Top 3 Tips When Buying A Cottage

How exciting. You have made the decision to buy a vacation home in Lake of Bays – North Muskoka! You have been on for the past several months and you can’t wait any longer – now is the time you say. But, before you pick up the phone and make that call to start “feet on the ground” cottage viewings, here are the top  3 things your real estate professional needs to know.


1. How is the recreational property going to be used

How will you use the cottage? Is this a weekend escape from the city, a spot to use while also renting as an investment, a future retirement home, or your new waterfront principal residence?  Your answer will determine where we will start our search – big lake or small, 3 seasons or 4 seasons, elevated or level lot, boating restricted lake or not and so on… lots of factors we consider when starting to help you in your search.



2. How Much Can You Spend

Before you start your search for your second home or vacation property it is important to sit down with your financial planner and your mortgage professional to determine what you can afford. Cottage prices vary greatly depending on the size of the lake, the location, the cottage finishes, etc. If this is a second home you will likely require a minimum 20% down payment. The bigger the lake, the bigger the costs of the cottage.


3. Ongoing Ownership Costs

Property taxes for Muskoka waterfront are higher than people often expect. Smaller communities often have higher taxes as there are fewer people to carry the tax load. Property maintenance can be a significant cost that is often not factored in when one buys a vacation home. Remember to plan for summer cottage maintenance – landscaping, dock repairs,  cottage upkeep and maintenance, boathouse maintenance. With a four-season cottage, you will need to consider snow plowing, heating in the winter, and regular cottage checking services to name a few.


You have been on every day for the past several months…You have considered how you will use the cottage, you have met with your banker and know what you can afford to pay, and you realize that once you own your second home there are known ongoing costs.  You are ready to reach out to Jay and The Richardson Team to let us help you make your dreams of owning a Muskoka cottage come true. Give us a call and let us help you find the perfect spot.