How one couple traded their Florida retreat for a luxury cottage in Minett

How one couple traded their Florida retreat for a luxury cottage in Minett

The buyers: Fiona Shotbolt, a 52-year-old homemaker, and her husband, Kevin, a 58-year-old sales and marketing vice-president at a particle board company.

The story: Fiona and Kevin had a vacation home in Florida, but it was expensive to fly down there, especially when they brought their college-aged kids along. They had been frequent guests at their friends’ cottage on Lake Rosseau, and so, when they decided to buy an Ontario cottage of their own, their first priority was being a boat ride away from those friends. Spare bedrooms were also key, so the kids could bring friends of their own. They budgeted between $1.3 and $2 million—a wide range, so they could keep their options open and pounce when the right property caught their attention. After attending a few showings of uninspiring places on all of the big three lakes, they finally found one right in their target area.

The buy

Joseph River, Minett

This four-bedroom cottage had lots of luxurious touches inside: stone counter­tops, hardwood floors and more than 1,500 square feet of outdoor decking. The big selling point, though, was the southwest exposure, which ensured that the interior got an ample amount of evening sun. Kevin and Fiona bid $75,000 under asking, hoping there would be no other offers, and there weren’t. Before long, they were busy putting the unspent portion of their budget toward a kitchen makeover, a laundry room and a hot tub. In December, they sold off their Florida home and never looked back.

The Specs

Size: 2,500 square feet
Listed at: $1,695,000
Purchase price: $1,620,000
Lake frontage: 210 feet
Bedrooms: 4 (prior to renovations)
Bathrooms: 2
Features: Southwest exposure, large outdoor deck, stone walkway to the dock

The cottage has more than 1,500 square feet of decking:

There’s plenty of lounging space in the backyard:

The kitchen has stone countertops:

A wall of windows lets in sunlight:

Here’s one of the four bedrooms:

One of two bathrooms:

And there are a couple boat slips, naturally:

The Hunt