How one family sneakily scored a cottage in Kinmount

How one family sneakily scored a cottage in Kinmount

The buyers: Mike Roach, a 46-year-old software developer; his wife, Libby, a 37-year-old food photographer and writer; and their two kids, Caitlin, 10, and Paige, 8.

The story: Libby and Mike were methodical about their cottage search, compiling a spreadsheet of more than 50 properties. To narrow it down, they prioritized places with accessible waterfronts and proximity to the Kawarthas (they wanted to be far, far away from the glacial traffic on the 400). With a budget of $400,000, they set out on a weekend road trip, hoping to visit as many spots on their list as possible. Their low price point brought them to some homes in need of major renovations.

The buy

Crystal Lake, Kinmount

After not finding anything during their weekend-long search, Libby and Mike drove to this place without an appointment and peered into the windows. They were so won over by the clean, clear water that they put in an offer, not wanting to miss out. They got the place for $14,000 under asking. Luckily, the seller turned out to be a contractor who had updated the interior with leftovers from his jobs. Two bedrooms instead of three was a concession, but Libby and Mike figured they could always build more living space.

The Specs

Size: 800 square feet
Listed at: $339,000
Purchase price: $325,000
Lake frontage: 360 feet
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Features: New flooring, plumbing, windows and electrical

Here’s the exterior:

The rear:

The living room:

And the dock:

The Hunt