Which one are you?
By Cat Brown, Sales Representative
Cayman Marshall Realty
Living and working in Muskoka has given me the opportunity to meet a wide range of people over the years. While my cottaging experience began when I was two and a half years old, you might be new to the Muskoka region and lifestyle.
Your recent or aspiring cottage purchase likely will depend on what type of cottager you are. Here are the five cottager stereotypes:
1) The Family Cottager
You’d like to find the perfect place for the family to get together: spending time at the cottage together, creating the perfect gathering place while experiencing the outdoors, enjoying quality time with family and friends, and creating a hub of activity for the whole family. Family cottagers can be further sub-divided into two categories: The first is the young family looking to create memories and expose the kids to swimming, canoeing, watersports, and the slower pace of life. The second is the grown family, seeking to create the perfect vacation location for grandchildren coming to stay for the week, and adult children returning to spend time together. Whichever group they fall into, family cottagers are looking for lots of space for everyone to visit: roasting marshmallows, singing campfire songs, playing board games, playing on the beach…
2) The Social Cottager
You’re looking for a cottage in the centre of activity – like Queen West, but with trees. Entertainment is key, so being close to restaurants, shops, and golf courses is high on your list. You’d like a cottage on the same lake as your friends, enjoy evening cruises from dock to dock and dinners on the lake or at the golf club. You plan a morning surf with friends, or stand-up paddleboard tours around the bay. Your friends are always thrilled to get the invite for a weekend!
3) The Nature Lover
You want to be close to provincial parks and hiking trails, or even find a lake surrounded by Crown land, where you can head out for the day to walk through the woods and keep an eye out for moose, foxes, maybe a beaver or owl. Not only do you love to walk in nature, but often spend time canoeing or kayaking on the lakes, inspired by your surroundings. You are quite creative: an artist, builder, writer, or maybe a photographer. You take in the granite outcroppings, the pine forests, and the sparkling blue waters, and create your own art with nature as inspiration.
4) The City Escapee
While life in the city is a driving force for success, it is also busy and fast-paced, often noisy, and doesn’t provide much privacy. You’re looking to escape your daily norm and spend time relaxing in the peace and quiet that Muskoka has to offer. Your goal is to enjoy an early morning on the dock, listening to the loons as you sip your coffee. You see the calm waters, quiet forests, and relaxing afternoons reading in a hammock as the way to spend weekends unwinding. But keep the WiFi handy, as well as the nightlife. You’re escaping the city, not life!
5) The Investment Cottager
You’re looking for a property to rent out or flip. There are great opportunities in Muskoka for you, as we can’t build more Muskoka lakes, just two hours north of Toronto. Muskoka has been the vacation destination for Ontarians (and those beyond) for over 100 years, and we expect that will continue for as long as the wilds allow it. You’re looking for a turn-key property that is ready to rent out right away, or a beautiful property with a building that is in need of updates and repairs. With many older cottages on the lakes, we can always find a great fixer-upper for the handy investor. And in reality, all cottagers are gaining on their properties, with increases in waterfront property values year over year.
While I personally relate the most to the Family Cottager, I’d say I’m a bit of each with my love of nature, photography, backyard maple syrup production, desire to spend an afternoon reading in a hammock… and I’m always happy with a good investment!
I’d love to know, what do you think? Are there any other types of cottagers? And which kind of cottager are you?