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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Spring 2017 > We’re New Here

We’re New Here

It’s obviously a fixer-upper, but at $59,000, how could they go wrong? Turns out, there is a lot to learn

I remember saying to my husband, Julian. “I totally agree,” he replied. We were up at our friend’s cottage for the weekend and getting ready for bed after a lovely day.

As much as we were enjoying being out of the city, we didn’t quite understand all the fuss. Julian grew up in London, England; I grew up in Seoul, South Korea. Translation: we have absolutely no idea about cottages. We’ve never looked at cottage real estate. We haven’t even been to that many cottages. The concept just didn’t appeal: dealing with neighbours, the constant upkeep, and the nightmare traffic—no thanks. Not to mention that we couldn’t afford it. We had a giant mortgage from gutting and renovating our city home, Julian was starting a business, and I had just left a full-time job to spend more time with our two kids.

Plus, my ideal cottage was a friend’s island getaway on Georgian Bay, which I figured must cost upwards of $300,000 (I found out it was more like a millionplus, which shows you how clueless I was about cottage real estate). And, we told ourselves, scratching our multitude of bug bites, we had parks nearby in the city. “Yup,” I resolutely repeated, “cottages are not for us.” Then we went to bed.

Julian woke me up the next morning, all breathless and excited. He’d been up most of the night because the cottage’s tight quarters meant he had to share a bed with our seven-year-old son, Oliver, who kicks in his sleep. So Julian did what he does when he can’t sleep. He read the news on his phone, checked social media, and then, with nothing else to do in the middle of the night at a friend’s cottage, opened his GPS-enabled real estate app.

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About Cottage Life

Cottage Life kicks off the season with a Get-Ready Guide! 138 pages of inspiration and advice including our 2017 real estate trend report, timeless advice from seasoned cottager Roy MacGregor, 10 easy DIY jobs anyone can do, a primer on generators, easy tinnie hacks, a hard-working ATV trailer, tips for setting up the kitchen and simple opening up meals, plans for building a deer-proof planter box, and ideas for converting a trailer into a guest bunkie. Plus, the restoration of a 200-year old Cape Breton cottage, and how a couple scored a $59,000 dream cottage.