Many Canadians are reconsidering their lifestyle after a year of lockdown. Maybe you are thinking about moving to your cottage and working remotely for much of the year. You may be tired of city living or simply desire to listen to the birds sing every morning. Whatever your reasons, before you move into the shack on the edge of nowhere, you will want to take into consideration if your cottage is really positioned for a happier retirement from civilization.
Selecting a Neighborhood that Supports Your Lifestyle
Living out on an isolated mountain may be the perfect getaway for your summer break, but will you be happy there all year round? Now is the time to decide if your current cottage is perfectly positioned for a more rural lifestyle.
Shopping, Supplies, and Shipping – Oh My!
Where are the closest grocery stores, shopping malls, or even the post office? If you live on delivery services, that may not work out in the wild. Are you happy to drive an hour to stock up for a week or a month?
Cell Service and Internet Providers
You still want to keep in touch with your family and friends back home. Satellite internet and phone services are not as fast or dependable and can cost a pretty penny. If you live in a small year-round community, it is more likely you will get to enjoy four bars and high-speed internet.
In Case of Emergency
Are you prepared to take care of yourself when something goes wrong? Check on the proximity of fire stations, hospitals, and law enforcement. You will want to invest in a better first aid kit, generator, and possibly a sprinkler system to protect your home and life.
Smart Upgrades for a More Comfortable Cottage on the Lake
Most summer cottages are designed for summer or at best, three-season living. However, you can do some renovations to make your house on the edge of nowhere a better place for extended or all-season stays.
Improving Insulation for Winters and Hot Summers
Adding insulation to the attic, walls, and basement is a pre-moving must. Replace old rattling windows with new insulated versions. You will find that a draft-free home makes for cozier nights in front of the fireplace.
Adding an Extra Guest Room or Storage Shed
In the summer, it is fine for the grandkids to pitch a tent in the yard, but what if you want them with you at Christmas too? Find a spot for everything and everyone and welcome more guests by adding an extension. Now you have a little more elbow room, too!
A Reliable Heat Source for the Deep Freeze
Invest in a furnace or boiler that is capable of fighting off sub-zero temperatures after moving up north. The woodstove will only manage to heat so much space and requires constant attention. You will need to determine if oil or propane can be delivered after a blizzard. A combination of heating systems can help you weather the harshest winters.
Retiring? Plans for an Accessible Home
Is moving to the cottage your retirement plan? You may be healthy and mobile right now, but what about in a few years? When living out your days on your remote acreage is your dream, turn a critical eye to how the cottage works and what you can do to make it more accessible for the future.
Options for One-Floor Living
Do you have a kitchen, full bath, and bedroom all on the main floor? Even if you use the upstairs master bedroom now, is it possible to switch things up when stairs are no longer your friend? Stair-lifts, ramps, or even an elevator may help you to continue to enjoy your cottage and make the most of your space.
Everything within Safe Reach
Is there a rickety ladder that leads up to the attic? Are you always using a step stool to get down dishes in the kitchen? Call in a home design expert or local contractor that can help you put everything you want within easy reach using drawers, folding stairs, or drop-down cabinetry.
A Safer Bathroom
You are probably renovating the bathroom when planning on full time cottage living. While you are at it, opt for no-slip tiles on the floor and the tub. Install grab handles for the use of your guests and yourself when the time comes. A wider door, hand-held showerhead, motion-sense lighting, and walk-in shower will help you stay at home as long as possible.
Updating Your Insurance
Remember to talk to your agent at Wayfarer Insurance Group and make sure that your property will be fully protected when you settle down on more distant shores with different considerations than the city.
Make the dream last, and last as long as possible with these tailored tips for taking the plunge and embracing lakeside living.