THE BEAUTY OF SMALLER LAKES
Cottage buyers often come to me with a wish list of ‘must haves’ for their first or next cottage purchase. Often, this will include being on a large lake. Some buyers have a boat and want to get out on the water, others plan to eventually buy a boat to go exploring. The romantic idea of boating into town for a morning coffee or an evening meal is very appealing – work hard and endure the commute all week, get to the cottage and ditch the car for the boat as the means of transport for the weekend.
However, the reality of purchasing on a large lake is often not in the cards for the average cottage buyer. With price tags getting higher by the year, cottaging on one of the area’s big lakes is simply cost prohibitive for many people. With a budget of less than half a million dollars, or even up to a million, depending on the lake, buyers quickly realize this is starter or seasonal cottage territory only and that something has to give.
Fortunately, there are many smaller lakes in this area that offer lower prices and stunning scenery, with a real chance for buyers to get more value for their money and to actually achieve some of their wish list goals in terms of a good cottage, good frontage, good location. I have been out with the same clients over more than one summer, trying to find that perfect property on a large lake, within their budget, only to see disappointment on their faces as we arrive at yet another ‘starter cottage’ that is not what they’ve envisioned. However, if I can just get them to come take a look at what is on offer on some of the smaller lakes, it can quickly become apparent that their dreams just might become reality.
Some of the advantages of smaller lakes? Other than the obvious – value for your dollar – there are many. Smaller lakes often have less wind and waves and are a natural setting to get cottagers of all ages on the water – be it by boat, canoe, kayak, stand up paddle board or a wakeboard or waterskiis. There is a real sense of peace and solitude on most smaller lakes – less boat traffic, fewer seadoos, more paddle power! It’s a perfect place for kids to gain confidence in water sports that they might not attempt on big, rough waters.
Many small lakes have been enjoyed for generations by the same families. Grandparents came to this area many years ago and bought or built a cottage. The kids outgrew the family cottage as they started their own families and purchased or built on the lake…and so on. There is a real feeling of community on small lakes, many of which have committed, passionate lake associations that monitor water quality, set ‘rules’ for shared enjoyment of the water, and organize annual regattas and events. I have met people on our lake who have moved far afield but still return every year for Fun Day and tell stories of some of their greatest life memories from these events and time spent on these lakes. Small lakes can foster lifelong friendships. It is also often quite convenient to find a boat launch nearby to put your boat into one of the big lakes for a day here and there to enjoy a change of scenery and get the best of both worlds: a larger, more well outfitted cottage on a good lot on a small lake, and a chance to explore the vastness and beauty of some of our larger lakes on occasion. Winter on smaller lakes can be extra rewarding also with the possibility of thicker ice for a longer season, with more chances to get out and enjoy this winter wonderland.
Buying a cottage comes down to priorities and what is most important on the wish list. Small lakes can often check most of the boxes on those lists and I often find, bring just as many or more happy memories over time as a cottage on larger water. The truly important thing is getting out there and finding a place for your family to begin making their cottage memories.
The Muskoka Lifestyle. It’s how Elissa grew up, how she lives today, and what she loves. Elissa knows this area intimately, from its lakes and waterways to its towns, villages, roadways and trails. She is the agent to help you find your way here – whether you are new to the area and looking to make the Muskoka lifestyle a part of your cottaging or full time living plans, or whether you are familiar with this magnificent area and looking to make a change.
With an extensive background in sales and negotiating, dedication to outstanding customer service, and a genuine interest in achieving the best for her clients, Elissa will help and guide you with your real estate needs and goals. Confident, personable and professional, Elissa has the local area knowledge and the real world skills to get the job done. Thinking of buying or selling a home or cottage in Muskoka? Let’s talk: 705 787 5463 or firstname.lastname@example.org