Winter is a great time to view cottage properties. If you plan to use the cottage year round, you can find out how accessible the roads are and how long the commute may be in challenging conditions. If the cottage hasn’t been shut down for winter, you should be able to see the heating system in action. Also, from a financial point of view, you will have fewer buyers to compete with.
I have comprised a few tips to make your winter cottage property search more enjoyable … for you …… AND me 😉
I understand that when you come up to look at cottages, some people want to see as many as they can to make it ‘worthwhile’. At the best of times, I try to keep tours to a maximum of 5 properties. Please understand that these rural properties aren’t next door to each other. Sometimes, there can be an hour drive between properties people want to view. In my experience, people start to get tired and mix up features of each cottage and essentially forget what they saw by the end of a ‘marathon’ day of viewings. It is especially important to remember in the winter that the days are shorter. I think you will agree that when searching for a recreational property, its best to see it in the light.
Boots! You may not have snow where you live, but we will certainly have snow here – sometimes waist deep. If you are wanting to explore out and about the property itself, odds are no one has walked down around the property much. If this is of interest to you, then snowshoes may be helpful (especially if its vacant land or an acreage lot). If this is your plan, at the very least I would recommend boots and snowpants so you can comfortably break trail through the snow. I can’t reiterate enough, snow may be waist deep – or more – in some areas. While 6 inches of snow may warrant a ‘State of Emergency’ in Toronto 😉 , that is a typical daily amount we expect to receive in the winter here in cottage country.
Bathroom Breaks: Okay, I get that sounds weird, but there’s a good reason for including this section. Many cottage owners shut down and winterize their cottage in the winter if they do not plan to use it (or if it is strictly a 3 season cottage). This means turning all the systems off, including water and draining all the plumbing. See where I’m going with this? If you need to use the facilities while at a cottage, please ask your REALTOR® If the water is on. I beg of you, please don’t just duck in to the washroom, use it, and then come out and embarrassingly stammer that the toilet won’t flush. If you have a small bladder, please let you REALTOR® know so they can plan accordingly.
Snow tires! ……. ‘All Seasons’ are not necessarily suitable to reach certain remote cottage properties. I am a firm believer in snow tires for safety in the winter. I thought it was commonly understood that snow tires are for winter use only, but I have come across people who keep their snow tires on all year long. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if this is you, then you have trashed your snow tires. You should actually not refer to them as snow tires any longer …. more like ‘slicks’ 😉 If you don’t have snow tires on your vehicle, please let your REALTOR® know ahead of time so they can make appropriate arrangements and/or select properties accordingly.
Winter can be a fun, informative and productive time to view cottages. Contact me today, and together, we will find you the perfect cottage in time for this summer.