When finding a property for either for full-time living or as your home away from home, you will come across many challenges. Probably the most daunting of all is where to start. Figuring out how to proceed and what to look for can prove to be much more difficult than you may have originally thought. What type of resort property do you want? What do you need and want in a resort property? Where do I start to look? What lake or area should I look at? Are the properties the same? Is the process the same as buying a home in the city? Should I be looking for similar things that I would look for in a home in a urban area? All of these questions and more will be answered. We have provided you, our clients, with this guide to further our never ending commitment to making our clients as educated and informed as possible.
For many of us, the drive is worth it.
There are many reasons why you may think you’d love to live in a resort community. The biggest reason is usually finding your own piece of paradise away from the city – a perfect relaxing escape to call your own. Resort properties are perfect for those who want and/or need extra land/more space, for people who love the outdoors and want to be close to the lake for fishing and boating, and they are especially perfect for people who want a getaway from their daily lives in the big city.
You want to live outside of the city and this is how you make your dream a reality.Looking at one of the many beaches on Last Mountain lake which home owners have acces to.
Let’s get started.
Getting started on your search for a resort property is right in front of you. The most effective avenue to take when looking for a new property is to sit down and write out your needs and wants so start out with a T-chart and really hash out what you need and want in a home or recreational property. You must keep in mind that needs and wants are two separate entities that carry different amounts of weight in terms of overall importance on your purchase. Needs are naturally what is most important on your search and they should outweigh wants immensely. Needs are things such as location, number of bedrooms, the layout of the home, the size of the home, the size of the lot, the number of bathrooms, etc. These are the things that you absolutely need in a home or recreational property – the things you need to make the home work for you and your family. Wants are the extras, the things you could live without, the things you would like to have but really don’t need, the little bonuses, the cherries on top. When searching for a property to build on or a resale home that has 80% of your needs (usually around 6 items) is considered very good in our opinion. We don’t want to burst your bubble but you will never find a home that hits all of your needs unless you build, which can become very costly.
Knowing the rural market is a unique skill set.
Purchasing Resort property has quite a few differences than purchasing property within city limits so there are plenty of extra things to consider. Lots vary much more drastically with resort properties; this includes size, topography, and location. You’ll have many more options when looking for large, unique properties, including acreages and waterfronts, but you’ll also run into other rural specific bylaws and services (or lack thereof). With resort properties you will be subject to the rules and regulations of the hamlet, village, town, or RM (Rural Municipality). Understanding and knowing what you are allowed, and not allowed to do, is something you will NEED to know, especially when building or if you ever plan on doing any major renovations as they often differ from a major city. With the often lack of running water to many rural communities you will also need to know and understand items such as septic tanks & field/mound/lagoons, cisterns, and wells. Another important consideration is what the primary use your resort property is as many recreational properties are only 3 season and can’t be used in the winter so you’ll need to ensure specifics of the property you’re interested in – the local REALTORS® from Cottage & Country Realty can assist you will all of this.one of the many docks and boat launches the resort property owners of Regina Beach have access to.
Last Mountain Lake is where we started in ‘93 and we know you’ll love it.
Last Mountain Lake is an extremely welcoming and relaxing place to live. The communities surrounding the lake are friendly, welcoming, optimistic, and laid back. When you decide to buy property around the lake you are also deciding to buy into a lifestyle. Being able to wake up and look over the lake and watch a sunrise while enjoying your coffee is something truly special (and the sunsets are equally, if not more impressive). There are multiple communities surrounding the lake that vary in size but rest assured because all of them are welcoming. The lake is home to Regina Beach, a community and beach full of local restaurants and host to plenty of events all year long. It is the perfect home away from home yet the perfect place to also consider settling into as a full-time commuter town but Regina Beach is not the only location worth calling home around Last Mountain Lake. This area houses the great communities of Buena Vista, Kinookimaw, Lumsden Beach, Valleyview Estates, High Country Estates, Rock Ridge, Saskatchewan Beach, Kannata Valley, Shore Acres, Alta Vista, Sun Dale, Sunset Cove, Pelican Pointe, Heritage Valley, Sorensen Beach, Clearview, Mohr’s Beach, Glen Harbour, MacPheat Park, Belmont Beach, Spring Bay, Green Acres, Colsedale Park North & South, Sunset Acres, Island View, Uhl’s Bay, Rowan’s Ravine Collingwood Lakeshore Estates, Arlington Beach, Kedleston Beach, Highwood Beach, Alice Beach, Wee-Too Beach, Lipps Beach, Grandview Beach, Sarnia Beach, Eldora Beach, Triple T Beach, and Etters Beach (sorry if we missed you :))
We may focus on Last Mountain Lake and it’s communities primarily but we also serve Katepwa/Echo/Mission/Pasqua Lakes and Buffalo Pound Lake, also offering lake living within an easy commute to Regina, so don’t forget to check them out too!
Maybe lake life isn’t for you.
There are plenty of other great locations for rural living around Regina and ideally you want to pick the location that best suits you and your family. One of the most well known commuter towns surrounding Regina is Lumsden. Lumsden is a very established commuter town that seems to draw people in due to its 15 minute commute to Regina, while still offering many of the same services. These include: K-12 schooling, restaurants, a gas station, car wash, RBC & Conexus banks, an indoor skating/hockey/curling rink, a hardware store, a grocery store, a floral shop, 24 hour gym, a dentist, doctors, coffee shops, bar/hotel, clothing & gift shops, hair salon/aesthetics, a butcher, and more! Lumsden is a very friendly community and is also home of The Duck Derby, the newly famous Last Mountain Distillery, and is in close proximity to renowned golf course & country club, Deer Valley, amongst other golf courses such as Flowing Springs. As their motto says, “Step Into a Country Pace.”
You will also find many other great resort property opportunities at Bethune, Chamberlain, Silton, Bulyea, Strasbourg, Pilot Butte, White City, Emerald Park, Findlater, Pense, Belle Plaine, Grand Coulee, Balgonie, Qu’Appelle, Fort Qu’Appelle, Maclean, and more. No matter where you feel may be right for you, remember that we are your Residential, Rural, and Resort Real Estate Specialists who currently serve Regina and all surrounding areas.
Bigger yet! What about acreage and farm living?
Acreages and farms are very specific to a Buyer due to every property being so different and unique. Acreages can come as small as a couple acres on the outskirts of town all the way to a quarter section (160 acres) and are going to be used primarily as a residential home with the added perk of a couple horses with room to run around and graze. A farm, on the other hand, can vary from just a quarter section all the way to being 1000’s of acres in size and have a wide spread variety of businesses attached to them – berry production, livestock/ranch, chicken/egg, and hay/crop production to name a few. When purchasing an acreage or farm you must be very specific and clear on your needs as they are so diverse from the quality of the soil & land, highest and best use for that land, cost per acre, what outbuildings are available, what the existing business is set up as and what you can expect as far as yield… and it doesn’t stop there.
This really can make the search overwhelming and more daunting due to the lack of similar properties so how do you know what is worth while and what isn’t? How can you tell what is a good price or not? This is what your local REALTOR® is for!
But can I qualify for a mortgage outside of the city?
Qualifying for a home is a lot simpler than you may think. Although it can be more difficult for acreages, farms/commercial, and 3 season cottages, being that you may need 20-35% down, you can usually still get approved for 5% on almost ALL of the residential year-round properties. The ability to obtain a mortgage may prevent many individuals and families from even considering the prospect of home ownership but all you have to do is ask – REALLY! Lenders and financial institutions are more creative than ever and have plenty of programs to help your and your current financial situation qualify you for a mortgage, and we know the best in the biz!
For a first time home buyer, all you need is 5% for a downpayment, yet most first time buyers still think that they require 20% to purchase a home (this 5% down also applies to those buying a new primary residence, even if it isn’t their first). Keep in mind, although you can buy a home with only 5% down this is still considered a high ratio mortgage and because of this you will have to pay default insurance through companies such as CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) or Genworth to protect your lender against potential mortgage default/foreclosure – this default insurance goes down the more you put down, whether it be 10% or 15% etc. If you can save up 20% instead, though, your mortgage will be considered a “conventional mortgage” and, for the most part, you won’t have to pay the default insurance (although with a conventional mortgage also comes with potentially higher interest rates, as well as higher stress testing). Your best strategy is to meet with a mortgage specialist or bank and get pre-approved but shop around – don’t just go to your bank and accept whatever they offer you! There are plenty of experienced and knowledgeable lenders/brokers who would be more than happy to help you and they want to see you approved and qualified! Lenders all offer different programs and different rates so find a program that fits you, your lifestyle, and your financial situation before committing. Doing this ahead of time will not only make your search more effective and easy, it will make the process of actually offering and purchasing a home so much easier and stress free when the time comes.
It’s as simple as giving us a call, text, or email!
Don’t make the mistake of doing it alone.
We know our opinions are biased but you are without a doubt going to want to hire a REALTOR® to help you. Hiring a professional agent will make sure that you find exactly what you are looking for easily and effectively. Also, as a buyer you need to keep in mind that the seller pays the commissions – this also applies to FSBO’s almost 100% of the time (for sale by owners like ComFree or Property Guys). Why wouldn’t you hire a professional when it’s a free service to you as a Buyer?
Your REALTOR® will make sure all the t’s are crossed, the i’s are dotted, and will have an extensive list of some of the best industry professionals to assist you in any situation including, but not limited to, home inspectors, plumbers, electricians, mould/asbestos/Radon specialists, sewer experts, engineers, basement contractors, damage restoration specialists, flooring companies, countertop specialists, and lawyers. We work with our clients best interests at heart to provide exceptional, knowledgeable, and personal service, making sure YOU are satisfied with your home while aiming to make the process as comfortable, relaxing, and stress-free as possible. We refuse to put our clients into homes that we wouldn’t buy ourselves and we want our clients to be as informed as possible so that they can make a purchase that they are satisfied with. We will always dedicate as much time as needed so that our clients can make the best decisions.
With our extensive experience, knowledge, and exemplary negotiating skills we ensure our clients are never over paying for their homes. We are your residential, rural, and resort real estate specialists.