It’s that time of year again. The time when the call of the great outdoors beckons you. Fresh breaths of country air, the sounds of gentle waves splashing against the shore, and the voice of a loon in the distance. For many Canadians, this represents a lifestyle that is enjoyed season after season. It’s that same place that families of deer, rabbits, ducks and loons live peacefully in their homes of seclusion and serenity. For those thinking about purchasing a cottage or second home in the country, here are our tips to consider when investing into that home away from home.
Your needs & wants
Before making a decision, it’s important to deep dive into your criteria, including which items are negotiable, and non-negotiable. For example, do you need a place to dock your boat? How about direct access to the water, or beach, or even road? This is your opportunity to really establish what you are looking for, and to set clear expectations of your requirements.
Get to know the area
Research. Examine. Explore. Familiarize yourself with your prospective area. Perhaps you may be interested in even renting a cottage or cabin for a weekend. This will give you a firsthand feel for the area and will help with the final decision.
Find a Knowledgeable & Local Realtor
Finding the perfect location for your summer home in Ontario can be a daunting task. There are so many beautiful towns that are not too far from Toronto. Whether you are looking for a short drive to weekend getaway, or a semi-permanent stay, Ontario has the property for you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can connect you with our colleagues who are top local realtors in the cottage country area of your interest.
The Due Diligence
Every purchase agreement should be conditional on a professional home inspection. Since most cottages are occasional residences, proper maintenance needs to be investigated.
Cottage properties are normally served by private septic systems and issues can become very costly. Is the well dug or drilled? What is the depth of the well? Age of the equipment? It’s important to get well (flow and bacteria count) and septic (capacity and drainage) inspections. Also, have it conditional upon your lawyer satisfying him/herself as to whether the proper permits were issued and if the septic system is compliant with the local authorities. Any changes to the septic or well systems will need Ministry of Environment approval if they are waterfront, Conservation Authority jurisdiction, or near watersheds.
Additionally, having access to water can be an integral part of the cottage’s enjoyment. Are there any right of ways that could negatively impact your enjoyment? Any rights-of-ways over your new land? Some lakes and rivers have shoreline restrictions. Ensure you speak with your lawyer regarding riparian rights and any shoreline issues.
Consult with home inspectors, plumbers, and even contractors if you plan to do renovations, as well as determine whether the land is owned or leased. Yes… there are areas of Ontario where the land is leased.
Here’s a dream riverfront abode that’s waiting for you: