The Challenges of Buying a Home in Kawartha Lakes – Discover your dream home in Peterborough and embrace the essence of Ontario living!

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The Challenges of Buying a Home in Kawartha Lakes

The Challenges of Buying a Home in Kawartha Lakes – Discover your dream home in Peterborough and embrace the essence of Ontario living!

If you’ve been dreaming of owning a house on the beautiful Kawartha Lakes, you’re in good company! The sparkling waters, pristine scenery, and vibrant little towns have been getting more and more attention from people all over the province. Some are looking for the perfect home away from home where they can escape whenever they have a few days or more to themselves. Others love it here so much that they’ve made the decision to live full-time in the Kawarthas, either by converting an existing vacation property into a year-round home or conducting a search for the perfect new house. However, now that increased attention has put Kawartha Lakes on the map, it can be more competitive and challenging to buy real estate of any kind. Let’s take a look at some of these obstacles and how to overcome them.

Low Inventory and High Demand

Like many places in Ontario, demand for homes in Kawartha Lakes is at an all-time high, and the supply is not keeping pace. Since the population is growing, low inventory isn’t going anywhere soon. It’s one of the new realities we all must adapt to in the coming years. 

  • Luckily, in the Kawarthas, there are some workaround solutions to explore. For example:
  • If you can’t find the “right” house, you can try to find any house. If you like the location, you can change nearly everything else over time. You can combine rooms, add an extra bathroom, or even construct an entirely new addition. 
  • Consider purchasing a vacant lot and building your dream house. This option presents many challenges of its own, but it can be a fantastic opportunity if you have the time and budget to make it happen.
  • Explore some of the new developments in the works. There are quite a few exciting, up-and-coming construction projects in the Kawarthas. Perhaps one of these will become your perfect new home! 
  • Start your search in the off-season. Even though the real estate market has become more hectic overall, you may find less competition in vacation areas like the Kawarthas when fewer people are visiting. Your real estate agent can help you keep an eye out for the perfect opportunity. 

Why are so many people eyeing Kawartha Lakes as their forever home? The posts below reveal a few of the reasons:


Rising Prices and Competitive Bidding

Over time, real estate values can rise dramatically, especially as the area becomes more desirable and appealing to buyers. Combine that desire with low supply, and housing prices rise even more. In this case, values go up due to the basic economics of supply and demand. The problem arises when a situation gets very competitive, and bidding wars artificially drive up the price. When that happens, you might find your financing falls short if the bank appraises the house as being worth less than what you paid for it. Working with a real estate agent who can watch out for hard-to-find listings and negotiate on your behalf is your best defence against overpaying for your new house in the Kawarthas.

Qualifying for Financing

When interest rates rise, it can make it more challenging for many buyers to qualify for sufficient financing to purchase a new home. The stress test becomes more stringent, and you may need to be prepared for higher monthly payments, at least in the short term. 

Before searching for your home, getting a pre-approval is highly beneficial for several reasons:

  • You can lock in the lowest interest rate for the next 90 to 120 days. This gives you time to find and secure a home while protecting you from further increases. 
  • Having a pre-approval can also give you an edge over other buyers if competing for a listing. 
  • You’re prepared to act quickly when a suitable home becomes available.

Tips for Beating Rising Interest Rates

When shopping around for mortgages, interest rates are front of mind. We often recommend that you work with a qualified mortgage broker before starting your house hunt. Why? When you apply with a bank, you get their rate, take it or leave it. But a mortgage broker can shop dozens of lenders on your behalf to ensure you get the best terms.

Once you successfully qualify for a loan, there’s another decision to make. Should you go with a fixed-rate mortgage or a variable? A fixed rate is locked in for the term of your mortgage, which protects you from increases. However, you don’t get the benefit of saving when rates decrease. A variable rate can fluctuate. You may face higher payments if the rates increase. However, if rates drop, your savings can be substantial. Your mortgage expert can provide you with up-to-date information, but only you can decide whether the risk is worth it.


Kawartha Lakes isn’t just for the summer, but it sure is a great escape when the mercury rises! Here are a few ideas you might enjoy:


Tips for Finding the Perfect Home in Kawartha Lakes

Now that you know the challenges of buying and how to overcome them, you can finally move on to the exciting step you’ve been waiting for. Let’s get to work on finding your ideal home in the Kawarthas! Start by creating a detailed but flexible vision for what you want your new house to have. 

  • What type of home do you want? A cottage or family home with a waterfront view or a townhouse or condo in one of the charming Kawartha towns?
  • What size are you looking for? How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • What amenities do you need nearby? If you choose a rural home, you’ll likely be car-dependent. A home in town can provide easy access to shopping and restaurants, and everything else you need.

When creating your list of wants and needs, it’s important to be specific. However, you may also need to be open-minded and flexible about certain features. If listings are few and far between, a shorter list of “must-haves” can help you find a house you love faster. Above all, working with an experienced and local Realtor® can make your dreams of Kawartha living come true before you know it!

Curious about Kawartha Lakes? We have served the area since 2018 and couldn’t be more excited to tell you all about it. Reach out today at team@jeffandkatie.ca or call 705-243-9797 with any questions or to start your search.

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