Buying a cottage, part 2
Congratulations! They accepted your offer and you are a proud cottage owner. You will want to get organized so you can start enjoying the cottage the minute you get the keys. Most cottages are sold with significant furnishings included. When we bought our cottage only family heirlooms and a few antiques were excluded from the deal. Everything from tables and chairs, to bunk beds, televisions, bedding and kitchen utensils came with the cottage. There is definitely pros and cons to buying a cottage “with contents”. Although it’s nice to avoid the cost of furnishing a second home from top to bottom, on the other hand there is the time, hassle and sometimes money involved with disposing of the things you don’t want. If you know in advance that you don’t want a particular item, you don’t have to agree to take it just because it’s free. Cottages and cottage owners accumulate things over the years. Once the cottage is sold the seller usually wants to make a clean break. It can also be time consuming and expensive to remove large, bulky items. As the buyer, you have think carefully about your plans to take unwanted items to a landfill as well as the cost involved with replacing the inherited furniture and appliances with new purchases, especially if there is difficult or tricky access to the cottage. In our case, we lucked out: we bought a cottage that already had Crate Designs furniture! In fact, we were able to verify it was genuine Crate furniture and even it’s vintage, because the cottage had a unique reclining chair that hasn’t been in production in almost 26 years. Despite the age, the sofa and chair frames, as well as the tables, were in perfect condition (they really do last a lifetime!) so all I had to do was choose a new fabric and order replacement cushions and the living room was completely updated. We also purchased a new bed for the master bedroom. Beds are probably the first thing that new cottage owners replace. There is nothing relaxing about sleeping on an uncomfortable, ancient mattress. Remember that most cottages are furnished with hand-me-downs from the primary home. That bed was probably over 10 years old when it arrived at the cottage -- it could easily be 20 years old now! If you are considering upgrading the beds at your cottage, you have to check out the under-the-bed storage drawers and trundle bed options at Crate Designs.
- Lisa Alberico