Your Muskoka Cottage: 8 Ways to Increase its Value
Even if you’re not planning to sell your Muskoka cottage, it’s a smart idea to add equity any way you can. Increase the value of your cottage with these tips:
Stay On Top of Maintenance
Even new cottages can have imperfections and opportunities to improve some aspects. Do a monthly walk-through (in all seasons!) and inspect the cottage as if you were going to list the home for sale. Make a list of all the “one-day” repairs you’ve been pushing off and give yourself a deadline to either complete them yourself or hire a local contractor to finish them.
Create a Rental Space
Whether it’s a separate bunkie, a basement suite, or you choose to rent out the entire home for some weeks of the year, the income you’ll receive from sharing your Muskoka cottage will be a nice addition to your wallet! With platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, becoming a vacation rental owner is simple.
Focus on the Kitchen
Kitchens are focal points in any home. It’s where people gather to eat but stick around to chat, especially when it’s a beautiful and comfortable space. Remodel your kitchen into a hybrid cooking-dining-relaxing room to showcase the cottages’ versatility. Add an island, upgrade your cabinets, or talk to your builder about taking down a dividing wall.
Upgrade Your Bathrooms
Along with the kitchen, bathrooms are another room that can benefit from small renovations. Upgrading the vanity, laying down new tile floors, or swapping out your lighting will give your bathrooms a quick but drastic facelift.
Planting trees has a number of benefits for your Muskoka cottage:
- Adds shade which keeps the cottage cool (and can reduce energy bills!)
- Helps the environment and creates habitats for wildlife
- Adds curb appeal
- Plans for the future
You don’t need to have a green thumb — most trees are extremely low maintenance!
Invest in Storage Solutions
Unless you’re a minimalist, you know that as time goes on we tend to accumulate more stuff. Clothes, trinkets, toys, and devices can clutter your space, making the home seem smaller. Additionally, if you do plan to sell your Muskoka cottage in the future, a tidy home will likely make a better impression and higher appraisal. Investing in storage solutions isn’t just for those with small houses — it’s a smart way to keep your cottage clean and tidy. Use under-the-bed bins, a storage ottoman, or do some slight remodeling to expand your closet space.
Build an Addition
Increasing the square footage of your cottage will automatically add value. If your cottage has three bedrooms, adding a fourth could mean an increase of up to $50,000 in value, depending on your area and the condition of your cottage. Talk to your real estate agent about your local market first before approaching your builder.
Embrace Energy Efficiency
Sometimes the value-adding strategies won’t be as apparent as others. Swapping old appliances and lighting with energy efficient models, upgrading windows, and heating/cooling systems will save you money now, but will also add value to your cottage.
The strategies you choose to implement from this list will depend on your long-term plans — whether you’ll be listing your Muskoka cottage or turning it into your forever home — talk to your builder about which options will fit within your budget.