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Adventures in real estate: “Once I saw how much interest rates dropped, I was able to buy a house with a yard”

I looked at properties almost every day and I was checking out virtual tours for those that didn’t allow in-person tours

By Andrea Yu| Photography by George Pimentel
Adventures in real estate: “Once I saw how much interest rates dropped, I was able to buy a house with a yard”
Shayna Haddon, 39

Serial entrepreneur, Corktown

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Adventures in real estate: How the pandemic is changing the way we live now

In 2010, I bought a duplex near Corktown. I rented out the main level and lived in the upper unit with my four-year-old son. Over the past few years, I realized how much I wanted to have a place that was all our own with a yard for him to play in. I had been looking at houses casually online for a year, but once the pandemic hit and I saw how much interest rates had dropped, I accelerated the process.

My son had just landed a spot at an amazing French school in East York, so I needed to stay in the east end. I looked at properties almost every day and I was checking out virtual tours for those that didn’t allow in-person tours.

Eventually, I found a one-bedroom-plus-den townhouse in Corktown listed at $940,000. It was beautiful and had a great fenced-in front yard. I was a bit hesitant because it had just one bedroom, but my agents insisted I take a look. As soon as I walked in, I knew it had great potential. The layout was unique. It was a split-level main floor with a den in the basement and a huge master bedroom. The original floor plans showed that the master bedroom was initially laid out as two bedrooms, so I was confident that I could renovate later and rent it out if I wanted. I knew it would be a good investment.

I placed an offer of $905,000, and got it. At the end of August, we moved in. I rented out my upper-level unit in Leslieville for $2,800; I already get $2,600 for the lower.

I decided not to put in the second bedroom just yet since I like the layout, and my son is still sleeping in my bed anyway. My plan is to move out eventually. I’ll rent it and buy another place using the equity I’ve accrued.

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