The decision has been made. You have been to visit your banker and now you are heading to Lake of Bays/Huntsville to look for that perfect cottage or waterfront lot. How exciting! How nerve racking! This is probably your second largest expenditure after your principal residence and is not to be taken lightly. This is when your research goes into full time mode. You will have a hundred questions and no question is a silly one.

I am an experienced real estate broker that specializes in selling cottages on Lake of Bays and the Huntsville lakes.  Here are some things I think are important for you to consider when buying a cottage.

  • Is the septic system in good working order?
  • Is there a well? If the water is from the lake is there a purification system?
  • What is the heating system?
  • Does it have a back up generator?
  • Is there a deck, or screened-in Muskoka Room room?
  • Are there outbuildings – a bunkie, cabin, shed, garage, boathouse?
  • What is the waterfrontage?
  • Is the ShoreRoad allowance owned?.
  • What amount of the waterfront can you develop
  • Depth of water – does it fluctuate seasonally?
  • Steepness of slope, will you be able to easily manipulate it? Will the kids?
  • Rocky bottom or sandy beach?
  • What are you looking for in water sports – sailing, canoeing, boating, tubing?  The size of the lake will have a direct bearing on what you can do.
  • Water access to other lakes and town. Do you want to be able to boat into town for dinner/theatre?
  • Is there a marina close by?
  • Is there good internet access? If working from the cottage, this will be important
  • Are there nearby health, ambulance, fire department services?

Buying a cottage can be a very rewarding experience. It can also be complex and stressful –the more research one does the more questions one has.  That’s why using a knowledgeable, experienced, local agent is important.