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Cottage life is oh so good! The memories made at a family vacation home are cherished beyond anything money can buy, so when you make the decision to invest your hard-earned funds into a getaway home, you’re also buying the chance of creating some of those beloved memories.

There are so many natural and pristine places in Canada where recreational real estate can be found, but before you venture into cottage-buying territory, you might want to familiarize yourself with these six things before signing on the dotted line:

Emotions. Buying a vacation home seems to be much more intense for some people than buying any other sort of real estate. You’re buying more than bricks and mortar—you’re buying a dream, and it can get really emotional. A lot of together time will be spent at your new home away from home, and the promise of those times can incite emotional fervour. But these are happy emotions, too!

Sellers. On the other end of things, there’s the person/family who is selling the very same place you’re hoping will give you the hours of enjoyment they relished, so it’s bound to be tough for them. They’ve likely formed a sentimental attachment to the cottage, and they’re parting with more than a building. Bearing that in mind may help you keep your emotions in check.

Access. It’s nice to be off the grid, leading a peaceful existence, but keep accessibility in mind. You’ll want to easily access your new place by either public or private roads. Places that can only be accessed on the water will have a marina or boat ramp, but that can be a hassle.

Deed. The deed to the property needs to be comprehensive and should describe the entire property you’ll be buying. It should also give you the locations of things like wells and septic tanks. You don’t want to find out later that they’re on a neighbouring property. Some deeds that stem from years ago may have been sloppily put together.

Survey. Having a survey for a cottage may be even more important than having one for your family home. A survey will tell you if you have a shore allowance or water frontage if you’re on or near the water. It’ll also tell you if your property is encroaching upon a neighbour’s property, among other things.

Sewer System. Make sure that the cottage you’ve fallen in love with is connected to a sewer system of some kind, if not municipally. The last thing you’ll want to find out is that your little island house has no sewer system.

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