A few months of confinement, and the proliferation of telcommuting, were enough to turn Montréalers’ attention to countryside life.
Properties in Tremblant, the Laurentians, Lanaudière, and Estrie are now in high demand.
July 2020: Unit sales of country homes are up by over 70%, compared to the same month of last year.
Today, with the borders still under restrictions, buyers are looking to our beautiful surrounding areas forwell-earned personal retreats for themselves, and for their families.
The less populated rural areas are being considered as more secure, with lower density than the urban and suburban areas. These exurban and rural areas offer open land, tranquility beside a lake, a chance to reconnect with nature and its many benefits, withone-off vacations, and other consumer/depreciating escapes less attractive or accessible. Farmhouses, cabins, and inns have become very desirable tocity-dwellers, whose more flexible and mobile situations are allowing them totrade their urban residence for more space, more rooms, and more room to roam. These are being viewed as ideal home-bases for remote work, as well as to enjoy time with family and close friends.
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Excited at the idea of investing in more space, indoors and out? Whether looking for a new property, or a property which allows for renovation aligned with specific need sand desires, a number of buyers have been contacting our team to help them with the less familiar ins-and-out of this buying process.
Below are some of our most basic recurring recommendations:
1. Determine the type of property that will best suit your needs.
Are you looking to purchase land on which to build your country home? An existing property to renovate? A turnkey property ready for you to inhabit and enjoy immediately?
Whatever your preference, each of these options should be carefully analyzed.
When buying a cottage, versus an urban property, you have to deal with certain possible issues, such asseptic systems, shore road allowances, drawing water from sources other than municipal services; and, different points of access, whether it be water access, municipal access, or private road access. You will have to determine the costs associated with some these set-ups, and if they may, or may not, be higher than acquiring a turnkey property.
Your expert real estate broker will be best suited to guide you through these unknowns.
2. Summer cottage or winter cottage?
Are you more of across-country skier, or do you prefer relaxed days out on a boat fishing? Depending on your needs, paying a premium to be close to the shore might not bethe best investment.
3. Location and accessibility.
Is privacy a factor? How close do you want to be to your new neighbours? How much travel time are you comfortable with each time you leave your home, for supplies, or familiar urban outings?
If your daily habits requireeasy access to certain amenities (restaurants, cafés, hospitals or clinics,grocery stores, schools, high-speed internet…), it would be wise for your property of choice to be close to the nearest major city such as Tremblant, Magog, etcetera.
It is also important to consider the importance of having year-round access to your property. Less maintained roads will be worse during the winter months, and may represent anadded cost in maintenance, in insurance, or in your choice of vehicle.
4. A proper inspection.
Infiltration issues,structural issues, power, insulation, roofing: A proper inspection will determine if your property is up to par, or the extent of work required. The balance of these factors, informed by accurate and thorough expert knowledge,will allow you to make a wise decision, including the savings that a renovation may mean in your purchase price, or if you require skipping any delay, and making home immediately.
When taking on a renovation project, a contractor, and/or an architect, will help you determine, and cost out, any planned work.
If you take on part of thework yourself, the budget will be a little lower. However, make sure you have enough time, and of course patience, because renovating yourself will normally mean a longer period between acquisition, and your full enjoyment of the property. Nonetheless, renovation froma distance always presents unique challenges, which require planning and experience to help mitigate and prevent unwanted surprises, expenses, ordelays, should you decide to undertake such a project.
6. Zoning and transformation by-laws.
First task at hand: Check the zoning, and ensure that it corresponds to your project vision, as endeavour ingto change pre-existing regulations later will most likely be impossible.
Certain residences may be subject to a transformation by-law, which contains restrictions, such as a limited period during which the work can be carried out, or specific strictures in the way in which work must be carried out.
Please note: The bank will not finance a property with a septic system, or water access, which are not up to par with regulations.
Also, you will have to confirm at the City that there is no notice of non-conformity as,in this event, the transaction will be terminated at the notary.
Once you have quantified thecosts that the property will require (maintenance, repairs, taxes, insurance, costs for furnishings, etcetera), your mortgage broker can help you assess your financial situation, and offer you financial solutions to meet your needs.
Our team remains available to assist you with any of the required resources for this exciting decision.
Contact us today to begin your buying project.
*Featured property: 160 rue Dubois in Mont-Tremblant
Courtesy of Sean Hummell, listing broker