Buying a Waterfront Property by the Orillia home inspector.

Cottage living is one of the most popular tourist draws in Orillia Ontario, parts of which have come to be known as cottage country. This term typically refers to the north and south shores of Georgian Bay, Ontario; Muskoka, Ontario; Haliburton, Ontario; and the Kawartha Lakes, Ontario; but has also been used to describe several other Canadian regions. The practice of renting cottages has become widespread in these regions, especially with rising costs and increasing property taxes for waterfront property.

shore line allowance for cottageSome water front cottages have a Shore Road Allowance registered on title. The local municipality has the final say in closure and title issues of the property and road allowances. The Ministry of Natural Resources has established guidelines affecting closure of some roads for the preservation of wildlife and fish habitat. If you want to remove a Shore Road allowance you will be required to make application and are responsible for the costs that are determined by the municipality. The purchasing and closing costs will vary, in some areas it may be substantial.  When there is a Shoreline allowance you have access to the water but cannot control other peoples access and you are not allowed to erect any buildings or structures on it.

Many of the cottage inspections performed over the years have been accessed by boat.  There may be land access which sometimes will be across a neighbors property.  If that is the case you would want to check on any right of ways that maybe in place prior to purchasing.

Septic tanks and systems come in many types and sizes. Ensure you know about your system prior to purchasing and have tank pumped by licensed septic tank installer prior to closing. If your cottage has been expanded check and see if tank and bed have been expanded also.

The Ontario government says if a septic system is properly built, maintained and treated, it is a perfectly acceptable method of dealing with sewage. But many systems are old, have not been regularly and properly pumped out and maintained, are fitted with illegal connections or discharges, or have had substances injected into them that kill the bacteria needed to keep them functioning properly. Some townships are inspecting older systems and owners are required to correct any deficiencies.

Septic systems should be checked to ensure proper permits were taken out for the existing system. Having a professional septic system installer pump out your tank and perform an inspection is always recommended.  Installing a new septic system may cost as much as twenty thousand dollars.

Your realtor will check your cottages water for potability which is a basic test for bacteria.  Many cottages get there water from the lake and this water is not considered fit for drinking.  Most people install a cartridge and UV filter on their systems to remove solids and to kill bacteria.

If buying a Cottage in Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Rama, Brechin, Lagoon City, Severn Falls or in this general area contact the Orillia Home Inspector for a Professional Cottage Inspection. With over 4,000 inspections and as a Certified Building Code Official your investment is in good hands.