Buying a Cottage on Lake of the Woods

What are the main things to look for when searching for the perfect Cabin, Cottage or Camp on Lake of the Woods?

I wrote this blog to help outline a few key points that I always look at when showing my clients a potential cottage. Keeping your eyes open for these can help avoid any potential issues and find the best possible options for you and your family.


What is the foundation style? Poured concrete, post on pad, slab?

Does it look like it's been levelled or does it need re-levelling?

If so, your Realtor® can recommend a contractor or a home inspector so that you can get a professional opinion.


Where the property and cottage itself is located, does it face north, south, east or west?

Will you be positioned for the best sunrises or sunsets?

Will your home get too much or not enough light exposure?


What exactly are you going to be buying?

- Is the shoreline allowance owned?

- Are there any encroachments or easements?

- Is the road maintained year-round?

Make sure to ask your Realtor® to look into any and all information you may need for a property.

Waste Removal

Replacing a sewage system can be costly, be sure to know as much as possible.

Does the property have: city sewage, a septic tank with a field, a composting toilet with a grey water pit or just a holding tank?

Also, ask your Realtor® what the age of the sewage system is and if there are any documents available on the system?


In a normal year (definitely not this one), where does the water line sit?

Will your cottage be the ideal vacation home for your family, with a beach, a deep rocky shoreline or a marshland?

Shoreline improvements

What type of dock does the property have?

Is it drilled pipe, screw piles, crib dock, or just a floating dock? Is there storage near the dock or power at the shoreline? Will it be convenient to charge batteries for your boats, or to operate the lifts?

Need more info on dock types? Check out this post from

If you want to know more or have any specific questions about looking for cottages in Kenora and on Lake of the woods, please reach out.

This post from discusses in more detail the intricacies of owning a cottage and taking care of your investment: article here

Is it called a Cottage, a Cabin or a Camp?


My Current Waterfront Listings

Kristie Cavanagh
CENTURY 21 Northern Choice Realty Ltd. Brokerage

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