Toronto Real Estate Speed-Dating Event Helps Strangers Buy Houses Together

Real estate business in Toronto is gradually going berserk, as potential buyers are being rejected from the sizzling market despite their stable jobs and bulging pockets.

Joint ownership is gradually becoming the order of the day, as many of these buyers are merging their financial resources together to gain access to the market.

A new service, named GoCo, has been launched by Toronto realtor, Lesli Gaynor, aimed at assisting prospective buyers search for houses in Toronto which they can afford through co-ownership.

In an interview with Huff Post Canada she said, “I sort of came to it through watching people be shut out of this market for all kinds of reasons – but mostly financial”.

Lesli Gaynor mainly works on assisting people find others to buy property they can co-own and live in together, without necessarily having to share a bathroom and kitchen.

According to her, “it’s about the kind of assets that sit idle a lot of time”.

“Can we find ways to be more creative (have) less of a footprint, and then increase your net worth as opposed to a landlord’s net worth?” she went on to say.

Gaynor organized a “speed-dating” event known as “C-Harmony: Creating Co-operative Connections” on Thursday at a Toronto pub, to connect prospective co-buyers. Toronto star reported that about two dozen people were in attendance.

Another speed-dating event is proposed to be held by GoCo in June.

Gaynor mentioned that she successfully connected a young family, with a woman in her seventies, named Margie. The family needed a grandmother-like figure for their children as theirs had kicked the bucket, and Margie wanted to co-own a house with someone who could occasionally check in on her and help her with groceries.

“It’s a little tongue-in-cheek, I mean, I’m trying to get people to have some fun with the notion of speed dating”, she said.

“You’re not going to make a decision that large in three to five minutes, but it may lead to another conversation”.

One of the attendees at the event, Matt Michaels, told Global News that he would love to own a home in the High Park or Roncesvalles areas, and he is “open to the idea of owning a home with like-minded people”.

He further stated that, “As a 35 year-old who doesn’t have $400,000 for a down payment right now, it’s increasingly unlikely I would be able to do that on my own”.

Matt Michaels revealed to the Toronto star that he wants his own kitchen, but he would have no problem sharing the yard.

“I think it would be fun to own a house with someone who would walk my dog once in a while and I’ll even babysit their kid once in a while”, he said.

The speed-dating app concept is now being implemented in business apps by other organizations. Shapr is a business app which connects professionals based on their qualifications. People who use this app can form business connections by making use of Tinder-like swiping to accept or reject matches.

Another app, known as Networkr, does basically the same thing except for the fact that it is for professional networking.

Most people who co-own houses, prefer to team up with friends or family, says Lesli Gaynor, who purchased a house over 20 years ago with a friend.

Referring to Meridian Credit Union’s recent creation of a friends and family mortgage, Gaynor stated that many law practitioners are getting accustomed to drawing up agreements that protect both parties. She went ahead to say that Co-owning a house with strangers is a doable idea. It just “needs to be normalized”

According to her, “it’s going to catch on it’s just a matter of normalizing it”.


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