1. How far is too far?

The cost and time involved in actually getting to the cottage can really ruin the experience – battling cottage-bound and return traffic while racking up gas receipts. Consider the distance and calculate the cost before buying. A lot of buyers who jump on a good deal 3 hours out of the city eventually realize they aren’t using the cottage as much as they would like due to these factors.

2. Is the property winterized?

Canadian winters and cottages don’t always work together. If you’re after an all-season cottage, make sure the cottage is properly winterized. A year-round cottage is a better investment for you own city- retreat, and also for rental income potential. Having a winter cottage is also a great opportunity to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and skating out of the city.

3. Is the water drinkable?

An often overlooked, but very important concern – can you drink the tap water? Before buying, confirm with the current owner the water is safe to drink, even if proof requires an official certificate from the local health authority. Cottage life is a lot more difficult when you have to bring your own water for the weekend. The key to buying a cottage is to first discuss and think through exactly what you’re after. Then decide, what are your must-haves and what are the deal-breakers. Consider everything before you buy so you don’t end up finding out what’s wrong with your new property when it’s too late.