Downsizing

Due to substantial increase of home prices in the GTA during the last several years, you can now take advantage of this fortune. One way of doing that is smart restructuring of your unexpected wealth. Here are a few suggestions.

If you want to stay close to the GTA

You can sell your house (for $1-2M) and move to one of small towns outside of the GTA within 1-2 hr drive, where the prices are still much lower (starting from $300K). This will allow you keep almost the same lifestyle: have ample of living space and live close to your relatives and friends. And you will be able to free up the funds tied up in your house for other needs and opportunities. You can find some really nice places not far from Toronto where you can enjoy the surroundings and be close to all facilities that a big city usually offers.

Tiny Township, Lake Huron
This place is located 1.5 hr North from Toronto, 30 min from Barrie. It is a quiet town right on the shores of Lake Huron (Georgian Bay). It lies along amazing white sand beaches with crystal clear waters. Unlike the touristy and crowded Wasaga Beach area, this small town is isolated, and the beautiful beaches are accessible only by locals.

What can you buy there for $307,000:
4 bedroom, 3 washroom, 1800 sq.feet, lot size 80 x 195 feet, just 13 years old, 5 parking spaces and finished basement, municipal water, septic, central A/C, gas heating. 5 min walk to the beach. A dream for retirement!

Expenses / per year:
$2,500 - property tax
$1,200 - insurance
$2,400 - water, heating, electricity
Total: just about $500/month !

Barrie, Simco region
Barrie is a fast growing city just 40 min drive North from Toronto. It has become one of the most popular places for those who cannot afford to live in Toronto anymore. With population around 150,000, and having all amenities of a big city, you'll feel there like living in the GTA.

What can you buy there for $310,000::
3 bedroom, 1 washroom, 1500 sq.feet, lot size 50 x 150 feet, 3 parking spaces, municipal water, septic, gas heating. Close to Yonge St, Hwy 400. Short walk to the beach of Lake Simco!

Expenses / per year:
$1,800 - property tax
$1,200 - insurance
$2,400 - water, heating, electricity
Total: just about $450/month !

Welland, Niagara wine region
This small town is located inside the famous Niagara wine region, surrounded by beautiful wineries, scenic landscapes, close to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. About 2 hrs drive from Toronto.

What can you buy there for $247,000::
3 bedroom, 2 washroom, 1500 sq.feet, lot size 60 x 120 feet, 1 garage, 4 parking spaces, municipal water and sewer, gas heating, central A/C. Beautiful Bungalow In Quite Neighborhood.
Expenses / per year:
$3,300 - property tax
$1,200 - insurance
$2,400 - water, heating, electricity
Total: just about $575/month !

You can live in it all by yourself, or rent out some rooms during summer season. You'll have there enough space for visiting children and grandkids.

If you consider moving to another province / city

This is another great option. You can still live in Canada and use all its benefits (health care, etc.), but on the much less budget than you need in Toronto.

Moncton, New Brunswick
Rated as one of the top places for retirement in Canada. Although Moncton is the second-largest city in New Brunswick, it's still comparatively small. With all the urban amenities that you might need, the bilingual city of 70,000 maintains the feel of a small community. For outdoor enthusiasts, two national parks, some wildlife preserves, and the Hopewell Rocks are all located within an hour's drive. There's also Moncton's popular Centennial Park, which is home to lawn bowling and tennis facilities, as well as lighted cross-country skiing and hiking trails.

What can you buy there for $215,000:
3 bedroom, 2 washroom, 1500 sq.feet, lot size 640 sq m, 1 garage, municipal water and sewer, baseboard heaters, forced air. Prime North location on a quiet street, in close proximity to all city amenities.

Rimouski, Quebec
Rimouski is a Canadian city located in the Bas-Saint-Laurent (Quebec) region at the mouth of the Rimouski River. It has a population of 46,860 and many touristic, cultural and industrial attractions. Dynamic and festive, Rimouski offers all the attractions of a big city along with a tranquil natural setting and friendly local residents. This means that nature and the sea are never far from services, boutiques and entertainment options. Is it any surprise that Rimouski residents are the happiest people in Quebec.

What can you buy there for $269,000::
3 bedroom, 2 washroom, 1500 sq.feet, lot size 35,850 sq feet (0.8 acre), municipal water, septic, convection baseboard, electric baseboard heating. A dream house with lots of character, on a huge lot, right at the shore of St.Lawrence River.