Sisters’ solution to Toronto affordability woes? Co-ownership

by Ephraim Vecina14 Nov 2016
Having sufficient funds to buy a residential property in the overheated Toronto market would be a challenge for any young professional in today’s economic climate, but two sisters recently circumvented the problem entirely by jointly purchasing a Hallam Avenue triplex.
“It was mostly for financial reasons,” 31-year old Siobhan McPherson told CBC News. “It's really difficult to buy property in Toronto as a single earner.”
“When your basement is leaking in the middle of the night and there's water pouring into your tenant's bedroom, having someone else there to be part of that is really important.”
Siobhan and her younger sister Madeleine purchased the home for $655,000 around four years ago. The sisters live in separate units, and they augment their income with rental fees from a tenant residing in a basement apartment.
In Toronto’s overheated and overvalued metropolitan housing market, joint ownership of residential properties have seen increased popularity recently.
“Co-ownership is increasing,” Toronto Real Estate Board president Larry Cerqua told NOW Toronto Magazine recently.
“It makes sense for people to pool money and buy together so it’s not just the very affluent who have the privilege of owning in the city centre,” local real estate agent Danyelle Boily concurred, but warned that this route is rife with its own drawbacks.
“People have a hard time finding someone who’s ready to (buy) at the same time they are, who has the same financial equity, compatible values and mutual trust.”
The McPhersons argued that they have a significant advantage in that regard, as their triplex—which is slated to undergo a battery of renovations—has served to establish an even closer bond of cooperation between the sisters.
“Because we've been through so much with this place and we've had to put so much trust in each other with the money aspect of it, our relationship is much stronger than it was four years ago,” Siobhan said.

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