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Buying a cottage in muskoka? Ask yourself these 6 questions

The Muskoka Region has international fame; it’s one of the most desirable places for cottages and summer destinations.

It’s a picturesque environment that is rich in amenities and doesn’t sacrifice luxury.

Owning a cottage in Muskoka is an accomplishment for the well-heeled. Even renting accommodation can be considered as a luxury holiday.

When the average investment for a cottage is $1,100,000, you don’t want to make the purchase lightly.

Vacant land used for building property has an average price tag of $224,000 - and that’s not including a waterfront view.

When preparing you to buy a property, consider these 6 questions.



Are you looking for a year-round or seasonal cottage?

The Muskoka region offers two types of properties: Type A and Type B.

Type A properties and entails any cottages with year-round access and utilities similar to a house, like hot water, potable water, electricity, furnaces, etc.

Type B properties, in contrast, may only have accessibility during certain seasons and often are more basic with minimal heating and utilities.

If you’re looking for a Type B property with the plan to upgrade it, be sure to look into the structure and zoning restrictions beforehand.

What does your future look like?

There are a lot of elements that affect the type of property you purchase: planning to have kids, yearning for a calm retreat, wanting it to be a place of retirement, looking for a place that inspires activeness, etc.

Each desire has a different structure and style.

If you’re planning to have kids or stay there whenever you’re semi-retired, high staircases or a rocky waterfront isn’t ideal.

A calm retreat is better suited near small lakes as there will be less noise and water transportation.

Also, consider when you plan to sell the cottage. Knowing if you want to pass it down or want to sell it in 5-10 years makes a difference.

It is wise to understand the market and which lakes appreciate more than others to protect your investment.

What are your deal breakers?

Everyone has deal-breakers, no matter if it’s a house, condo, vacant land, etc. Write down what is most and least important to you.

Make a list of renovations or upgrades you’d be willing to make. You may find your dream location, but it might lack an outdoor lighting system or need an upgrade to its deck.

Adding customizations like lighting, a deck, landscape lighting or floor replacements could be a small price to pay for a perfect location.

Be prepared to hire a home inspector; they will thoroughly inspect your cottage to identify any hidden defects.

They will check the condition of the roof, will test the existing septic, ensure the docks and decks aren’t rotting, check for signs of mice or other pests, and will inspect utilities and electrical, among other things.

Do you prefer watersports or canoe trips?

The question may sound odd, but it’s very important.

When buying a luxury home or cottage with a waterfront, the size of the lake matters. Your taste in activities especially impacts the lake size.

If you enjoy boating, tubing or other water sports, a larger lake is needed. Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau or Lake Joseph would be ideal picks.

A smaller lake is more beneficial when you prefer canoeing, paddling or wanting to listen to the sounds of nature. Lake of Bays or Lake Huntsville would be a great choice.

Are you a Sunrise or Sunset person?

Sun exposure impacts your preferences and how the cottage is used. With such a large investment, all of the small details matter.

You may want to enjoy your morning coffee on the dock in the sunshine but would prefer to sit on your cottage deck with a glass of wine to watch the sunset.

It is possible to acquire multiple exposures on a point of land and outbuildings can be placed to take advantage of opposing exposures.

Generally, cottages with South West exposure – all-day sun and sunsets – come with higher price tags.

This is not always the rule as the placement of the cottage on the lot, the surrounding rocks and trees, the pitch of the roof, and the latitude also factor into the asking price.

What type of waterfront do you want?

Waterfronts can impact the way you use your cottage, specifically if you enjoy boating. Muskoka’s lakes have a varied topography, from deep and lined with rock cliffs to sandy and shallow.

Sandy and shallow regions are better suited for families with kids or couples who planning for a child.

Having a dock with deep water is better suited for boating or water sports. Design limitations are dependant on appearance.

Make sure you have a well-thought-out idea for your outdoor entertainment space, desired landscaping and if you plan to have outdoor lighting.

Muskoka: The Capital of Cottages

Your Muskoka cottage is an extravagant accomplishment, no matter the size or luxurious features.

It’s easy to be swept up in the beauty of the environment and wowed by the architecture. Starting your search with a clear mind and narrow requirements will help ground you.

There are a lot of elements to consider and you don’t want to overlook one that will burden your stay.

Nightscapes of Muskoka are specialists in the region. If you’re looking to build or purchase a cottage that needs a lighting system, fill out our consultation form - we’d be delighted to make your vision a reality.

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