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Cabins, Cottages & Homes
When faced with the question of what to do with an old unwanted lakefront cabin or mobile home do not disappear there are several options. There are many people who are looking for an inexpensive hunting cabin for their land. Sometimes you can place a “free” sign on a mobile home and it can be moved off your property by someone. If the condition of the mobile home is so poor that it cannot be towed to a new home site or the land fill, it should be torn down. One can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $2,500 to have it torn down and removed.
An old cabin is a little different. One option is to contact the local fire department who use structures such as this for firefighting practice. A controlled burn provides invaluable fire fighting experience. This can be messy if damage occurs to trees surrounding the structure. Every township will have different requirements for their service. Many will want the shingles removed first – a concern regarding asbestos. After the burn, the property owner is responsible for cleaning up the charred remains, as well as removing any slab/foundation, fireplaces and chimneys that were part of the structure.
Please remember to check with the local township for any permits needed.
One other important thing that is often over looked. If there is a septic system or well on the property, the septic tank may have to be abandoned, then crushed and filled. The existing well if not able to be brought up to today’s requirements will have to be pulled by a licensed well driller.
The good news is, you may not have to wait for the budget to catch up to your dreams. You may have purchased it as a retirement home and living there is 5, 10 or 15 years away, but you would also like to use it now. You do not have to spend a lot of money to get a whole different feel for you new lakefront home.
The first thing add a fresh coat of paint inside and out. You can change the mood quickly by changing the color entirely or just paint the trim. New lighter and brighter colors can easily replace those older darker colors.
For some curb appeal, Add some shutters to the cottage, paint them a complementary color. Try adding some flower boxes. Plant some easy to care for perennials around the property as well as a couple of hanging flower baskets.
A lumpy or well worn mattress that is no longer providing you a good nights sleep at your home will not improve by being at the rental cottage. A shower that quickly runs out of hot water will be as disappointing to others as it is to you. A cottage that is not clean or has an “old” odor to it probably will not encourage guests to return.
Make the cottage feel like home. Attractive pictures on the wall, plenty of blankets for chilly evenings and comfortable furniture to relax on make for a very pleasant stay. Make sure you have a TV that works and has a clear picture for those evenings indoors and rainy days.
Guests tend to remember the worst of their vacations. You and your cottage do not want to be part of those memories. People will often return year after year if they had a good experience the first time.
A few basic tips:
If you know of any problems or things not working properly- fix or repair them before hand. Emergency repairs are often very expensive and guest’s vacations are interrupted.
Make sure the cottage is squeaky clean. You do not want guests feeling they have to spend the first half day cleaning the unit prior to using it.
Make sure your cleaning cabinet is well stocked with cleaning supplies and equipment. A guest that cleans up well during the course of their stay makes your job easier.
Use your parental eye on the property. Look around the property and determine if there is anything you should do to “child proof” the property for any children.