and icy)

Some people love, even crave, isolation.

If you’re not one of those people, then investing in a winter cabin might not be such a great idea after all.

If you’re not comfortable with lashing on a pair of snowshoes to get around, shoveling intense amounts of snow, or contending with potentially impassable, icy winter roads, or if you’re just the type of person who needs to be around other people, maybe explore other vacation home options, or pursue short-term rentals in wintry areas.

Rentability and financial factors

Rentability. It’s always on the mind of a vacation homeowner. And there are all sorts of factors that determine how rentable your vacation home is, from location to size, amenities, and so on.

Location is key

If you need to earn a passive income through this vacation house to offset mortgage expenses (more on that in a minute) or just to get some extra cash in your account each season, invest in a spot that’s within easy driving distance of the nearest city or town. (Note: that means no more than two hours, maximum, in the car.)

Renters don’t want to exert themselves when they’re getting away, and it helps to have the basic necessities—grocery store, gas station, and so on—within driving distance so they can load up on supplies if need be.

You’ll pay more than a mortgage

Yeah, we know we mentioned mortgages earlier, but that’s not the only thing you’ll have to shell out for when you buy this new spot.

Depending on where you buy property, you could be investing heavily in property taxes, not to mention utilities expenses, homeowner’s insurance, and more. Unless you’re in a financial position to fork over possibly more than a third of your income to this vacation home each year, it’s best to wait and make that purchase after you’re earning more money.

Sufficiently inspired? Equipped with the knowledge you need to proceed? Start hunting down that dream cabin of yours today.