Are you searching for a lakefront property for this cottage season? Now is the perfect time to start your search but first taper down your wish list. Then, ask yourself if a waterfront property is right for you and your family. What types of activities do you enjoy, or will be enjoying should you decide to purchase; swimming, kyaking, fishing or water-skiing? How often do you think you will plan on using the property? These questions will assist you in defining if a lakefront property is the right move for you and your family. If so, then let’s get down business - what to consider in this type of property…

The Waterfront & Beach Areas

Keep in mind that many lake properties do not necessarily come with a sandy patch of beach. Due to the variety of lake types across Ontario, specifically if you are seeking a waterfront lake in Grey & Bruce and the Bruce Peninsula, many of them have rocky or mossy entrances. Is a sandy beach important to you? If so, keep this at the top of your must-have list to help you narrow your search.

Enjoying The View

A great deal of enjoyment of your property will come from the serene lake views you have both morning and night. The Bruce Peninsula is well known for it’s glorious sunsets over Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Keep this in mind and watch for current or possible future obstructions of said views.

Couple on Sunset Dock

A Level Lot

A level lot can be a tough thing to find when it comes to waterfront properties as the land will naturally slope toward the water’s edge. You will want to ensure the land is properly inspected to note any possible dangers of an uneven lot and/or difficulties you may have with future construction, including docks at the water’s edge.

Proximity to Water

The proximity of your home to the water’s edge could also pose risks depending on rising or falling water levels, ice, frost, etc. How close you may be to the water could come with additional considerations for building and maintenance, and you may think about lifestyle concerns, such as slopes that may require stairs, if the home is relatively far from the waterline.

The Current State of The Home

Living close to the water can provide building and maintenance challenges of its own. Confirm with a proper inspection and when done effectively determine the current state of the home and whether any water damage has caused structural issues.

Lake House in Trees


You’ll certainly want to consider your exposure to both the lake and the roadway (if applicable) when looking for a waterfront home. If privacy is what you crave when you’re out of the hustle and bustle of the city, consider whether this is provided by the placement of the cottage, or perhaps a forest of mature trees obstructs the view of passers by.


Going hand in hand with privacy and view is the location of the home on the property. Has it been built in the ideal site to take advantage of the best sun exposure? Are you facing directly at another home? How close to the water is it? Make sure you ask yourself if the placement suits your needs.

The Waste System

If you are coming from the city, you may have given little thought to your potential new home’s waste system, but many lakefront and cottage properties run on septic tank, well, or public sewer systems. Ask your Realtor about the difference between each system and how it differs from the one you may be accustomed to. Be in the know before you purchase and avoid potential headaches later.

Specifics About the Lake

Be sure to enquire about the lake itself. Whether it has a sandy or rocky bottom, its depth, what water crafts are permitted, and how busy it can be throughout the seasons. Some lakes for example do not allow small motor boats; purchasing and then finding out you cannot use your new motorized bass boat would be a big disappointment.

Boat with Motor on Lake

Access to Conveniences

Many buyers love the privacy of a remote location but loathe the trouble in getting provisions such as groceries. Consider how far, or how difficult, it might be to pick up your basic necessities while you are using the home and whether this will hinder your enjoyment of the property. Additionally, if you are seeking a social aspect in a cottage region, check out the amenities in the area. Small towns have all the essential services but may not provide the additional amenities of city life.

Travel Time

If you are considering a lakefront home as a vacation property, definitely take some time to track the travel route and distance necessary to reach your destination. If you are mainly traveling on weekends and throughout the busy summer season, map out your mileage and time to arrive on a busy Friday evening. Nothing will kill the experience more than travel time and a possible traffic jam on single lane highways in summer during a long weekend, or your kids asking, “are we there yet?”