The Great ‘Moon River’ Debate – Is It a River or a Lake?

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Muskoka Real Estate Matters – By Maggie Tomlinson

As we enjoy the heart of July, is my pleasure to share with the Muskokan readership a series of informative editorials with tips for buying and selling Muskoka real estate.  This week let’s explore the start of the buying process, and talk a bit about a popular river that’s really more like a lake.

When working with cottage buyers, the process usually begins with getting together to review a detailed list of wants & needs – everything from style & sq.ft. to the number of bedrooms & baths, and other specific features within the cottage. The more detail the better. It’s important to let your realtor know what you simply ‘must-have’ and what might just be ‘nice to have’. Understand that there may have to be some compromises along the way.

Once the indoor preferences are noted, it’s time to look more closely at the land.  Here are some good questions for buyers to consider:  Is there a preference to level lots only, or will properties with gradual or steep slopes be okay? Do you covet sand beaches and shallow water, or granite outcroppings and deep water for diving off the dock? Are sunrises or sunsets high on the list? Unlike buildings, these are the things that can’t be changed.

In my experience, not just the price point but the lifestyle will normally help to determine the best location – big lake, small lake, or riverfront. Things to think about: How will you and your family spend your time at the cottage?  Do water activities include powerboats, wakeboarding and waterskiing, or are canoes, kayaks and paddle boats/boards more your speed?  Finding the perfect fit can be a challenge, but a very rewarding one!

For buyers seeking a more intimate setting for their cottage or year round Muskoka retreat, the many small lakes and rivers in our region provide lots of choices. The ever popular Bala area, affectionately referred to as “The Moon”, is one of the best kept secrets in Muskoka.  Buyers are often surprised to find that despite being called a river, in reality there exists a varied shoreline that boasts a series of lakes and bays. Whether you call it Moon River or Moon Lake, there is something here for everyone.

Have high expectations of your realtor, ask questions & remember – when it comes to real estate it’s all about ‘Location, Location, Location’.

Until next time – just try to get that ‘Moon River’ song out of your head – and happy buying and selling!


Maggie Tomlinson is a professional Real Estate Broker with Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage, serving her clients from the heart of Muskoka. Maggie has successfully been actively marketing and selling cottages, homes, vacant land and commercial properties for years.
If you have any questions about buying or selling, your answers are always just a phone call or email away.
705.644.9283[email protected]

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