When we were kids, we would visit Muskoka a few times each year. As a child, it felt like the longest drive possible because we were so excited to get there. Mom would pack us tightly in the back seat with blankets, pillows, toys, books and anything else that would keep us occupied (and probably quiet) for the drive North. We were buzzing with anticipation because we knew that our summer holidays were going to be about campfires, swimming, family, friends, exploration and lots of Muskoka memories.
Perhaps, you and your family have been thinking of buying a Muskoka cottage for a long time. Your finances are in place, you have an idea of where you want to be, and even the kind of cottage your family needs. But something is stopping you from buying.
The process feels daunting.
Where do you begin?
Who do you talk to?
How do you start?
It may seem overwhelming, but it’s not. In fact, the process can be easily organized into a few key steps.
Step #1 – Choose Wisely
Contact a Realtor that listens. Ideally, one that lives in the area for the ENTIRE year and also owns a cottage. Cottage owners know about maintenance, finances and any problems that may arise. That’s information that you need.
Step #2 – Dream Big
Fill out your “Muskoka Cottage Wish List.” (Don't have your copy yet? Get it for Free by subscribing to the top right.) The whole family can do this together and you get the benefit of hearing what everyone wants at the beginning of this journey. No surprises.
You could also do a vision board by clipping pictures from magazines to get an exact look of what your cottage lifestyle could look like. Pick a movie that perhaps shows a cottage and send that to your Realtor so that they know what you are envisioning.
Step #3 – The Search Is On!
Schedule a ‘search day’. This is the fun part for a Realtor as you start to narrow down the properties. At the end of your search day, you and your family will excitedly drive home discussing everything you saw. The whole family will be buzzing with anticipation!
Step #4 - Fine Tuning Your Wish List
Your Realtor has a much better idea of what you want and they are actively searching for your dream cottage. You will receive listings that fit your wish list to really hone in on what your family wants.
This may take some time for the perfect property to become available. Patience is important. In the end, it will be worth it.
Step #5 – The Final Choices
It’s down to a few key properties. It’s time to visit Muskoka to choose. One of these properties will have you and your family jumping for joy (off the dock).
Step #6 – To Offer or Not to Offer
You may want to put in an Offer, or you may want to visit one last time with additional family and friends to hear their opinions. Whatever you choose, this just became a reality for you and your family. It's time to submit an offer.
Step #7 - Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Congratulations, after a few back and forths, you are now the proud owner of a beautiful Muskoka cottage.
Welcome to your new Muskoka family!