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There is something to be said about spending your days surrounded by beautiful waterfronts and nature. As most of us spend our weeks in the city enclosed by concrete buildings and thousands of people, it is hard not to dream about escaping to your own private oasis where you can reconnect with family and friends to create a lifetime of memories.
 
 
If purchasing a cottage has been on your top To-Do list for quiet some time be sure to take into consideration a few things before making the financial leap. Take a look at these cottage-buying tips, with the right information you will be able to maximize on your investment.
 
First do your research. There are a lot of properties and many lakes to choose from.  Buying the perfect cottage takes time and patience; so take your time behind the computer. You will want to first narrow down your areas of interest, and with so many lakes and so many property types, you’ll want to be sure you buy the perfect location!
 
Know what type of cottage you want. Cottages often fall into one of two categories:
·      Type A properties include cottages that can be used all year ‘round and have features similar to residential homes such as running water and heating systems.
·      Type B cottages are characterized as minimal and are often not winterized.
 
 

Things to consider in your research

 

·      Can the property be used all year-round or only seasonal?
·      Is the road to your cottage public and maintained year-round?
·      Does the cottage pump water from a lake or well?
·      Does the sewage system work and is it far enough away from trees to protect it from being blocked by roots
·      Will you be able to renovate or build any additions to the cottage
·      Will you be able to expand on your waterfront? Such as build a boathouse?
·      Is this a good investment? Will the property appreciate?
 
Over a couple months, keep an eye on the real estate prices surrounding the area you are looking to buy. Popular cottage destinations can lead to overheated markets, so be sure to consider all your options. Also consider the idea of reaching out to a real estate agent in the area or speaking to cottage owners in your area of interest. It is often worth having an expert advisor help guide you to make the right purchasing decision.
 
 
Buying a vacation property is not cheap, they sell from anywhere between $150,000 to 1 million plus. So before you get excited to buy your dream vacation home, don’t forget to consider property tax, insurance and maintenance costs, which can add up quickly.
 
Another thing to look at when determining your finances is are you willing to rent out your property? Consider how often you will use your cottage. If you plan on only using it for weekends, there is always the option of renting it out during the period of time when it would otherwise be empty.  
 
If you don’t want to sacrifice on privacy by renting your cottage, in the search for your dream cottage keep in mind the size of the lake will dictate a larger price tag, it may be worth taking a look off the big lakes.
 
To narrow down your right time to buy, consider tapping into market research. Once a month Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage release’s a report on last months real estate numbers in Muskoka. These reports offer insights into costs and demand of Ontario’s #1 cottage destination. 
 
Visit Us at the Cottage Life Show, March 31st to April 2nd, and pick up your copy of Invest In Style’s Cottage Life Issue. You can read this full version of this article. See you there!

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