Touchstone On Lake Muskoka
In Muskoka, Canada's most coveted year-round cottage paradise, people can purchase a quarter interest of a luxurious fully furnished cottage from only $169,000 at Touchstone on Lake Muskoka. This compares quite favourably to the United States and even more favourably to the multimillion dollar price tags that often adorn Muskoka cottages. It also speaks to the investment potential of the luxury fractional real estate market in Canada over the years to come.
You want to own an impressive vacation home in an expensive resort area.The problem is you can't quite justify the expense because you'll only be using it for a portion of the year.
If that's the case, you may want to consider fractional ownership. It's the smart way to own your dream vacation home and is a trend that is catching on across North America, contributing to what some are calling the next great wave of the real estate boom.
For many, luxury fractional vacation home real estate is considered the perfect alternative to owning a year-round second home. It allows owners to tailor their ownership to accommodate their anticipated usage without the investment, ongoing expense and maintenance hassles of traditional ownership.
According to Walter Thompson, president of The GenerX Corporation, the company developing Touchstone on Lake Muskoka, a $75-million, 30-acre luxury fractional lakeside community of cottages and villas on Lake Muskoka, buying fractionally not only makes luxury properties more affordable, it just makes sense. "After all, why own a cottage year-round when you really only want to use it a few months a year? Why pay a full year of realty taxes and a full year of maintenance costs when you can enjoy all the benefits of cottage ownership for only a fraction of the price?" says Thompson.
Touchstone, patterned after the highly successful model developed in the United States, provides luxurious three and four bedroom cottages and two and three bedroom villas appointed with finishes and furnishings comparable to or better than whole ownership cottages that sell in the millions.
And because people are only purchasing the fraction of the cottage or villa they can use, it costs them less to operate as well. Realty taxes and maintenance costs for a quarter interest of a three bedroom Grand Muskokan Cottage at Touchstone are only $700 a month- the same amount some high rollers spend to rent a Muskoka cottage for a day!
Ownership is through a traditional deeded interest. As with whole ownership, people are free to sell, mortgage or bequeath their investment to a loved one.
"Many people are more familiar with fractional ownership than they may realize," says Thompson. "The children who inherited their cottage from their parents are really living in a fractional arrangement. With Touchstone, all the messy bits of sharing costs and time are sorted out for you."
For purchasers interested in buying multiple fractions, Touchstone offers a traditional whole ownership option, ideal for those who wish to spend more time in Muskoka over the summer months, or simply for those who want to avoid the maintenance hassles of owning a cottage elsewhere.
A usage calendar determines when owners occupy their units. In the case of Touchstone this has been adopted to the Muskoka lifestyle. A purchaser of a quarter interest owns two fixed weeks in July or August and one week every other month of the year. Pretty much the average a Muskoka cottager will use their cottage according to a recent survey by the District of Muskoka. And when it is not being used, whether fractional or owned in whole, a convenient Rental Pool option provides extra income.
"People don't want to be hamstrung by their cottage," says Thompson. "People's busy lives take them elsewhere and they want to enjoy other parts of the world without feeling guilty. Fractional ownership lets them do that."
Touchstone is also part of Intrawest's Resort 2 Resort program, allowing owners to exchange their weeks for time at other Intrawest properties worldwide.
The fractional trend seems to be catching on with people from just about every walk of life: couples managing busy careers and raising children; young professionals looking for the perfect escape; and those who have retired or are planning on retiring in a few years. The one thing they all have in common is the desire to own a hassle-free luxury vacation home in a prime location, and one that provides access to plenty of amenities and services.
In a recent study published in the United States, 86% of industry professionals said they would enter the shared ownership industry again, despite the market conditions. This is adding fuel to the industry and experts predict an explosive growth over the next twenty years.
In the case of Touchstone on Lake Muskoka, Thompson says: "Fractional ownership is one of the most flexible, cost effective ways of owning your year-round, dream vacation home.
At Touchstone, you're not just buying an exceptional cottage or villa to build a lifetime of memories, you're also investing in a real estate opportunity that is sweeping North America and is expected to appreciate substantially in the years to come."