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What You Should Know Before You Buy

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RECREATIONAL PROPERTY Q&A SEASONALITY WATER PROPERTY How long can we stay? Does the cottage have year-round accessibility, accessible three out of four seasons, or just the summer months? Where's my water coming from and where is it going? Is it lake water? Well water? Municipal water? Rain barrels? Does the water go into a municipal sewer system? Septic system? Can I drink the water? Is the water tested and safe to drink from the tap? What type of washroom does it have? Full toilet and bath/shower indoors? Composting toilets? Outhouse? What property do I actually own? Is the property owned to the high-water mark or is there a road allowance owned by the local municipality? If desired, can I modify the property close to the shoreline? Are there right of ways deeded to other people on the property? Am I deeded onto a neighbor's property? How do I get there? Can I access the property by vehicle or boat only? If by vehicle: Is the road private or shared? Is the road open and maintained year-round? If yes, who pays for this service? If the property is boat access only (such as an island): Where can I leave my car while at the cottage? Where can I leave my boat while I'm at home? What are the costs associated with parking the vehicle and boat? What is the land composition? Sand (good rain drainage, but high erosion risks)? Clay (poor drainage and risk of shifting foundation posts in spring)? Bedrock (potential drainage issues, solid foundation anchoring)? Below you'll find a list of questions you should ask to help you through your cottage or cabin shopping experience. PROPERTY MISCELLANEOUS THE BUILDING Is there property slope? How easy will it be to get to and from your vehicle, the dock, or have room for recreational activities and outbuildings? Who will be at the cottage or potentially visiting? Will a steep sloped property be difficult for young children, or become more difficult as you age? How close are the nearest stores? If you're planning on picking up food, how far are you from grocery and convenience stores? If something breaks, or you feel like doing some cottage or cabin renos, where is the closest hardware store? How long does it take to get there? Decide on how long of a commute you are willing to drive. An hour? A few hours? Half a day? How much traffic will you need to add on during busy periods like long weekends? How's the fishing? Will the local municipality allow for fishing, hunting, and motorized crafts? Where do I put my garbage? Is the garbage picked up, or do you have to deliver it to a designated dumpsite? What if there's an emergency? What type of emergency services can reach you from the location and how long will it take them to get there? What's the condition of the roof? Is there damage outside or inside? Is there a dock and/or a deck? Are there rotten boards or raised nails? Is there an attic? If so, are there any unwelcome critters like bats, mice, or raccoons already calling it home? Is there electricity? How rustic of a cabin are you looking for? With or without electricity? How is it heated? Is the cottage equipped for year-round or only seasonal use? How's the WiFi? No cell service? Some cell service? LTE and WiFi capabilities? What if I want another bedroom? Will you be able to renovate or build additions on to the cottage if you wish to in the near or distant future?

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