Jun 2011 1

What Do You Need to Do and Check Before Buying a Cottage?

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Log House by  Peggy Reimchen Log House by Peggy Reimchen

Living in an apartment at a noisy intersection in the city, waking up in the morning as everyone is trying to get to work as quickly as possible, nervously driving their cars under your window, honking all the way through — some unsatisfied customer yelling at the guy who sold him a coffee. In the evening, pulling down blinds to stop the bright city lights from getting in, and closing the window so you won’t hear teenagers talking right below late at night. Sound familiar? Do you need some place where all these little irritations will disappear? Many solve this problem by buying a cottage. Here are few useful tips about what to do and check before making the purchase.

Access to the City

On the way out by rutlo On the way out by rutlo

The first and most important concern for the vast majority of people buying a cottage is how quickly they can get there. How well is your chosen getaway connected with the city — where you have your work, friends, and where most cottage owners stay during the working week?

On the topic of access to the city, you should check the access to the property itself as well. Although it may seem like you don’t have any neighbours, you can be sure that you do. Why is this important? Simply because, when getting to your property, you’ll likely have to drive through other people’s properties. Don’t worry, though; most of the properties have deeded access, which means that your neighbours have signed deeds stating that you are allowed to access your property through theirs.

Phone and Internet Connection

New phone by Willy D New phone by Willy D

The last of your worries regarding connections concern phone, internet, and power. Most properties have a land line already, so you don’t need to worry much about phone access. If they don’t, it’s quite expensive to convince a telephone company to extend a line where it hasn’t yet been installed. Your real estate agent will help you research whether there is a telephone connection in the area, and the power connection as well. There is rarely a property without a power connection nowadays. It’s necessary to research whether there is internet or cable access as well. There are still some places where you can’t reach some providers, so if you really need an internet connection, try to look through a variety of providers.

A Quality Water Supply

Water drop by fox kiyo Water drop by fox kiyo

A crucial amenity for your country home is a water supply. Most properties are near a town or village, so water mains can be reached easily. If not, you can just ask a private company to dig a well for you — which will even turn out to be cheaper in the long run. Don’t forget to have the quality and quantity of the water checked.

The question that arises with clean water is, “How does the sewage disposal system work in a cottage?” Most of them come with a septic system, consisting of a holding tank and perforated pipes that also get tested and approved before you buy a property. Your real estate agent will arrange all the tests for you.

Is That Tree Mine?

Fence by Mom Smackley Fence by Mom Smackley

Last but not least, if you do not have a fence or any visible boundaries around your property, you can ask for a copy of a survey map showing the exact size and position of the house and adjacent yard.

A cottage is a great investment in your own calm weekends away from the concrete and steel of the cities, and in the priceless good mood that you’ll always have when you go there.

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