Investors warned about cottage buys

The buying and renting of recreational homes is reportedly getting tougher with demanding short-term tenants and misinformed agents.

The short-term leasing of cottage homes may be a lucrative business but investors are facing new obstacles as they try to get into the market.

One Muskoka-focused real estate agent is cautioning investors to choose their agents carefully, cautioning against city-dwelling Realtors who think selling an urban condo is the same as selling a waterfront cottage.

“The biggest challenge in Muskoka is that we have agents from the city coming up and trying to sell properties, but they don’t know anything about septic systems, they’re not attuned to actual values,” says Re/Max Realtor Ross McLean. “It creates a challenge.”

Investors should make sure their Realtor knows about a property’s septic systems, and whether the property’s water source is via the lake or from a well. Agents also need to understand the lot coverage, the zoning bylaws and any restrictions by the township.

Realtors should also know what the value of different properties so that investors don’t overpay. McLean points to a listing that he currently has; the current owner used a city agent who didn’t know better and advised the client to overpay for the property.

“Now he’s stuck with the property and he has to come to terms with that. He paid probably $150,000 too much,” McLean says. “That’s why it’s important to use a Realtor who understands the values [of waterfront properties].”

While short-term rentals may be rising for prime properties, so are tenant demands.  Wi-Fi is now ranked the most attractive amenity, according to a Trip Advisor survey, as well as a modern entertainment system such as flat screen TV.

Property managers in cottage country say that houses that are pet-friendly and include a cleaning service rent for the highest price and quickest time.

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate

Investment Hot Spots:
Truemanville, Flat River, Saint-Gérard-Majella, Darlingford, Darlingford


Get help choosing the best mortgage rate

Just fill in a few details, and we'll arrange for a Mortgage adviser to help you find the best mortgage for your needs

  • How soon do you want a mortgage?
  • Name
  • Where do you live?
  • Phone number
  • E-mail address


Is a T.O foreign sales tax a good idea?