A woman who couldn’t afford to get up the real estate ladder in Toronto has revealed how she beat the market by buying a house that floats on water.
Sailing fanatic Kate Fincham currently lives with her cats, Charlie and Finn, in a two-story, 50-square-foot home in the Scarborough Bluffs neighborhood.
Unlike a regular home, the 34-year-old’s home is built on steel pontoons and tends to make her seasick at times.
She previously lived in a shared home with three roommates before taking to the water in the summer of 2020, but now divides her time between working from home with a beautiful view and outdoor activities, such as sunset kayaking and relaxing on the beach.
“My life is completely different,” Kate, who works in marketing, tells NeedToKnow.Online.
Sailing fanatic Kate Fincham currently lives in a 50-square-foot, two-story house in the Scarborough Bluffs neighborhood
Kate previously lived in a shared home with three roommates before taking to the water in the summer of 2020, but now divides her time between working from home with a beautiful view and outdoor activities such as kayaking at sunset and relaxing on the beach
She said her idyllic home is in a park, so she has access to hiking trails and beaches.
Kate said, “Each morning or after work, I take a walk along the waterfront or through the park, or go kayaking at sunrise or sunset. I keep my kayak tied to my back deck so I just hop in and go.
“It’s so peaceful and restful here. It feels like a microcosm, but it’s only 30 minutes from downtown Toronto.”
She added, “The community is also incredible – we always have dock drinks, ladies nights, dinners, rooftop movie nights and general weekly gatherings with the owners of floating homes and houseboats.
“They’re all ages, from their thirties to their seventies, and we all help each other and enjoy each other’s company.”
Kate said, ‘It’s so peaceful and restful living here. It feels like a microcosm, yet is only 30 minutes from downtown Toronto’
Compared to the average price of a home in Toronto, Kate saved $410,000 CAD ($299,480) by choosing a life on the water.
Kate said living in the city has become so unaffordable that she hasn’t even considered buying an apartment or house.
She said: ‘It was a completely different lifestyle – I lived right in the vibrant heart of the city, within walking distance of my work and with all the amenities of a metropolitan city at my fingertips.
“While I got along with my roommates, you never feel like the space is truly yours since the kitchen and living room we all shared.”
“I now have a lot more freedom in my space.
“I own the boat and it was significantly cheaper to buy than any other apartment or property in town.”
Kate said she has no regrets because her new home has given her a more peaceful and fulfilling life
Kate said Toronto apartments average around $750,000 CAD ($547,835).
As the 34-year-old saved money to buy her new home, she admits she has to spend a bit more than she’s used to on utilities.
However, Kate said she has no regrets as her new property has given her a more peaceful and fulfilling life.
The stationary house is on two floors, with a loft bedroom, kitchen, functional toilet, bathtub and even a fireplace.
Kate’s monthly expenses are about the same as when she rented in downtown Toronto.
She loves having the whole house to herself instead of sharing a house with other people.
Kate said her monthly costs are about the same as when she rented in downtown Toronto. She loves having the whole house to herself instead of sharing a house with three others
Kate said she is metered and pays the marina quarterly for electricity — about $105 CAD ($77) a month on average.
She said she has no gas, but has a water main connected directly to her place that supplies her with town water – which is included in her port dues.
This also includes parking, mail and access to a septic pump.
Kate said her previous big city lifestyle has completely changed for the better since she made the switch.
However, going out on the water also has disadvantages.
While Kate doesn’t see herself moving back to the city any time soon, she admits that her new lifestyle isn’t so easy during the winter months.
Kate said her previous big city lifestyle has completely changed for the better since she made the switch
Kate said, “Winter is harder.
“I have to make sure the ice around the pontoons doesn’t freeze and crush them, and I deal with frozen pipes once or twice a winter.
‘But after two years I can deal with the colder months much better.
“Every day I am so grateful to live in such a beautiful house, in an incredible location and with such an amazing community.”