Waterfront property tips from Mary Jane Manley:
1. The first priority is finding the right lake and piece of the land. Most cottages can be renovated, expanded and changed substantially, but be aware of all current building requirements or restrictions One of the biggest factors is the waterfront and the quality of the water. Is it weedy, sandy or rocky? Is it deep, shallow, swampy or silt-bottomed? Is there a drilled well or is water drawn from the lake? How is it cleaned and filtered? 3. The lake water quality, depth and size etc., will affect the type of fishing available, as well as swimming and boating activities. Buyers need to know what kind of boats are allowed on the lake. Boaters should ask about lake amenities, such as is there a marina? Does it provide gas pumping at the shoreline; parts service or operate a water taxi? Access is important. Are there common roads or rights of way? How and when are the roads maintained? Is there an active lake association – how strict are they? Land and cottages on popular, sought-after lakes are going to be more expensive. Price is also affected by level of privacy offered or isolation of property. Each property is unique. Consider factors such as accessibility via land or water. Look at dock, landing and parking facilities, plus any septic, well and pumping systems. Examine the land and terrain around the cottage. Is it steep and rocky or flat and grassy? Is it open and landscaped or natural with lots of tree coverage? Where is the cottage situated on the lot? Generally, people prefer a south-west exposure. Ask about power and heating systems. Is there electric heating, a woodstove or propane fireplace? 10. Remember that cottage properties require ongoing and regular maintenance of buildings, decks, land and waterfront docks, plus seasonal opening and closing arrangements, as well as storage and care of all watercraft, vehicles and equipment.