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How Much Does an Acre of Land Cost in the Muskoka Lakes Area?

How Much Does an Acre of Land Cost in the Muskoka Lakes Area?

Ever hopped online and checked the price of land in Ontario’s cottage country? If you promptly closed the window and backed away, we don’t blame you. The wide range of options, including locations, accessibility, and lot size, create a diverse range of price points that can be overwhelming and confusing.

Ballantyne Builds creates custom cottages in the Muskoka Lakes area. We’ve been on the journey to find the perfect lot to build a cottage, and we’re pleased to use our experience as construction professionals to help you make sense of the chaos.

How Much is an Acre of Land in the Muskoka Lakes Area?

Providing the average cost of an acre of land in our area doesn’t tell the whole story or prepare buyers to enter the market. There are so many factors that influence the cost of a lot. Property in the Muskoka Lakes area covers a wide range of price points. It all depends on what you’re after. You could pay $5,000 per acre for a large parcel of out-of-the-way and undeveloped land or $4 million for a half-acre lot on a large and lovely lake. That’s a big range, so let’s talk about the factors that could drive the price of a lot up or down.

Waterfront Property

Vacant Muskoka waterfront land for sale can range from $400K to $8 million, depending on the lake and accessibility. Your lot for your custom cottage will come in at the higher end of our range if you want year-round road access and decent lake frontage on one of the big three lakes (Muskoka, Rosseau, Joseph). 

Prime Location

You’ll find much lower land prices for sale in Ontario when it’s a bit further out of the way. If you’re looking for solitude and wilderness, you will likely pay a few thousand dollars an acre for undeveloped wooded acreage. If you’ve still got your heart set on waterfront property, try smaller lakes farther from big cities like Toronto to capture that lake lifestyle without the big hustle and bustle (and the bigger price tag). 

Seasonal Access

Some of the most beautiful places in cottage country aren’t accessible during the coldest and snowiest parts of our frosty Canadian winter. Remote roads become inaccessible unless you pay to have them cleared or plough them yourself. Some of the most idyllic summer relaxation is available on small islands in the Muskokas. Land with seasonal or boat access only is less expensive than locations you can reach any time of the year by car.

A Beautiful Cottage in Muskoka Sitting Waterside

Paying for Undeveloped Land

You cannot mortgage unoccupied land as you can for land that has a cottage. You’ll have to pay in full to purchase undeveloped land, which can limit your options in alignment with your funds. However, if you’ve got good credit, there might be hope for your custom cottage dreams even if you don’t have the millions on hand for a waterfront lot.

Tips for Snagging the Perfect Lot

Premium Muskoka properties may never hit the market and certainly don’t stay there long. Here are some tips to find your perfect lot to purchase in a competitive market.

Demolition isn’t a Dirty Word

One popular workaround for financing your custom cottage is purchasing a perfect lot with a less-than-ideal structure and knocking it down. You can mortgage a lot with a cottage on it, even if you don’t plan to keep it. Demolition might be a viable option for more reasons than you think.

You already have earthwork, utilities, a driveway, and more. Even if you need to blast out a larger area for your new cottage, much of the work has already been done, saving you thousands, if not more.

Demolition usually takes only a day and costs between $10,000 and $20,000, much less than many expect. In the process, you can scoop up some history and authenticity by saving certain materials and elements of the old cottage to reuse in the new cottage.

Network Boldly

If you’ve got your eye on a certain area, speak to neighbours, real estate agents, and residents to let them know you are interested in buying in the  area, or on that specific lake. Be brave, take a chance, and reach out to the property owner if you’ve fallen seriously in love with a specific place.

Use Your Builder as a Resource

Your custom home or cottage builder is well-versed in the market and your options. If you’re committed to making your custom cottage dreams real,  connecting with a builder before you’ve found your land can be a wise move. Your builder can help you evaluate a potential property for suitability for the project you’ve got in mind and help you understand the costs involved in getting the location ready to build.

Ballantyne Builds Crafts Cottage Dreams in the Muskoka Lakes Area

Ready to meet the folks who will carry your dream cottage into reality? We’re ready to hear about your unique vision and help you execute and elevate your plans. Let’s connect today.

Cost Guide: Building a Custom Cottage in Muskoka Version B