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The One That Got Away

Fall is officially in full swing, and I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. We spent it at my sister Vanessa’s house this year for the first time, and I must say, it was pretty awesome!

Julian is attending Ryerson University taking business studies and I really hope he takes this opportunity to enjoy the experience of University. It’s such a big change—I got a bit freaked out about it all when I dropped some paperwork off for him at the end of the summer. It’s a city in the City over there!

In addition to having this change on my mind, I’ve also been thinking about an investment Dom and I made a few years ago. During the month of August, I rented a condo-townhome vacation rental in Collingwood at Lighthouse Point. I hadn’t been back there since we sold our place out there in 2014. This is the investment that got away, and I experienced a lot of anxiety going back there.

Some backstory:

In 2009, Dom and I made an investment. We bought a 1,300-square-foot ground floor townhome with water views.

Our original plan back then was to tour Sherry Rioux’s property that she described as being “cute as a button”; it was in turnkey condition, and 800-square-feet with 2 bedrooms for $200,000. But alas—Dom and I fell in love with the water views of the townhome, and I finally had Dom telling ME he wanted to buy this place, where for years he wouldn’t agree to buy anything.

So we bought the place—it was a cash even/positive flow investment, and we ended up finding great “weekenders” from Toronto who rented it from us for 2 years at $2,000/month. We always had it rented—quickly, and for more money than average. This was great, but I always thought that we would get to use it more often than we did.

Eventually, the fact that property values were not increasing up in Collingwood like they were in Vaughan (where my primary residence is) bothered me. I had a hard time accepting that we had tied up $350,000 in Collingwood for a beautiful property that everyone else got to enjoy but me. In 2014, we ended up selling, which was hard—the Collingwood market was pretty dead, especially in comparison to Toronto or the GTA. And after 5 years of owning the property, we were only able to sell it for $358,000. (Today, if I were to re-buy the same property, it would cost $500,000.)

It was the right place, the wrong time, and only now I realize it was perfect.

It’s complicated, but now I can see that I didn’t follow the advice I give to others, which is not to let your emotions get in the way of business. On a business level, the rental property made complete sense. But even when I was there in this beautiful place with the water views, I could never fully appreciate it—even though that’s what I initially wanted out of it. I always felt on pins and needles, which I think was probably because I kept thinking about how much money I could have made if I had invested it more locally.

Like I said, it’s complicated, but my takeaway is this:

When you’re making any type of investment, take the time to get clear on your goals for the property. Is it purely a financial investment? Or is it more of a personal investment—maybe a place that won’t appreciate amazingly, but a place you love to spend time at?

Part of what I love I love about my job is that I love to help my clients figure all of this out. When you first reach out to me, you don’t necessarily have to have all the answers! I’m here to help guide you through the entire process, and I’d love to help you next.

Lisa Sinopoli
lisa@lisasinopoli.com
Your Friend. Your Neighbour. Your Realtor.