Marshall Homes offers tips to help you find your cottage country retreat.
If you’re planning to build in the Kawarthas, selecting the right cottage property is vital to ensure the successful outcome of your project. For most, the dream of owning a cottage is as much about your surroundings as the cottage itself. A spot that makes you feel inspired, relaxed and at home is ideal.
But the land you choose for your custom cottage must also meet a number of practicalities, such as location and site elements. Striking the right balance between convenience, beauty and cost isn’t a simple task, but you can help narrow the field by keeping this simple criteria in mind.
Read on for our best suggestions for finding a piece of land that you’ll love (nearly) as much as your new Marshall Home.
– Imagine Your Ideal Escape and Create Your Checklist
Before beginning (or continuing) your hunt for a property, build a springboard of search criteria.
– Location, Location, Location
That’s real estate’s number one rule, right? So let’s start here.
One of the reasons we’re so bullish about the Kawarthas is access. While none of us is spared the snarl of traffic, the Kawarthas offer more routes and less traffic to cottage towns and lakes than heading up Hwy 400 to Muskoka.
When selecting the right spot for your future Marshall Home cottage in the Kawarthas, it’s essential to balance your dream of a remote getaway with the practicalities of everyday life.
Think about favourite cottage villages and towns that offer the kind of amenities and fun you envision. How far do you want to drive? Weigh the pros and cons of a remote property with any time restrictions you may have. Remote may work if you plan to spend weeks at a time at the cottage. Something closer may be more practical if you’ll be a weekend warrior.
Consider access to public utilities plus drive-time to shopping and emergency facilities like hospitals and fire stations.
Factor in how much privacy you crave. Do you want a property with acreage or would you prefer a close, community feel?
Look to your interests. Envision your ideal cottage vacation – do you see boating, swimming, hunting or hiking? If you prefer boating, a property with a dock or access to a local marina may fit the bill. If you love swimming or have children, a beachy spot along the shore might be a better fit. If a watery locale isn’t imperative, an off-water site can result in significant savings.
– What Kind of Landscape Do You Envision?
To help narrow down a location, decide on the physical landscape you want to be surrounded by. Do you want an agricultural feel, forested, or is it the wild, rocky terrain of the Canadian Shield that you crave?
Create a checklist of site essentials. Water access a must? Do killer views top your wish list? Are you looking for a sloped property to accommodate a walkout basement?
When you’re narrowing down the perfect property, a good local realtor can be your best ally. They’ll be able to answer questions about technical practicalities such as road access, easements and public utilities.
While undeveloped land has a raw beauty that may make it appealing, it may also come with its own set of extenuating factors. A remote location can be a challenge during construction, making it tough (and costly) to deliver materials. Access to your cottage may be problematic in the winter months. If you plan on using the property during the winter, find out if the roads are maintained year-round.
Ask your realtor about:
• Access to public utilities.
• Where your water comes from? If it’s a well, is it reliable and potable (drinkable)?
• Easements or right-of-way considerations that could limit the amount of property you can build on or keep you from accessing it at certain times of the year.
• The topography of the land where you hope to place the cottage. Will you need to take any erosion-control measures? Or, if your site is particularly rocky, factor in the cost of excavating and preparing for the foundation.
Bonus Round: Here’s Where We Come In!
Once you’ve purchased your property, the Marshall Homes team will come in and assess everything from zoning to septic tanks (if needed) and building permits. Need local approval? We’ll handle that as part of our custom package and fixed price commitment. It’s all part of our pledge to make custom easier for you.
So go with your gut. After considering the pros and cons, go beyond your checklist, reflect on the distinct character of each property. Like every person, each piece of land has a unique look and feel. Close your eyes and revisit each property in your mind. Which one stands out—makes you feel at ease and at home? Ultimately, building on a property that speaks to your heart, not just checks the spaces on your criteria list, will help make your Marshall custom cottage an even more perfect place to get away.