You’ve reached that point in your life where waterfront living is something you wish to pursue. Whether it is year-round living or seasonal purchasing a waterfront home/cottage is not the same as purchasing the typical home. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge.
Do you want a year round home (warm in the winter) or a cottage (cold in the winter)?
Do you need to have year round access? Snow clearing in the winter?
Is there a local cottager’s or owner’s association?
How far are you willing to travel (kilometers and time) from your current home to get to the ‘Cottage’?
How private is the property (well treed)?
How close to amenities do you need (think groceries, health care, refreshments (wine, beer) gasoline?
How populated is the body of water?
Are there commercial enterprises on the water such as camp-grounds, Marinas, Provincial Parks, Conservation Areas, canoe routes?
Is there a public boat launch or is access limited to property owners?
What do I want to do with the water (swim, boat, power-boat, fish, scenery)?
Are children going to be enjoying the property with you?
What is the slope to the waterfront? How many steps down to the water?
What is the water quality like (crystal clear, tea-stained, nutrient content)?
What is the water bottom like (sand, gravel, weedy)?
How deep is the body of water (deeper usually means cooler and different fish species)?
What is the water source for the lake (down river from neighbouring lake, spring fed etc)?
What is the slope once you are in the water (can I jump of the dock into deep water or is it more shallow)?
What is the property’s orientation (will I see sunsets)?
Where does the water for the cottage come from (drilled well, dug well, lake intake, neighbour’s)?
Where does the sewage go (septic system, holding tank, barrel in the ground, outhouse)?
Are the property’s boundaries well defined and backed up by a survey?
Are there any rights-of-way, access covenants or shared ownership?
Is the waterfront setback owned (no provincial road allowance or Crown land)?
What is included with the purchase (docks, canoe, cutlery etc)?
How many people will be staying over? Can you accommodate? Bunkie?
What is done with garbage/recycling?
This list is by no means exhaustive. It will however get you started thinking to ensure you end up with the property you want. If you need help answering these questions please contact me. Cheers Ian