Buyers Guide to Relocating to Muskoka

CanoeRelocating to a new community can be an overwhelming task. In ideal circumstances you would take several trips to the area to get to know the place and find out exactly where you want to live. Realistically though, time, money, children in school means that likely won’t happen. To help guide you through the relocation process, save you time and money, I have put together these step-by-step tips for relocating to Muskoka.

Step 1: Research the Region

If you are being relocated with a company, this part is a bit easier because you know where you’ll work and can focus your search around neighborhoods within an acceptable distance.

If you’re moving to Muskoka without a job, or plan to work from home or retire you likely have the flexibility to choose exactly where you want to live. That may sound like a blessing, but it can be a monumental task as Muskoka is huge. The good news? It is all quite beautiful and you will never be far from a magnificent waterfront view, a rock cut and stand of trees, a hiking trail, a golf course, or any number of other amenities that may be of interest to you.

Step 2: Contact a Muskoka Realtor

You should try to explore the big-three Muskoka towns if time allows but most importantly you should consider using a Realtor who knows the complete area and can help you by answering questions about the region. Very often, in this geographically large area, you need a team of Realtors working together to assist you. I suggest contacting one and asking them if they cover the entire area or will they work with colleagues to give you great service. Things like municipal and district development plans, pending zoning changes and other ‘local knowledge’ isn’t always obvious from visiting a community. Unless you invest time in reading months worth of online news articles or have trusted friends already living in the area who will inform you, a Realtor can save you from future heart ache.

Remember, working with a Muskoka Realtor usually costs a buyer nothing! Our fee is most often paid by the seller. So, there is really no reason not to reach out.  And if you engage a Realtor as a Buyers ‘Agent and end up buying a home that was not part of an MLS agreement, the invaluable information and support you will receive from your Realtor will generally outweigh the cost.

Step 3: Get Pre-Approved by a Local Mortgage Broker or Bank

This is a step many people miss. If you need a loan to purchase a home in Muskoka, you should talk to a Muskoka mortgage professional early in the process.  By selecting a local expert, you eliminate the potential of a vital part of the process being missed. For instance, in this area some homes are in zoning areas that do not meet some lenders criteria. If you do not have a sizable percentage of funds for your down payment, your dream home may not be acceptable to your lender. Other things that can come up are water treatment for wells or lake-source water, distance to fire halls, types of electrical or plumbing material in place and even insulation and shingle. Your Realtor will be a vital resource in helping you understand this and selecting homes that your lender will find acceptable.

Step 4: Prioritize Your Housing Wants and Needs

In Muskoka there are very few large developments of similar homes. Housing tends to be more eclectic in style and services. So, having well-defined wants and needs list will help your Realtor zero in on what you may like to view. Once you have narrowed down the community and proximity to it the basics of bedrooms, bathrooms, land size, proximity to water, etc. become important. Are schools important? Can you afford homes you like where you are looking? Are you taking your long-term needs into consideration?

Once you’ve come up with the desired region and wants and needs list, your Realtor will to set you up on an electronic home search so you don’t have to waste time searching every single day.  As new properties come to market they will be added to your Web Portal to review. It will make your process much less frustrating. Knowing what you are looking for also gives your Realtor the opportunity to let you know about new listings before they go to market.

 Step 5: Don’t Forget to Make Time Fun

Let’s face it, looking at homes and neighborhoods all day can get pretty exhausting. Make sure you carve out some time to visit some of Muskoka’s sights, or relax at the Lake. Doing something fun during your visit may help ease the stress of the move and help you realize Muskoka is worth the effort you are undertaking.

 Not sure what to do? Call me or follow my Facebook page as I often post events that are interesting and fun.

As a full time, experienced Muskoka Realtor you can rest assured I can assist you in your relocation to one of our fabulous Muskoka communities. I have wide knowledge of the region and a great working relationship with my peers in the parts of the region I cannot service well. Call me today and let me help you love living in Muskoka as much as I do!

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