A retiree in Ontario has just bought what has been dubbed the “cheapest house in the GTA” – a caboose located in a commercial lot near Milton.
Laurel Wynne said she sold her previous property – a 1921 schoolhouse – in February 2021. She told CTV News Toronto that she owned the property for about a year before realizing the commute to work to see her family in Oakville was just too long and the renovation costs were adding up.
The 64-year-old said she didn’t think she was eligible for a mortgage and didn’t want to pay more than $2,500 for rent, so she started browsing real estate websites and came across a listing Zoocasa for a red train car in Campbellville, just outside of Milton, Ontario.
“I thought, well, that might be doable.”
Inspired by anti-poverty advocates building small housing communities outside of Hamilton, Wynne decided to take the plunge and buy the home.
“I just like the cool factor of a structure this old, which is quite whimsical. So I figured I could do that over the summer,” she said. “Then I have no mortgage and an apartment.”
“While I’m by no means homeless, I’m also unable to afford the kind of housing I used to have. And I don’t even think, to be honest, I don’t know that I want that.”
The house sold for $45,000. Wynne also has to pay the property owner $500 a month; However, she said that in the future she might try to buy a piece of land to put the galley on.
The building was previously used as an office by a limousine company – inside there were three large benches for seating, as well as mirrors and a sound system.
43 East Main Street, Campbellville. (Jennifer Krane/Realtor.ca)
Wynne added that it may have once been used as an ice cream shop.
“It’s been around for about 30 years.”
The structure is wired to electricity but not connected to plumbing – so it needs to buy water. Wynne is currently renovating the galley so there is a living area, bedroom and bathroom. She says that even with the renovations, she’s expected to pay less than most other properties on the market.
The galley has been listed since at least November 2021. At the time, realtor Jennifer Krane told CTV News Toronto that she did not recommend the property in its current state for residential use, but that it could be fitted for running water by installing sewer lines and holding tanks.
“My seller hopes someone will move it and enjoy it in their own space, whether it’s on their own lot as a tiny house or in their backyard where the kids can hang out,” she said.
Wynne says her family was surprised by her new home choice, but they supported the endeavor.
“I think my friends, I mean those who know me, know that my situation doesn’t lend itself to conventional living.”
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