What to consider when buying or selling rural, cottage or vacation home?
The main issues for clients never familiar with country life is the absent of municipal water supply, sewage and natural gas used for heating. Buying or Selling the property always refereed to lot description, land survey or sketch of survey. In rural Ontario originally was used metes and bounds method meaning the actual distance was referenced to roads, waterways, fences some points which may not currently exist. Where are plenty of tools available online now including Topographic View from Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
This tool provide quality images of the properties with resolution a way better then Google maps service or alternative tools.
As a Seller you should prepare list of written notes about all maintenance/improvements done to the property. Consider to check well and septic tank, pumps maintenance, septic bed location and any extra pump used for distributing water from septic tank to septic bed. Do water test to insure tap water meet standards. The well should provide adequate flow of water. The Buyer or Seller may consider to hire a well inspector.
If you did any additions or new structures make sure all building permits are closed. Check the WETT certificate for the fireplace. Is it time to replace the fireproof bricks and inserts for the wood burning fireplaces.
In terms of access roads it may be public, private or you need to go through a neighbour’s property in order to access a road or a shore line allowance , you should ask your lawyer to check if there are any formal agreements in place — informal agreements may not be extended to new owners in case of private road access. Make sure that private road is maintained over the winter as not all owners would consider to pay extra $$ for winter maintenance and it may be not affordable to clean all the long road to your property.
Other is to check the property insurance in place ( some older owners do not have insurance ) and get new quote and make sure the fireplace is WETT inspected. The insurance rate normally depends on where the local fire station is located and type and age of construction.
If you have any other Questions about selling or buying the cottage please contact me.