Buying a CottageWe’re at that time of year when people think about their summer getaways. While a cottage can provide a retreat, it can also raise issues that don’t apply within city limits.

For example, what is your water source and sanitation infrastructure? What form of heating does your dream property use? Cottages often present costs and concerns that go well beyond where to buy seasoned firewood for your wood stove.

When scouting out a cottage, it’s best to hire a real-estate representative who has experience in that part of the market and understands its unique characteristics. It’s also a good idea to find someone who has knowledge about the area where you want to buy.

In addition, I strongly recommend a professional home inspection from an individual with knowledge of recreational properties. They’ll be able to identify underlying issues with the cottage’s major systems, including heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical.

Also, consider the two big-ticket systems you don’t usually have to worry about in the city: the water source and the septic system. Ask for a water quality test. It’s also a good idea to hire a water inspector to ensure you’ll have sufficient water for your use and that the system installation meets provincial standards.

The health of a septic system is harder to determine. Your agent can ask for its service records, or find the records at the local health unit. It’s also important to remember that septic systems are not typically included in a regular home inspection. You may need a specialized inspector to ensure the system is functioning properly and that it has been installed in compliance with provincial standards.

Access and easements are other matters that your real-estate rep should look into. If you don’t have year-round access directly by a municipal road, how do you get to your property in the winter? Do you have to go through a neighbour’s property? If so, is there a formal agreement in place? Informal agreements may not be extended to you as a new owner.

Also consider beach or water access. Do you have direct access, or do you have access rights through a nearby property? How formal and secure are those rights? Ask your representative to confirm whether you will own the shoreline, or if not, whether you have the right to use it.

It’s always a good idea to ask if there’s an existing survey of the property. If there isn’t one, it may be worth the expense to have one done.

If the property is zoned “seasonal,” does the municipality provide emergency services or road plowing in the winter? Are you allowed to be there year-round? How are neighbouring properties zoned? Could new development intrude on your view? These are key questions that should be answered before you put in an offer.

You should also consider the carrying costs for the property. Even if you’re only there six months of the year, the mortgage payments, insurance and property taxes continue year-round.

The cost of utilities can be particularly tricky, because they vary according to how the property is used. Even travel time and costs should be taken into account.

Relaxing in the country can be a dream come true, but it’s important to take the proper steps before you dive into a purchase.

Contributed By  www.reco.on.ca

 15-Questions-To-Ask-When-Buying-A-Home

Buying a home will most likely be the biggest financial decision of your life. It is important that when you begin this journey you are prepared. There will be more to think about than the types of flooring or the number of bedrooms in a house. No question is silly when there is a huge price tag on what you may be about to purchase.

I have compiled some important questions that should always be asked. If your real estate agent doesn’t have the answer, they should definitely do the research and find out what you need to know.

Continue reading “15 Questions You Must Ask When You Are Buying A Home”

For many Ontarians, a rural home or cottage provides an escape from the noise and the hustle and bustle of the city. However, the farther you get from the city, the farther you’re getting from municipal water and sewer systems. When a property is reliant on well and septic systems, you should ensure that your buyer or seller is well-informed about their current state, and how to keep them in good condition.

Before making the decision to buy, people shopping for homes consider many factors, including the location of the house, the school district, size of the lot and also interior features.  Most buyers insist on a house that grants most of their wishes, but shoppers often settle for a house without getting everything they want.

Home is where health begins. From carpets and wall colours to window shades and overhead lighting, your home can play a role in how much you weigh, your mood, and even your cancer risk. It’s important to eliminate toxins, pollutants and other health risks from your home. There are many small changes that you can do to make your home healthier and improve your mood. The following recommendations can be implemented immediately and won’t cost you anything.

If you are thinking about listing your home for sale, you should be careful not to make the same mistakes that other sellers have. Once you have decided that you are ready to move, you should be fully committed to making it a successful experience. Well prepared home sellers, sell their homes faster.

According to a 2016 survey by Houzz Kitchen Trends, nearly 2/3 of American homeowners spent more than 3 hours in their kitchen doing things like watching TV, entertaining, eating and reading in addition to cooking and baking.  This annual survey on line polled over 2,400 homeowners who are planning or recently completed a kitchen renovation project.  This is what they found.