1. They don’t get the right inspections. Buying a country home comes with its share of risks, so don’t skimp on doing your due diligence. You’ll need a home inspection, a well inspection, a water test and a septic system inspection. Don’t think it matters? Last year, we almost bought a house with an illegal well and septic system…they were 10 feet apart vs the required 100 feet for that type of well. Thanks to our inspector for saving us from that poo water. You can read more about home inspections here.
  2. They don’t buy in the right community. The County covers a huge area, and there’s quite literally something for everyone here, whether you want a lakefront property, acreage in the middle of nowhere or you want to be in the centre of all the action. Give careful thought to the type of property you want, how you’ll use it and research the communities carefully. [Related: Read our detailed guides about our favourite communities in Prince Edward County]
  3. They don’t understand the zoning restrictions. Sure, four acres might seem huge to you if you’re coming from the city, but if you’ve got dreams of having a couple of goats and a horse, you’ll need a bigger property than that in PEC. Your REALTOR will be able to tell you what you can and can’t do on your property (including if you’re buying a waterfront property).
  4. They don’t realize the insurance requirements. If you’re buying a second home, your insurance company will require that it be checked regularly – you can’t just leave it vacant for months. If you’re thinking of renting your home out, be honest with your insurer – in the event that you need to make a claim, you don’t want your policy to be voided.
  5. They don’t recognize the financing restrictions of seasonal properties. If you’re buying a cottage in PEC that isn’t winterized, your bank will make you jump through some additional hoops for financing. That might mean you need a bigger down payment or that you have to pay a higher interest rate. Talk to your lender BEFORE you put an offer on a PEC home.
  6. They aren’t ready for winter. Winter in the County means lots of snow and slow snow removal on side streets. If your all-season cottage is on a long winding road with only 4 other cottages on it, prepare to be home-bound for a while post snow storms. Also good to know: many restaurants, wineries and shops reduce their hours in the winter and some close for the whole season. We still love the County in the winter – but prepare for it to be different.
  7. They don’t factor in the commute. If you live in Toronto, your commute to your second home in Prince Edward County could be anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending on which part of the County you buy in. That’ll matter more than you expect on a Friday night, and if you’re planning on renting out your property when you aren’t using it, it’ll affect your price and vacancy rate too. [Related: Ultimate Guide to Short-Term Rentals in Prince Edward County]
  8. They don’t anticipate the amount of home maintenance required. From gardening to lawn mowing, septic and well management to snow removal and pool maintenance, expect your second home in the County to be either a lot of extra work – or an extra expense if you outsource it.
  9. They don’t work with a local REALTOR. I get it…you have a REALTOR back home and you trust them and they want to help, but buying a home in Prince Edward County is VERY different than buying one in Toronto or Ottawa. We’re top agents in Toronto ourselves and we still hired a local agent to represent us, despite the commission we could have made.

Looking to buy a second home or investment property in Prince Edward County? Get in touch and we’ll connect you with the best agents so you don’t make these mistakes!

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