What To Expect When Cottage Buying – The Honest Budget


Do you know what you can spend when buying a cottage?  If you are thinking of buying a cottage in north Muskoka, Lake of Bays/Huntsville,  as a full-time waterfront property specialist, I’m here to make your search for your perfect cottage a breeze! 

When starting any cottage hunt, the best way to begin is by knowing how far your budget will stretch and truly setting your sights on a property that will work with your budget and not against it. So, to get us started on the right path, here is an insider’s look at what kind of waterfront property your budget will get you in 2020 Lake of Bays/Huntsville and north Muskoka!

First, owning a second home or cottage is a luxury regardless of your budget..so get ready to be in the luxury lane.

If your Budget is:

$400,000 – $500,000 – The Fixer Upper

If you are looking to buy under $500,000, you can find cottages with some great potential, but you have to be ready to pull up your sleeves and put in some work! The silver lining of buying at this price point is that you’ll have the opportunity to fix up your cottage exactly how you’d like. It’s amazing the difference some fresh paint and new furniture can make! It may be a modest cottage – but you have achieved the Canadian dream of owning a waterfront retreat. How lucky you are to have a getaway!

Some property features you are likely to see at this price point are perhaps a more inclined or steep landscape with some or many stairs leading to the waterfront, a smaller spot – perhaps under 800 – 1200 sq. ft., 3 season (often not insulated for winter use or not on a year-round roadway), a smaller lake or a river, maybe boat access, perhaps a laneway or roadway between the cottage and the waterfront. A basic starter cottage but a spot to get away and enjoy “life at the lake”. I can almost hear the kids laughing when they jump in the water – it might be small but it offers such great fun. 



$500,00 – $700,000 – More Amenities and a Bigger Spot

Once you hit the half a million mark, you’ll enter into a bracket of cottages that will involve less work. It’s in this bracket and upwards, that you’ll begin to see freshly updated interiors with relatively new kitchens, fresh paint, and more of an open concept. These cottages will still be modest in size and quality of materials, but more likely these cottages will be ready for you to enjoy upon arrival! This price point will offer a larger cottage, possibly 4 season (insulated for winter use),   more space and privacy at the waterfront with a more substantial dock, potentially a bunkie or a small garage and upgraded landscaping. A smaller lake will offer more at this price point.



700,000-1,000,000  – More Room for Family 

At this price point, you will begin to see larger cottages – with 3+ bedrooms and 2+ bathrooms and perhaps a garage or a bunkie. At the waterfront, you can expect more privacy and a nicer dock. You can usually expect a four-season winterized cottage and cottages on larger lakes.  Cottage interiors are updated, with higher-end finishing. Greater privacy at the cottage and the waterfront can be expected.



1M – 1.5M— Larger, More Privacy

At this price point, you will find a winterized, four-season cottage with more square footage and additional amenities such as a Master bedroom with ensuite, screened Muskoka Room, laundry room, upgraded landscaping, dock and waterfront entertainment area. Some cottages at this price point will offer a small boathouse. Bonus features will be a bunkie and garage. 




1.5 – 2 Million – Luxury Amenities 

Once you’ve entered into the 1.5 million dollar range you’ll begin to see cottages with luxury amenities perfect for entertaining family and friends. These are cottages that have extra bedrooms for guests, outdoor entertainment areas, exterior landscaping, waterfront docks, and are upwards of 2000 square feet. Often, at this price point cottages will have been renovated with updated kitchens, baths, Muskoka Rooms and fireplaces.



2+ Million and Up – The Entertainers Dream

Once you have arrived at the 2M plus price point, you will see substantial changes to the cottage. At this price and beyond one expects a larger cottage of 5+ bedrooms and 3+ bathrooms, a Muskoka room, garage, substantial dock and waterfront entertainment area, boathouse or boat port, 4 season, better quality waterfront, sand beach and easy access to the waterfront. Soaring ceilings, high-end appliances and custom touches become evident as you move into this price point. Once you near the 3M+ price point, you would expect a double slip boathouse with entertainment area, landscaping with lighting and lots of granite, home offices, cinema rooms, exercise rooms, large garages. The waterfront will afford excellent privacy and expansive wide lake views.


Now that you know what to expect, let’s start your hunt for that perfect cottage! Contact Jay at 705-571-2118 or jay@jayrichardson.ca. I would love to help you on your journey!



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