Have You Considered?

  • Is the septic system in good working order?
  • Is there a well?
  • If the water is from the lake is there a purification system?
  • What is the type of heating system?
  • Is there a back up generator in case of a power outage?
  • Is there a deck, or screened-in room?
  • Are there outbuildings – a bunkie, cabin, shed, garage, boathouse, etc.?
  • What is the size of water front?
  • Is the Shore Road Allowance owned?
  • What amount of the waterfront can be developed?

You May Not Have Considered: 

  • Can you cut trees on the property?
  • Can the shoreline be altered?
  • Depth of water – does it fluctuate seasonally?
  • Steepness of access to the property. Will you and your family be able to easily manipulate it? 
  • Is the property accessible all year round?
  • What is the lake access like? Rocky bottom, weedy or sandy beach?
  • What are you looking for in water sports – sailing, canoeing, boating, tubing?  The size of the lake will determine what you can do.
  • Water access to other lakes and town. Do you want to be able to boat into town for dinner/entertainment/fuel/groceries?
  • Is there a public boat launch nearby?
  • Is there a marina close by?
  • Is there good internet access? If you will be working from the cottage, this will be important.
  • Are there nearby health, ambulance, fire department services?

Buying a cottage can be a very rewarding experience. It can also be complex and stressful without the assistance of a local REALTOR®.

 In addition to the actual purchase price, there are a number of other expenses that you may not have considered: 

  • Mortgage Application
  • Appraisal Fee
  • Legal Fees & Legal Disbursements
  • Property Survey (if not provided by seller)
  • Land Transfer Tax
  • Deed Tax
  • Property Purchase Tax
  • Mortgage Insurance
  • Home and Property Insurance
  • Connection charges for utilities such as Gas, Hydro, Phone , Cable, Water, Internet access, telephone etc.
  • Moving Expenses
  • Possible need for new appliances
  • Repairs on new property if needed
  • Canada Post forwarding address cost (if moving to a new home)
  • The issues faced by buyers purchasing rural and waterfront properties are different from and more complex than those faced when purchasing urban homes.

Pre-approval for financing, septic concerns, wells, surveys, and shore road allowances are some of the issues facing today's buyers. 

Except for the town of Minden, which has a municipal water supply and treatment plant, water is provided to all other properties in the Haliburton County from private wells or water lines running from the lake or river.  Ask your REALTOR® about the specific area you are looking at regarding the water supply.

This includes Haliburton Village where each shop or restaurant on the main street is serviced by it's own well.

Although both Haliburton and Minden have sewage treatment plants for in-town properties, outside of town boundaries, properties are serviced by composting toilets, septic or holding tanks, or sometimes by none of these.

Property boundaries are distinct and somewhat obvious in urban areas. In Haliburton County the lot you are purchasing may not have been surveyed for 80 years.

Survey stakes are completely covered and may not be found.

In order to protect yourself from the potential legal ramifications of these issues and the frustration associated with correcting them, buyers need to have a basic understanding and ensure that their REALTOR® takes appropriate action to protect their interests.

Your REALTOR® can assist you in understanding the issues shown below and guide you through the process of determining which property best fits your criteria.



A qualified Home Inspector will look at your potential home or cottage objectively and has the experience to evaluate the structure and systems that make up the home. 

Costs are usually borne by the buyer. 



Find out how much your financial institution will lend to you and at what interest rate, how much money they expect you to have as a down payment, and what kind of properties they will finance. You may find the perfect getaway on an island, only to discover that your financial institution will not lend on island properties.

Ask whether they will finance composting toilets, or properties serviced by lake water.

Get their pre-approval commitment in writing.

Ask your insurance company if they would insure this property and how much it will cost.


REALTORS® can show you any MLS® listing posted on their local Real Estate Board and, in many cases, they can show you exclusive listings of other Brokerages.

Choose a REALTOR® you feel comfortable with and work with them.

It's your own personal decision whether you want to work with the listing REALTOR® or another Brokerage.

In either case, ask about, and understand your agency relationship with your REALTOR®.



Make sure you obtain information about the water source for the property.

Is it serviced by a drilled or dug well, or is there a line into the lake?

Where is the well located and how deep is it?

Is the water potable and what is the quantity of water?


What kind of septic system is it; holding tank or septic tank-tile bed?

Obtain the Septic Use Permit if available to determine it's age and location.

When was it last pumped?  


Most lakes and many rivers in Ontario have a 66' strip of land running parallel to the waterfront called a Shoreline Road Allowance (S.R.A).

Some property owners have purchased their S.R.A. while others have not.

If the S.R.A.has not been purchased, then it is not part of the property you are buying.

For Algonquin Highlands township Shore Road Allowance information see:

Ask your REALTOR® about the S.R.A.



A survey can show only the boundaries, easements and rights of way, or it can show the location of all structures upon the property.

An updated survey adds value to the property.

Occasionally the description found in the deed for rural properties does not accurately reflect the current extent or limiting features of the property boundaries.

Your solicitor may recommend you purchase Title Insurance in order to help protect you against building by-law violations, work orders, and major encroachments.

Title Insurance does not eliminate the need for a survey. It only serves to underwrite any resulting losses incurred and should not be relied upon in place of a survey.



There are generally two types of offers:

  • Firm Offer To Purchase

Usually preferable to the seller, because it means that you are prepared to purchase the property without any conditions. If the offer is accepted, the property is yours.

  • Conditional Offer To Purchase

Usually means that you have placed one or more conditions on the purchase, such as “subject to home inspection”, “subject to financing” or “subject to sale of buyer’s existing home”.

The property is not sold until all the conditions have been met.

Acceptance Of Offer

  • Your Offer to Purchase will be presented as soon as possible.
  • The seller may accept the offer, reject it, or submit a counter-offer.
  • The counter-offer may be in reference to the price, the closing date, or any number of variables.
  • The offers can go back and forth until both parties have agreed or one of you ends the negotiations.




Fred Heinzler

Fred Heinzler

CENTURY 21 Granite Realty Group Ltd., Brokerage*
Contact Me