Things To Consider Before Buying A Home On An Island

Posted on: 10 January 2018


If you're in the market for a home and are open to the idea of something unorthodox, one type of dwelling that you might encounter is a home on an island. While buying a home on a large island isn't necessarily noteworthy, buying the lone home on a small island — likely surrounded by other islands with one or more homes — is unique and enticing. Although you might be eager to jump into this opportunity, especially if there's considerable demand for the listing because few island homes come up for sale regularly, you should confer with your real estate agent and consider several topics before you move forward. Here are some things to ponder.

Home Vs. Cottage

Some people live on small islands permanently, while others buy island homes to use as cottages. Either approach can be suitable, and the climate where you live might actually dictate which direction you should take. You need to give ample thought to whether you'll buy the home to use as a permanent dwelling or as a cottage, as there are numerous financial considerations. For example, if you buy the home to live in 12 months a year, you'll be paying just one mortgage. However, if you buy the home as a cottage, you'll have the mortgage on it and on the house to buy to live in most of the time.

Travel To And From

Given its unique location, an island home requires a different approach when you want to get to it. People who live in island homes usually have boats as a means of getting from the mainland to the home, which may be necessary on a regular basis. During the wintertime, you'll want some snowmobiles if you plan on visiting the home (or living in it) when the water is frozen. These unique forms of travel also carry a cost, so you must keep this in mind when evaluating how much you wish to offer for the home.

Presence Of HOA

In some communities made up of numerous islands with houses on them, there may be a homeowners' association that sets rules for the community. These rules can vary, and may stipulate how your house has to look, for example. A big thing to remember about belonging to a homeowners association is that there are monthly fees, so you'll need to factor this expense into your decision on what to offer for the house. Additionally, if you don't like having to live with these rules, you may wish to seek an island house where there isn't an HOA in operation.