What You Should Know About Buying a Cottage

Spring is generally considered the beginning of cottage season and when many prospective buyers turn their sights to owning their own piece of cottage country.

Buying a cottage is unlike other real estate transactions. Purchasing a cottage requires specialized knowledge and experience. You’ll want to work with a REALTOR® who can offer expertise on buying and owning recreational real estate.

If you’re thinking of buying a cottage, here are some items that require some attention on the part of your REALTOR®:

kahshe-lake-muskoka-ontario_35156_600x450If you’re purchasing a waterfront property, do you own to the water’s edge? A survey is the only way to confirm the location of your property lines. In addition, a survey will confirm the size of the land matches what is listed on your deed, assure that all buildings or structures (decks, sheds, fences) are in fact on your property (or not), and tell you about any potential easements, rights-of-way or encroachments.

What is the zoning on the property?  As with any property, the municipality will have rules about what you can and cannot do. For example, the zoning many not permit owners to build a “bunkie” on their property. In some cases, the zoning may not permit owners to live there all year long. A local REALTOR® will know the zoning, the rules and will be able to point you in the right direction to the Municipal office.

There’s a good chance that your cottage will have a well and septic system. It’s wise to have the water quality and quantity tested. It is also important to make sure your septic system is working properly. A local REALTOR® will be able to offer sound advice and recommendations to help you make sure that your cottage’s well and septic system are functioning properly.

The types of issues in cottage country can even vary from community to community or region to region. Buying recreational real estate is very different from purchasing residential real estate. Make sure that your REALTOR® has the skills sets, knowledge and experience necessary to assist you in making an informed decision.

If you’re thinking of buying a cottage, click here to download a copy of the Erie’s Edge Cottage Buyer’s e-Guide.

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