For many families, a cottage is a tradition that builds strong bonds. I still remember sleeping in the bunkie with my cousins and telling ghost stories until almost dawn. Well it was really a tool shed with a couple of bunks in it. But it was close to the water, the gentle lapping of waves adding terror to our stories.

If you already have the lot chosen to build your cottage – you’ve already made the most important, and often most difficult step in the process. You might find a great deal – but make sure you understand what you’re buying. A lot only reached by boat or along a rarely used road may look attractive in comparison to a lot that is already accessible and ready to build. Carefully weigh the cost. It may turn out that the higher-priced lot is actually more affordable when you consider the costs of service the less accessible lot.

Here are 5 vital questions you have to make in your search for your cottage lot.

1. How far you are willing to travel?
This is a personal decision. For some families, travelling five or more hours is well within the scope. For others, an hour or two is all they are willing to give up to the road. Start with a map and locate areas that would be ideal for your situation.

2. What region is best for our family?
You can do a lot of research online. Start by selecting a couple of areas that are appealing to you and compare prices. Don’t forget to search for prices of cottages that are for sale. They will give you a good idea of the value of lots and cottages in that region. Doing a little comparison shopping online prepares you for the differences of each region.

3. After visiting the region, does it still meet my expectation?
While online shopping can give you an overview of what’s available and the price ranges in the various regions, take some time to visit each region. Talk to the people there. Get a feeling for the neighbourhoods, waterfronts, stores and services available in each region.

4. Have I visited the Royal Homes Design Centre?
Our design team knows a lot about cottage country. We build in some of the most remote regions of Ontario. They can help give you an overview of the detailed steps to building your own home. Ask them to develop a package for you, giving you a better idea about the process.

5. What kind of cottage do I want to build?
When you visit Royal Homes Design Centres in cottage country, you will begin your journey of gathering information and ideas. Our gallery is a great place for you to look for new ideas. Our Design Team will help you start your design by showing you some cottage plans that meet your needs – and then they will help you to draw your own plans.

Those 5 questions make up the research stage of building your dream cottage. I encourage you to visit the Cottage Life Show in Toronto – Royal Homes will be there. It’s the ideal place to start your research. There are nearly 500 exhibitors at the show this year. If you would like to meet us there, go online now and order your Custom Home Builder’s, Start-Up Kit. We’ll have it for you at our booth. (Hall 5, booth 2400)


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