Notes on how to buy a cottage in rural Ontario from Sharon White Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

 Inlet Bay, on Paudash Lake

Inlet Bay, on Paudash Lake

Our little corner of Ontario has beautiful lake-spotted landscapes, a growing artisan culture of local food production and appealing recreational options for all kinds of families, travelers and people looking for a rest.  We are open to new seasonal and recreational property owners who enjoy the fishing, hunting and clean air of country living.  Here are some of the best tips for starting the search for your cottage dreams in one of the cleanest, greenest places on earth.

 Lake St. Peter

Lake St. Peter

The Basics

Although you may be looking to go rural, not all of my clients want to take it completely into the wilderness without a consistent water source, septic system and Internet access.  Around the Bancroft area, you can go completely off-the-grid or you can take the "large stately house on the lake" approach.  As a realtor, I always source and track service records for the septic system, water supply, electricity source, telecommunications access, all relevant upgrades and any special designations the land may have.  Of course, you can - and usually should - always hire a qualified third party inspector to verify your needs will be met.  Hiring a realtor is a must generally, but especially for recreational properties which can vary widely in age, adherence to building standards and utility.  

 Paudash Lake

Paudash Lake

Your Expenses

Are you looking for a home away from home or a full time residence on the water ? The difference in your use of the property will make a huge difference in your planning and searching for the property. Calculate your mortgage payments, taxes and property insurance based upon the utility that you will receive from it, and beyond the possible rental income.  In the Bancroft area, rental incomes for lakeside cottages on major lakes - like Baptiste and Paudash - can go for between $1000 and $3000 per week depending on number of bedrooms, amenities, etc.  Usually, can turn off the utilities if you are looking to live in the property only seasonally and I have 29 years of experience helping people navigate this very thing. You should also take travel costs into account if you will be moving between residences throughout the year.

 Papineau Lake

Papineau Lake

Making Your Property Work for You

The pricing of cottages will fluctuate with the housing prices in adjoining areas. Unless you are a professional house flipper, you should not try to time the market.  A better indication of value in a home is the beauty of the surrounding landscape, matching your personal needs to the values of the community and possible future returns on the investment.  In our area, with the completion of the toll highway 407 to connect to highway 115 from Toronto, the trip from the GTA takes under three hours under normal driving conditions.  This means that land in our area - waterfront especially - is going to do well for the foreseeable future.  There are only so many beautiful lakes in affordable districts that the average family can access on a typical summer weekend, which virtually guarantees the value of Bancroft property as worthwhile investment.  

And if you already own a cottage, check out this MoneySense article on how to plan for passing on a cottage to loved ones

Sharon White Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage can help you find your woodland haven with a specialization in Bancroft, Haliburton, Minden, Madawaska and Algonquin properties.   You can see some of our current recreational listings here

Give us a call, let us handle the tough details and get you in the know about the available properties in rural Ontario!

Sharon