Richelle Sibolboro

How I bought a house for $50K during COVID

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I’ve started to slowly change my mindset about money. One of the books that made me question money and what it possible in my journey to wealth and abundance is Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

One of the most important chapters for me was Lesson 5: The Rich Invent Money.

The chapter begins with a quote: Often in the real world, it’s not the smart who get ahead, but the bold. This really stuck out for me because, within the chapter, Robert tells a story about buying a condo for $50,000 cash. He was going to rent it out and within 3 years make his money back and then sell it for a profit. People were telling him that you can’t do that anymore with today’s real estate market. He questioned them saying, you can, you just haven’t figured it out yet.

This got me thinking. Can you buy a house for $50K in Ontario? If a house existed in Ontario that was $50K would I have the guts to actually buy it? Robert goes on to talk about how a lot of the time people are just letting the world pass them by. People are missing opportunities for significant growth in wealth because they just aren’t doing anything about it.

At the end of the chapter, Robert lists out some skills one should develop if one wants to become an investor. The first point really made me think and begin to change my mindset:

Find an opportunity that everyone else missed. See with your mind what others miss with their eyes.



What I was seeing was housing prices rise and my savings for my downpayment just sitting in my account waiting to be spent. But what I was thinking was, are there cheap houses out there that I could buy? So I did a simple Google search: “Houses for sale under $50K Ontario.” And low and behold, there were towns in Ontario where you could buy homes for that price point. 

So, I did another search: “Manitouwadge homes for sale.” And a bunch came up that was around that $50K mark. I saw that all the listings had the same agent so I reached out to her regarding one of the listings to see if it’s true. When we connected, she said that they are currently in a housing boom. I laughed, because Hamilton is in a housing boom and homes are going for ten times those amounts. She asked if I was going to go up and visit to see some of the homes. I was taken back, but then after some scheduling, I did go up there. See my other blog posts Discovering Ontario – Travel tips for going up North and Traveling to the Extreme to learn more.

After viewing the homes, and speaking with my family about the options. I settled on a gem that needs a lot of polishing. This is where my background as a designer actually pays off. I see the potential, I can see with my mind, not just with my eyes. When I got back home, I started the process and put an offer in. Of course, out of all the homes for sale in this town, I had to get into a bidding war over this one. But my offer won and within a month the house was mine. I was able to close fast because this was a bank take back. People were asking me about my mortgage for such a little amount. Well, banks don’t do mortgages for under $100K. So remember that downpayment I was saving? Well, I was able to put all that down on this house and pay all cash for it. No mortgage. (For one of my next blog posts, I’ll give a detailed account of how I did the above.)

Now, I realize that this process is very unusual. And for some very high risk. But sometimes when the opportunity shows itself you gotta take it. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a very supportive family so they didn’t discourage me. I know it’s far from anything, but I’ve been working remotely for the last 8 months. I’ve even worked for several weeks in Greece this year. I can work from anywhere. Why not make my dream of homeownership a reality and put my stake in the ground and buy a property that will only increase in value. 

So, if you want to change your mindset consider these steps:

1. Question the possible
Can you buy property for under $50K?

2. Believe the possible
Reach out to people and confirm your sources

3. See the possible
Go there and experience it for yourself

4. Make it possible 
Take the plunge and make an offer

5. Live the possible 
Show how you did it

Next year, I’ll go up and start the renovation process. It will be good to have a pandemic project. Stay tuned for more! 

Richelle Sibolboro

Design strategist and content creator for hire with a passion for arts and culture specifically in design, architecture, and travel. She has produced content for designboom, Azure magazine, Open City Projects, Digifest, and World Design Weeks. Follow her on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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