Real Estate

What surprises should I look for near property?

A machine harvesting grapes in a vineyard, Niagara on the Lake, Canada Photo by Jon Nicholls Photography/Shutterstock

What are some unexpected sources of unpleasantness at the cottage to look out for when buying?

Surrounding farms can look idyllic on a summer’s day—and smell, well, ripe when the farmer is spreading manure fertilizer. If you can’t stand the smell, ask the seller—and check with neighbours if possible—about any local odours that may turn you off the property.

And while you’re at it, ask about sounds too. “Windmills are popping up everywhere,” says Grand Bend realtor Kim McCann. “You need to ask about whether there are any windfarm developments planned next door.” In wine country, that beautiful vineyard next door may be the source of some startling fall noises, says Prince Edward County’s Bev Skidmore, as “poppers” or “bangers” are used to scare birds away from the fall harvest. In extreme circumstances, vineyards may even have helicopters hovering over the fields to try to keep them from freezing when the temperatures dip near zero. Some buyers will be willing to put up with it—but for others, the prospect could be a deal breaker.





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