Cottage on a cliff

Will my unlevel lot be harder to sell?

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Are cottages that have a steep drop to the lake more difficult to sell than those with a level lot?
—Adriano Filippelli, via e-mail

Nobody wants a mountain-goat-style, 95-step traipse to and from the waterfront, right? Wrong. Some folks do. “It really is a preference,” says Christine Martysiewicz of Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Certain people would walk away from that lot, but others would cherish it.”

It’s true that a level lot is going to be easier on everyone who uses the cottage, says Chris Winney of Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty, especially older cottagers or those with very small children. But other considerations are often more important to buyers. Winney realized how key privacy was when she began selling cottage-country real estate. “Nobody would even come to see a property if it didn’t sound like it had enough privacy.” She says that there is only one factor that will really change the desirability of a place. “Ultimately, it comes down to price. The price has to match the quality of the property.”