The Cottage


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 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, it was 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 will likely do a future post about our experience on VRBO, so far it has been all positive.


The cottage nowadays almost pays for itself ($24k out/$21k in 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 $58,000 Renovation of the Cottage, if you like watching HGTV, you’ll like this Update!


6 thoughts on “The Cottage

  1. Pingback: The Sunday Best (3/12/2017) - Physician on FIRE

  2. My grandparents went in with siblings on a piece of land & each had a cottage (3 total) on long island. Which was okay until the next generations wanted to share it. My dad is one of 5 and all have kids. Trouble was the deed for the land was held by 1 sibling (of the grandparents generation). Legal battles later cabins and properties were separated, but it wasn’t pretty.
    My parents ended up with a summer place (not winterized), and there is family history there too. My mom owns it and when we were younger it was rented for part of the summer to offset costs. We’ll see what the future holds, but mom just got the foundation leveled. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • One recen tgood thing is that my state has revised its property tax laws so that current taxes are no longer ‘uncapped’ and reevaluated provided the next owner is a direct relative of the prior owner. This solves a huge issue and was one of the main reason why many ‘family cottages’ don’t stay in the family year after year


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