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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Mar/Apr 2019 > a LOT to consider

a LOT to consider

Buy land, build cottage, save money: simple, right? Hold that thought. There’s so much more to this real estate strategy…

Carolyn and Chris McIntyre bought their slice of paradise on a whim. They were on their way to Carolyn’s dad’s place in Minden, Ont., when Chris started scrolling through MLS listings on his phone and came across a lot on Belmont Lake, an hour’s drive east of Peterborough. The McIntyres had friends on Belmont—where most cottages were listed at $300,000 or more—and loved it. As for the lot, it was on a tiny bay with lots of privacy and came equipped with a dock, an outhouse, and even a small bunkie that could house the family of ive during construction. And at $147,000, the price was right

Now what?

So they went for it. Chris then put in some calls—to the local planning and development oice and to their friends down the shore—to make sure they’d actually be able to build there. But beyond that, “it wasn’t really well thought out,” admits Carolyn.

Two years later, they’ve just managed to get electricity—a process that cost $10,000, and involved having Bell move several poles to make way for electrical wires and geting neighbours to sign of on having the new lines cross their land. “Nobody anticipated it would take that long,” says Carolyn. “We haven’t even built anything yet, and there have already been a lot of expenses.” The couple has encountered other unexpected bumps. They are still waiting for approval on their first building permit application by the municipality, which sent them to the local Crowe Valley Conservation Authority. Since the property is on a lood plain, Crowe Valley requires a land survey to determine its elevation; too low and they’ll need to truck in ill. “I thought it would be a one-stop-shop instead of all this bouncing around,” says Chris.

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About Cottage Life

Back together! Time to reunite with the cottage and all your favourite people and traditions. The Mar/Apr issue gets you ready to kick off a new season! Try these make-ahead breakfasts that let you feed everyone, no matter when they—or you—get up! Come aboard on a one-of-a-kind travelling dinner party Take a look inside a stylish modern update with a cherished family cottage at heart Ramp up your boat-trailering skills for a perfect put-in Navigate getting permits for removing water weeds Get space-saving tips from a tiny, chic DIY cabin Pack smarter: expert tips for weekend warriors Clean your eavestroughs, protect your projects, and build a fender system for your boat Stock up your workshop with a super-grabby glue and the saw blades you need Build a cool mountain-inspired shelf in a day Plus: Real estate 2019: Don’t miss our guide to vacant land to find out what to know before you buy