HAVE CABOOSE, VOYAGERA: Oakville Woman Buys GTA’s ‘Cheapest House’

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All aboard!

Laurel Wynne of Oakville was the recent buyer of a 1912 caboose with no bathroom and no kitchen currently sitting in a parking lot in Milton, Ont., which she bought for $45,000 and pays $500 per months for the lease of commercial land.

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The 250 square foot structure was recently touted as the “cheapest home in the GTA” by realtor zoocasa.com and Wynne hopes to both live there and eventually be able to operate it part-time as an Airbnb.

“It was $45,000, so it would probably be harder to go lower,” Wynne, 64, said.

“I thought the potential was Airbnb. It’s pretty lucrative. And quirky homes are in high demand. There aren’t too many affordable housing options out there right now. I’ve seen that (cago truck) like the one that was affordable to me. And I will say I have a friend’s condo loan in Mississauga for the winter months so it’s not like I’m parked in the middle of nowhere in the caboose I can do this six months a year in good weather and then go from there.

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A caboose that sold for $45,000 is being called
A caboose that sold for $45,000 is being called “the cheapest house in GTA.” PHOTO ZOOCASA.COM

Wynne previously owned a 1912 rural schoolhouse south of Bancroft, Ontario, which she has since sold.

Before school, Wynne owned an 1887 nine-bedroom house in Belleville, Ont., which she operated as a bed and breakfast until the operation was shut down by the pandemic.

“I’m not a house pinball, no,” Wynne said. “I’m just looking at interesting properties. I’m interested in a viable lifestyle that’s different from what conventional Canadians do, I guess, at this point in my life. I’m more driven by the demands of trying to navigate the housing market in Toronto.

Wynne, who is a divorced mother of three adult children in her thirties, previously had a resume writing business for executives (which she lost in her divorce), taught English as a second language with a degree in postgraduate to do so, and did some personal support work.

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“I don’t have anything marketable that would make huge amounts of money,” she said.

“The Airbnb was my livelihood. So now I can’t buy back in the Toronto real estate market because I technically don’t have the job or the capital to do so, which pushes me towards the more unusual properties which are often less expensive.

Wynne’s plans for the caboose include installing a kitchen and some sort of bathroom, drinking water and composting toilets, then moving it to private land closer to Oakville. where her grandchildren are.

“I hope to move it within an hour, or an hour and a half of Oakville, it’s not easy to find affordable land — it’s a little later, in the future,” said Wynn.

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