Tips on Buying (or Building on) Waterfront Property?

Waterfront property is likely to be one of the largest investments most will make. However, there is little question that if sufficient research is done before the purchase this purchase will prove to also be one of their best investments. Cottage Country (aka as Muskoka and surrounding areas) has seen appreciation values often considerably exceeding other competing investments.

Couple this benefit with another benefit that could be even more meaningful; the opportunity to start a new healthy family lifestyle…….healthy physically, mentally and spiritually while creating family bonds and memories that may last for generations.

But a word of warning, buying waterfront property is more complex than buying in a land based subdivision and therefore certain details need to be considered. Some of these are listed here…

Types of Waterfront Property

  • Private Waterfront-….most common purchase.
  • Shared Waterfront……condominiums, fractional ownership.
  • Boat Access only…islands or main land without a road.
  • Water view only…no direct private access to the water viewed.
  • Split lot….the cottage is on the opposite side of the road from the lake.

Special Issues for Buying and/or Building on Waterfront Property

  • Water and Sewage Systems.
  • Shoreline Ownership….not all shoreline is part of the purchased property.
  • Access to Property…maybe private, municipal, right-of-way, seasonal.
  • Regulations on docks and boat houses.
  • Lake Level variations.
  • Fish Species?
  • Building Permit Process
  • Zoning Regulations.
  • Surveys.
  • Local By-Laws
  • Development Protective Covenants and Regulations.
  • Development Fees
  • Owner’s Responsibilities.
  • Taxes.

For our clients we offer a free site visit to review the pertinent issues of the above list and review clients basic planned use for the property. If required we also offer follow-up assistance to help clients prepare for building a home or cottage, by advising on suitable cottage designs for the lot, home/cottage position on the lot, services and driveway location, builder choices, permit process….

For more specific information I encourage you to make use of our interactive wish list form which allows you to specify the important features that you require should you be considering an investment in Cottage Country. For wish list click here.