You have decided that this is the year. It’s all about buying a building lot in Muskoka. Now is the time to purchase that Muskoka land and realize all your plans and dreams to build! But what do you need to know? How can you protect your investment? What comes first?
WHAT DO I DO?
Here’s a short list of order of priorities:
Choose the area(s) you are interested in. Have a look at a Muskoka map. Read about Muskoka online. Are you considering a cottage waterfront property on the Big Three – Lake Joseph, Lake Rosseau or Lake Muskoka? Alternatively are you considering an off the grid, off the water property near Algonquin Park? A small lot in Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Huntsville or one of the smaller towns? Consider length of drive, topography and ease of access.
Choose your REALTOR. This is a very important step. Do you know any agents? Do you have an agent in your area that you have used? Ask them if they can refer you to someone they know and respect in Muskoka. This is very important. You want a REALTOR who knows the area and who you can trust. This is a big investment in your future and you need the proper support. Don’t be afraid to speak to several Muskoka real estate agents. Ask about their area of expertise. An agent who specializes in homes in downtown Gravenhurst is not the same as a REALTOR who sells waterfront property on Lake Rosseau. You’ll get a feel for who is the right one for you.
Discuss scoping out the area with your REALTOR. Can she suggest drives/areas to visit to make sure that you love the area as much in person as you do online. You could arrange to see some properties at the same time as you are getting a general sense of the area.
If you will be financing the lot, speak with your mortgage broker. If you do not have a great mortgage broker, ask your Muskoka agent to suggest one or two. This is another relationship that you will rely on, so you need to have a competent person who knows the ins and outs of lending, and realizes the unique aspects of borrowing in Muskoka, as well as being a person with whom you “click”. Access to the lot will be key here, as well as many other Muskoka-centric issues. Remember it’s a big investment. No question is too small. Our goal is to manifest profoundly beneficial outcomes to buyers and sellers of real estate in Muskoka. It is so important to us that we made it our (Cottage in Muskoka) Mission Statement. Give your purchase the respect it deserves and make sure everyone else involved does too.
If you are not looking for a mortgage, but plan to use equity in your current home, contact your favourite lender and put the wheels in motion to free up the cash. Finding your dream property is not the time to start arranging financing. Borrowing for vacant land can sometimes be trickier than borrowing for a house/cottage.
Choose a property and fall in love with the land. Have your REALTOR secure the property for you, with a Conditional Offer. A due diligence clause will give you time to find out important details about the property. Too often buyers want to do their research and then make an offer and by the time they have their ducks in a row, the property is gone. Your REALTOR will be able to give you information about zoning and what the restrictions are. The township will have some rules about where on the lot and what you are allowed to build. You’ll want to know what is nearby, particularly if it could have a negative impact. Like a dump or if it is on flood land, to name just a couple of issues. You will also want to know if a site plan is needed, who will do that for you and what the approximate cost will be. There will also be building permit fees. Your Muskoka REALTOR will handle all of this for you.
Consider as many scenarios as you can. Do you want to build in a few years (is this for a second home/cottage?). Will the township allow you to bring a trailer to the property to enjoy it for a period of time before you build? Or did you want to have a trailer there permanently and resell in years to come? Do you want to build a traditional structure? A tiny home? A container home? (some jurisdictions don’t allow these yet).
Was the property recently subdivided? Will you be responsible for paying HST? Your Muskoka REALTOR will help you with advice on this. Is the land severable? Would you want to go through the process of doing that, either right away or someday? This would be good to know for building placement as well as investment income.
Buying property in Muskoka can be a lot of fun, and a very rewarding endeavour financially. Imagine being able to actually physically enjoy your investment. Other than taking your money out of your investments and throwing it around your living room and rolling in it, this is the only way to actually enjoy your speculation in a very real way. Talk about making memories!
Muskoka real estate can be a crap shoot. Buying a cottage in Muskoka or a Muskoka country property can be a challenge. Whether it is a country property or a waterfront palace, the quality of the build affects Muskoka real estate values. We always recommend a home inspection by a great inspector (our favourite is a building inspector with one of the Muskoka municipalities) to bring any issues to light, especially structural issues.
The country property that I want to talk about today is a beautiful build on 10 acres. The builder has thought of everything. Trent Topping is a local builder who spent most of his career working for a high end builder who has since retired. Trent focuses on accents now. He is a master stair builder, is great at post and beam accents and generally shows great taste and skill in his work.
A few years ago we had a conversation about Muskoka builds. We needed a strategy to find a home that would be built to the standard that he expects. It became apparent that to end up with what he wanted, he would have to build it himself. Trent bought a large parcel of land, a ten minute drive from Bracebridge in the middle of an old growth, mixed forest.
Topping carefully scoped the land, and spent months deciding on the perfect location, overlooking a ravine and surrounded by gorgeous trees. He then spent more months designing a home that would house his building business – so it had to have a large office and a large workshop with oversized garage doors and and 11 and a half foot ceilings.
The builder’s own home also had to be open concept with solid wood floors, two storey stone fireplace and lots and lots of storage. Trent insisted on all the touches that make a Muskoka home not only good quality, but feel like it is in Muskoka.
The product (their home) turned out so well, it exceeded his expectations. The just under 3000 square foot home has three roomy bedrooms, a dedicated office, a full sized office (with a door!), a large bathroom and a loft space on the second floor. The main floor houses a spacious entryway, a private primary bedroom with ensuite, a great room, dining room open to kitchen, pantry, laundry room and powder room.
The 32 x 80 workshop/garage will resonate with the creative part of one’s soul. Underneath all this is a crawlspace which covers 1600 feet, is secure and dry and houses the furnace, water heater and provides more storage.
Whoever gets to enjoy this exquisite property will certainly be participating in the true Muskoka experience.
This Muldrew Lake waterfront building lot features 400 feet of frontage. One of the larger and much sought after lakes in Muskoka, Muldrew Lake offers cool, clear swimming, great boating and fishing and the ultimate Canadian Muskoka experience.
The sellers have invested five years in developing the lot and have therefore priced it to sell. This property has been in the same family since the turn of the last century and it is time to share the experience. The `feel` is remote, yet the reality is that this pine and granite wonderland is located not far along Peninsula Road.
Minutes to Muskoka Wharf & Gravenhurst Amenities
Come and test it – you will find it is a quick 10 minute drive to town. More elevated, the topography is rugged and pristine for a classic Muskoka experience. The building site has an Evaluation Report available to qualified buyers. Please ask about its Managed Forest Property designation.
Muskoka cottage building lot – featuring 500 feet on Muldrew Lake!
Muldrew Lake is Muskoka’s eighth largest lake, and only 90 minutes to the GTA. Close to all the amenities of Gravenhurst, Muldrew Lake is pristine and only seems far away.
This site would provide the ultimate, private platform for the Muskoka cottage of anyone’s dreams. The views are incredible. The owners have spent five years, preparing the paperwork so that you can step in with your designer and builder and finally make your dreams come true. The lot is vast, yet close to town (10 minutes, honestly!). The land is gorgeous and the rock slipping gently into the water will tickle your fancy. Why wait? They aren`t making any more land and Muldrew is the ultimate.
An Environmental Report has been completed and a copy will be provided to the qualified buyer. This is a Managed Forest property. Just ask about it.
If a Muskoka cottage building lot is on your radar, you need to see this rare, large, private property.
We are happy to say that there will be a new family on Muldrew Lake. Particularly exciting to us is that this family is new to Canada, has never cottaged before, but really want to live a “classic Canadian lifestyle,” and they decided, what better way than to cottage in Muskoka.
It may not be the price it would have been in 1939, but it beats anything else on Lake Muskoka.
If you check MLS listings today, cottage property listings with 200 feet of frontage on Lake Muskoka are listed from $499,900 to $2.3 million. In general 200 feet helps give you improved privacy over a much more common 100 foot waterfront lot – or less.
We have a great listing on Lake Muskoka which offers 200 feet of frontage, has sparkling water over rock which sweeps into the lake. The lot is level with a great view, is close to Gravenhurst, 90 minutes from Toronto, has a cottage with two bunkies, AND that cottage is an original Eaton’s Catalogue cottage. It is also priced at the lowest price of ALL the 200′ waterfront properties.
Muldrew Lake is one of those lakes that people discover and seldom leave. Fabulous water quality, timeless Muskoka scenery, minutes to Gravenhurst and the Wharf, world-class golf also just minutes away at the Muskoka Bay Club.
On Muldrew, the trend has been one of buying properties with an older cottage on them and rebuilding. The problem today is the cost of an original property, plus the cost to build new, very quickly exceeds $1 or $2 million.
But, the original properties were almost always the best: good exposure, good access, good privacy, good views but with a level lot, good waterfront, etc. Also, when building a new cottage on the footprint of an older one, a minimal setback from the waterfront is a possibility that is not allowed on a newly developed lot.
This listing is such a property.The owners cottaged here for 30 years, prior to re-building ten years ago. They sought to design and build an energy-efficient home (in this case certified R-2000) with complete and excellent mechanicals, as well as superb construction quality on this property.
Four season certified R2000 home, approx. 2500 square feet of living space, on 1.11 acres of groomed woodland, on a four season road. Custom built in 2002 by French’s Fine Homes. Facing southwest on 160 feet of pristine shallow sand beach and deep waterfront. Located 10 kilometers from the Town of Gravenhurst, the world class Muskoka Bay Golf course, Muskoka Wharf, and emergency services.
Open concept living / dining / kitchen area separates two main-floor bedrooms, each bedroom with its own ensuite. Laundry facilities located on accessible main floor. Large screened-in porch overlooking lake. Expansive windows bring in the outside with natural light and expansive views. Natural daylight walkout basement with large guest bedroom. Detached two vehicle carport, with tool storage, and upstairs playroom/sleeping area. Neutral colours throughout. Faces southwest providing passive solar heating.
160 ft water frontage – original shore road allowance purchased/closed
Floating dock (24’ x 8’) cedar tone synthetic wood, attached to flexible cedar ramp and solid dock at shore
Sand beach at shore, deep water beyond floating dock.
Easy access to the lake via log stairs from driveway or through house walk-out basement
Level entry road from year round access municipal road, serviced by school bus.
Well landscaped 1.11 acre lot – planned and groomed woodlot, gardens with many mature perennials, small stream with dam creating waterfall
Consistent water levels (within approx. 12” fluctuation based on season and rain/snow fall amounts)
South /west exposure
Property purchased by owner in 1973; Viceroy cottage removed and replaced by year round home in 2002.
Insulation & size: Custom, certified R-2000 insulated home, approx. 2500 sq ft of living space with 1900 sq ft on accessible main floor plus 600 sq ft of finished lower level with natural light and walkout to large covered cedar deck
Windows: Energy Guide rated, low E Argon double hung windows and doors featuring large opening French doors from living room to screened in porch, slider doors, 2 casement windows on lower level
Foundation: Concrete poured, with insulation and fire retardant
Finishes: Custom rounded wall corners, and ceiling borders throughout, all neutral colours
Driveway: Easy access limestone driveway, off municipal year-round road
Detached garage/car port: (20’ x 24’), on slab concrete foundation with tool room and upstairs playroom/sleeping loft
Siding: Pre-painted horizontal Cape Cod lodgepole-pine siding on house with decorative frieze boards
Roof: 35 yr. asphalt shingles, eaves troughs all around
Flooring: Main floor is prefinished hardwood 3 ¼” Birch and ceramic tile; basement is manufactured hardwood Maple.
Wheelchair accessible main floor: Hallway, doorways, bathroom, lever taps & door handles
Decking: Entry deck (6’ x 9’) is screened and two steps up from grade.
Screened in lakeside cedar sun deck (34’ x 8’) upstairs off of living/dining rooms. Covered 34’ x 8’ cedar deck downstairs (unscreened).
Two covered unscreened cedar decks off bedrooms (each 14’ x 4’)
ENTRY PORCH: 6’ x 9’ Unheated screened-in entry porch/mud room leads into the house from the landscaped walkway …
FOYER:7’ X 12’6”
Foyer – ceramic tile floor
Mirrored entry coat closet
Main floor laundry closet with shelves, side-by-side appliances
LIVING/DINING ROOMS: Open concept 34’ x 15’ combined – cathedral ceiling
Flooring: – Birch prefinished hardwood
Napoleon propane fireplace – natural stone surround
Walk out French doors with side window to screened porch (34′ x 8′) off living room
Sliding doors to screened porch off dining room.
KITCHEN (12’ x 13’)
Spacious upper and lower cupboards, w/corner appliance garage, bulkheads over upper cupboards
Task lighting, over sink pot light
Formica counter tops, with double SS sink
Island with sink & large pot drawers and seating area
Pantry with slider shelves
Desk area w/phone/cable connections
MAIN FLOOR BEDROOMS X 2:
Master Bedroom (16’ x 13’6”) with ensuite bathroom(10’6” x 7’6” irregular) and Maxx spa shower
6’ bay window overlooking wooded area
Walk in closet (7’6” x 7’) w/window
Attached sitting room / den (13’6” x 8’4”), 6’ sliding patio door to covered cedar balcony area
Guest Bedroom / Sitting Room (20’ x 13’6”) Main floor guest room with 2 pc ensuite washroom (7’6” x 7’)
6’ bay window
Walk in closet (7’6” x 5’6”) with window
Large linen closet
6‘ sliding patio door to covered balcony.
BATHROOMS-(2 & ½)
Main floor washroom (10’6” x 7’9”) 4 piece (separate shower & tub) – ceramic tile floors with matching tub surround, wheelchair accessible
Two ensuite bathrooms: one 3 piece off master (ceramic floor); one 2 piece off main floor guest room (hardwood floor)
Elongated dual-flush toilets (3)
FINISHED NATURAL LIGHT WALK-OUT LOWER LEVEL
BEDROOM 3: (14’ x 13’6”’) Spacious, bright guest room in natural daylight basement
Family Room (34’ X 15’ less stairway footprint) includes a Napoleon wood-burning fireplace with fan and enclosed firewall, with outside air feed, ceramic and back wall ceramic décor and mantle on wall
Walk-out sliding door to covered cedar deck (34’ x 8’), and stairs to lakefront
Storage/Mud Room (approx 14’ x 14’) with door to outside wood shed
Flooring: Manufactured Maple hardwood
Unfinished area: exposed rock is covered and sealed with moisture shield (Approx. 62’ x 16’); contains mechanical room, water pump and purification system, electrical panels
Cedar deck (34’ X 8’) has a cement slab underneath which allows for potential future hot tub installation
HEATING: (3 sources) Two Napoleon fireplaces; one wood and one propane, with fans on Generac
Geo-thermal electric furnace and air conditioning; with outdoor split system air-to-air heat pump/thermostat
Lifebreath HRV ventilating system (air exchange and dehumidifier) with timers in each of 3 bathrooms plus in kitchen
Napoleon propane fireplace on main floor, w/thermostat (fireplace fan on generator)
Two propane tanks (tandem) on rental with Budget Propane
Wood burning Napoleon pedestal high-efficiency fireplace in finished basement (fireplace fan on generator)
WATER SYSTEM & PLUMBING: Complete water system is on Generator
Water source: Lake, with ¾ hp Jacuzzi pump in lake, heated water line / thermostat
Water filtration system for interior use (sediment, carbon, UV); additional ceramic filter tap in main bathroom.
Non-filtered water to outside taps for gardens, car washing, etc. (Benefit = extends filtration system life)
Oversized septic tanks (1400 gal. capacity with 100 gal. pump out chamber), insulated pipes and holding tank for efficient percolation
40 gal. hot water tank
200 amp service with (automatic) standby 8 K propane Generator – supplies fridges, freezer, microwave, water pump, UV light, various outlets – minimum of one outlet per bedroom, fireplace fans.
Buried power lines from transformer to buildings
Installed surge protector on incoming power lines
Wired for satellite cable w/installed cable splitter (8)
Easy access driveway from Town maintained road, easy lakefront access
8K standby Generator powered by propane — connected to water in/out system, refrigerator & deep freeze, microwave, plus one or more electrical outlet in each room
Double pane low-E argon windows throughout
“Silent floor” joists throughout; all wood decks are cedar
Fire protection system (house and grounds) with sprinklers on house roof
Cement pad roughed-in for hot tub (under lower deck)
Outside summer hot/cold shower
Central vacuum is roughed in, two outlets, one crumb tray
Winter wood shed off lower deck
24” all around roof overhang
DETACHED CARPORT / GARAGE: 20’ x 24’ building erected on concrete rebar reinforced slab
2 vehicle carport, with tool storage area
Vertical cedar siding – open sides allow for firewood stacking
Locking tool room at end of garage hidden under indoor stairway
Bright upstairs playroom/sleeping loft (24’ x 20’), three season, carpeted plywood floors, with 4 opening windows and patio door to small deck, ceiling light/fan, electricity, with one installed heater in loft
Garden tool shed attached to the back of garage
Outdoor summer shower building with hot/cold running water immediately behind garage
Decked walkway from garage to house, with BBQ and picnic table area
Level bonfire pit area behind garage, with grass and raised garden area
Located approximately 90 minutes from Toronto and its International Airport
Accessible from Hwy. 169 near Muskoka Wharf
Muskoka’s 10th largest body of water, approx. 11 miles long, with many bays and inlets
Muldrew Lake Cottagers Association is active in issues relating to the development and the environment, active in cottage winter inspections, provides annual regattas and other general interest events to membership. The MLCA also provides and maintains two boat landings for members to launch and remove boats from the lake. “All Out Marina” is located at the north eastern end of the lake.
Located south west of Gravenhurst, Muldrew Lake well known for its rugged beauty, calm waters and its active community of residents who are devoted to the lake lifestyle. Muldrew’s waters lie on the bedrock of the Canadian Shield, its depths and shape scraped out by glaciers thousands of years ago. Five species of pine and deciduous species such as birch, oak and maple decorate the shore. Muldrew is home to many species of wildlife, the most popular of which are the Common Loon, Great Blue Heron and of course the chipmunk. Much to the delight of residents, a large variety of songbirds, raptors and hummingbirds commonly visit, next and feed in the shore lands surrounding Muldrew Lake.
We sold a wonderful, almost 3 acre building lot on Sparrow Lake’s Deep Bay just a couple of days ago. This lot has almost 300 ft of waterfront, and Deep Bay is a beautiful part of Sparrow Lake.
When I was a kid, Deep Bay was a fish sanctuary. We would get a close as you could to the entrance and figure the bay was so thick with fish that they would be spilling out and onto our baits. Never really caught anything much that way though.
The new owners are planning to build in the next few years.