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The Aben Team

Cottages in Muskoka will continue to be valuable assets

Waterfront properties in Muskoka will continue to hold their value despite market fluctuations being seen in many parts of the province.

While the flurry of activity seen through the pandemic is subsiding, values in Muskoka remain relatively stable due to the ever-present demand and a dearth of availability.

“The values have a significant track record of increasing,” explains Mark Aben of the Aben Team. “They just saw a spike during Covid as the desire to escape the city became prevalent.”

John Aben, Mark’s brother and partner in real estate, says Muskoka waterfront property has always been in demand, and it will continue to be a sound investment.

This is due to a lack of waterfront properties available, and a general lack of development land throughout the region. Combined with an intense desire for people to fulfill their Muskoka cottage dreams, investing in a cottage will continue to be a good decision.

As well, the wide-open spaces and smaller populations in Muskoka are quite attractive to those wanting to escape the city.

“Despite the fact the insane market during the pandemic has begun to level out throughout Ontario, the Muskoka market is still primed to see steady increases through the years,” says John. “We saw steady increases before 2020 with property values climbing year-over-year and we expect that to continue.”

Whether it’s to enjoy as a family cottage to be passed down through the generations or to put on the rental market to earn income, waterfront properties tend to be hot commodities.

“Demand has never really subsided, it just hit new heights,” says Mark. “It’s still higher today than it was three or four years ago. It’s just that some buyers are sitting back and watching the market for a bit before jumping in.”

Most buyers who want to invest in a Muskoka cottage are simply going back to a pre-2020 point of view. They are performing the typical due diligence: cottage visits, certified inspections, and making sure the property has everything they’re really looking for.

“They will still often buy around the listing price, but they are rarely rushing in and paying well over ask,” says John. “Still, those who purchased properties three, four or more years ago are in great shape when they decide to sell.”

He recently spoke with a client who was listing their cottage and needed to list it a bit lower than the seller anticipated.

“In the same breath, I said, ‘compared to values in 2019, your cottage is showing an appreciation of 40 percent,” recalls John. “It’s a snapshot of the last two years and the impact of the pandemic on the marketplace.”

For up-to-date statistics on the Muskoka real estate market, The Aben Team suggests visiting

Traditional valuesWhether buying a cottage to start new family traditions or selling a property because it’s time to move on, it’s important to know who you’re working with. And most importantly, you want them to be knowledgeable and experienced brokers you can trust; those with traditional family values like hard work, integrity, and discretion.

The Aben Team certainly fits the bill. Their family has been in Muskoka since 1976 and they provide professional Muskoka-wide coverage while managing two distinct Harvey Kalles Real Estate Brokerage offices in Huntsville (John) and Port Carling (Mark).

In this fast-paced market, it also takes an exceptional team to get the job done. John and Mark are well-supported by team administrator Stephanie, sales representative and buyer specialist Jason, and sales representative/licensed assistant Mercedes.

“It’s important to have a team like ours whose client support and attention to detail is unmatched,” says John.

They explain that whether you are selling or buying, you need someone who understands the nuances of the region and is willing to share them with you.

“For instance, there are bylaws and regulations regarding waterfront lots that govern what you can and can’t build, or where you can or can’t build,” says John. “There are things that your realtor should be able to explain regarding your property, its value, and how to market it to a broad audience.”

Mark adds: “We know the area, and we know the marketplace. Choosing someone with the right experience can help market your property to get the most value from the sale.”

As well, Harvey Kalles continues to be family run from the top, and those values extend to each office.

“It’s knowing the value and importance of a handshake and doing what you say you will,” says John. “Combined with the international appeal and exposure of our brokerage, it gives the best of both worlds for our clients.”


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