Fractional Ownership Real Estate Makes Big Splash on Shores of Lake Muskoka

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Booming U.S. vacation home model takes Muskoka real estate market by storm with the development of Touchstone on Lake Muskoka.

People don’t want to be hamstrung by their cottage

In Muskoka, Canada’s most coveted year round cottage paradise, people can purchase a quarter interest of a luxurious fully furnished three bedroom cottage for only $248,000 at Touchstone On Lake Muskoka . This compares quite favourably to the United States where values for a similar interest now average nearly three times that amount. And even more favourably to the multi-million 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.

The market has grown from US$160M in 1999 to US$1.5B by the end of 2005 but is still in its infancy in Canada where only 17 of the 188 Fractional Interest Properties reside according to Ragatz and Associates, a the leading consulting firm tracking the industry.

This is good news for Canada’s early adopters who can buy in at the market’s early stages and enjoy their dream cottage while increasing demand in Canada for the limited supply of luxury product allows values to catch up to those in the United States.

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 whole 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.”

“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?” Thompson points out.

Touchstone, patterned after the highly successful model developed in the United States, provides luxurious 3 and 4 bedroom cottages and fabulous 2 and 3 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 3 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 traditional 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.”

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 2 fixed weeks in July or August and 1 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.

“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 let’s them do that.”

The 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, 71% of fractional owners report being “Very Satisfied” with their purchase — and they’re telling their friends and relatives. 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.”

To learn more, visit the Fractional Ownership Resource Centre. Only at http://www.touchstoneonlakemuskoka.ca

Contact:

Walter Thompson

The GenerX Corporation

905) 762-9696

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