Where Should I Buy? – Big Lake, Small Lake, River, or Island?

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Muskoka Real Estate Matters – By Maggie Tomlinson

This week let’s talk a bit about the start of the buying process, and try to help buyers answer that question.

When working with cottage buyers, the process usually begins with reviewing a detailed list of wants & needs – everything from size to style, the number of bedrooms & baths, and other specific features about the cottage. The more detail the better. It’s important to let your realtor know which things you absolutely ‘must have’, and others that would be ‘nice to have’. Understand that in some price ranges there may have to be some compromises along the way.

Once indoor preferences are noted, it’s time to look more closely at land attributes.  Buyers should consider:  Is there a preference to level lots only, or will properties with gradual or steep slopes be okay?  Do you covet sand beaches with 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, river or island. Things to think about:  How will you and your family spend your time at the cottage?  Do water activities include powerboats, wakeboards and waterskiing, or are canoes, kayaks and paddle boats and SUPs 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 smaller lakes and rivers in our region provide lots of choices and most often give buyers more bang for their buck.

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 – stay safe on the water & on our roads – 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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