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Cottage Buying 101

The Buyer Process – Exciting and Exhilarating!

No B.S. and Not intimidating – with The Gardiner Team

Jim, Iris and Lesley-Anne guide you effortlessly through the best choices for you and your family’s Muskoka cottage buying dreams

As knowledgeable and experienced REALTORS®, we pursue the best prospects, advise you each step of the journey, and connect you with a team of professionals to handle all the details for your problem-free purchase.

That process involves a number of areas a Muskoka cottage-buyer should consider, such as:

Waterfront Usage

Will activities include long boat trips through interconnecting lakes, or do you envision a quieter smaller lake with less water traffic?

Riverfront properties are less costly than lakefront and appeal to paddlers, but won’t interest those who like to sail or waterski.

While island properties present some unique access challenges and are generally less expensive, they do offer better privacy, security, and tranquility.

Topography – Another Factor

Are you willing to trade easy access or safety for seniors or children for that great view or innovative architectural feature? Those two features are often paired with steep slopes that present challenges in these areas.

Remember that the type of shoreline you enjoy is influenced by the type of waterfront activities you enjoy, as well as the age and ability of the swimmers.


Do you love a sun-filled day? Do you envision waking to a beautiful sunrise, or photo finish sunset? Do you prefer a brisk or light breeze? We advise you on how the exposure affects the hours of direct sun, the views, and the difference between an onshore or offshore breeze.

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Road Access and Other

Year-round road access may influence property taxes. It’s also important to consider seasonal use and private road maintenance potential, septic systems and their particular requirements, and the need for water supplies or associated purification methods.


About Muskoka

Commonly recognized as Canada’s premier ‘Cottage Country‘, Muskoka has been attracting people for over 150 years. Its clean lakes, rivers, and healthy forests are the envy of countless Canadian cottage goers and international investors.

While various levels of government have undertaken the protection of Muskoka’s environment for future generations, The Gardiner Team is well acquainted with local policies, permit requirements, and area by-laws. We readily inform buyers of anything that may affect your purchase decision.

This may include land severances, site plan control, building restrictions, shoreline development, buffer zones, and *shore road allowances.


A shore road allowance is the 66′ right-of-way around most lakes and navigable rivers in Muskoka, owned by the Crown, and administered by each municipality.

It may be purchased and deeded to the property owner with certain conditions.

Property Care and Maintenance

We also advise you on how to protect your property from shoreline erosion, how to care for your grounds in an environmentally friendly manner, how to eliminate noise and light pollution, and even how to attract (or deter) wildlife. We have an extended team of professionals who provide all manner of cottage related services.

The Gardiner Team is here to answer your every question. Big or small, it’s our concern to make your buyer journey as enjoyable (and thoughtful) as possible. And, our services don’t stop with the conclusion of the sale. We are here to help on an ongoing basis.

Words of Appreciation

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