Last updated on September 30, 2021
For most homeowners who are interested in expanding their real estate portfolio, recreational property often comes to mind. However, this is not a term that everyone may fully understand. For instance, what is recreational property? What types of recreational property are there? What can recreational property be used for? In this article we explore these questions a little further.
If you would like to determine whether you can live on recreational-zoned land, be sure to explore our article here.
What Does Recreational Property Mean?
Simply put, recreational property is purchased for recreational purposes, whether it be for hiking, fishing, days on the lake or ATVing, and may be specifically zoned for “recreational” use. For this reason, recreational property is different from a primary residence or investment property. Whereas a primary residence is a dwelling where a person usually lives, a recreational property is typically associated with occasional use. Whereas an investment property is bought with the intention of earning a return on investment, a recreational property is bought for the enjoyment of it. A recreational property may include land with a structure on it, such as a cottage or lake house, or a piece of bare land (more on this below). Yet, it’s the special moments with friends and family while enjoying recreational activities, and memories resulting therefrom, that truly distinguish a recreational property from other property types.
Types of Recreational Property
When considering the types of recreational property available, it’s important to note that there isn’t one specific type. Further, depending upon the zoning of the property, there may be limits or restrictions on what structures can be built on the property (more on that below). However, these are some of the most common types of recreational property:
- Cottages, Cabins and Lake Houses – When it comes to recreation, nothing says the great outdoors quite like a cottage, cabin or lake house. Given their proximity to nature, these recreational properties are often purchased for weekend getaways or summer vacations with the family and friends. With a cabin, cottage or lake house, various activities await as does the promise of rest and relaxation away from the busy city life. Given their remoteness, these recreational properties are also typically more affordable than properties close to the city. It’s no surprise that these property types are some of the best examples of recreational properties.
- Condos – Owning a condo, whether through a strata, timeshare or fractional ownership, is another common type of recreational property. Condos are attractive for a number of reasons including the fact that they are typically more affordable than a detached home and involve less maintenance. Recreational condo developments may also have various amenities on site, such as a pool, tennis court and exercise facility.
- Vacant Land – Some people may choose to buy vacant land for recreational purposes. In such a case, you may use the property for camping or sporting purposes. For example, hiking, biking or ATVing are all popular activities of recreational property enthusiasts.
What Can Recreational Property be Used For?
In order to understand what any particular recreational property can be used for, whether it’s located in the Canadian Rockies or Florida Everglades, you will need to know local zoning regulations and restrictions. This may not only limit what structures can be built on the property, if any, but also the activities that are permitted on the property. Before buying, be sure to seek appropriate advice from a land use expert in the area or speak with the local zoning department to better understand what’s permitted.
For anyone unfamiliar with the term, a recreational property is any property that is used for recreational purposes and includes many different property types. More narrowly, recreational property may refer to those properties zoned for recreational use. Importantly, the lasting memories from time spent with friends and family while enjoying various recreational activities is a distinguishing characteristic of a recreational property.