“We swapped our $650,000 Regent Park condo for an old schoolhouse in the Kawarthas”

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Adventures in real estate: “We swapped our $650,000 Regent Park condo for an old schoolhouse in the Kawarthas”

Thu Nguyen, 38

Life coach, Reaboro

I came to Canada as a kid and grew up in Regent Park. I have so many great memories of those years.

Six years ago, once I had established a career in tech and saved up a bit of money, I bought a condo there. It felt right, like I was taking part in the revitalization of a community close to my heart. I led meditation groups and volunteered through an organization called Building Roots.

Eventually, I found the tech world too hectic and I switched to life coaching. My partner, Chris, worked for a transportation company and dabbled in audio production, and he was burnt out, too. We’d always dreamed of owning an airy property where I could host meditation retreats while Chris worked on audio projects, but we figured we couldn’t afford it.

On March 18, my grandfather died. He was like a father to me. Within a week, Chris was temporarily laid off from the job he’d held for nearly 19 years. The timing was terrible. The situation got us thinking about what’s most important—health, happiness and family.

In June, we visited the Kawarthas and came upon an old schoolhouse that had been restored by its owners. It sits on a one-acre oasis guarded by old maple and oak trees, with beautiful farmland stretching in all directions.

We sold our condo on a Wednesday for $650,000 and marvelled at the double rainbow in the sky that night. By Saturday, we had purchased the schoolhouse for the same price. We moved in August and nicknamed the place Nusqool. It’s perfect. I have plenty of space for my coaching business, meditation circles and qigong. And Chris, who has switched full time to audio work, can plug away without worrying about the neighbours.