How I lived in this duplex for free using a bank loan

Written by Trevor H. August 23, 2021

Live for free in a duplex house

There it is, and there it was, my first house, in the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. I was 25 years old, still living with Mom and Dad, and it was time to get my first mortgage loan. I was working full time online, and it was time to get my own property.

Being a frugal guy, thanks to my parents having four kids, and always yelling at me to switch the lights off, I knew I had to find a house I could afford. At the time, moving to my number 1 choice, Toronto, Ontario was out of the question, as it was mucho dinero to live there.

I was pre-approved on a mortgage loan for 150k. I started looking at other areas, and I was intrigued by the beauty of Niagara Falls, but most importantly, I was interested by the low cost of real estate.

After seeing a few houses with my dad, I decided to by this 100 year plus home. It was kinda cute, and it sat on a big lot. To my benefit, it was also cheap as balls and I could pay using my loan from the bank. Another cool feature, it was a duplex. So I bought it. At the time, the cost of the house was 125k. You would never hear of houses being purchased at this price in 2021, unless it is haunted and with squatters living in it as well.


The first couple years was a huge reality check. The house needed all types of repairs because it was older than the Queen. But I stuck it out and took care of business. I was a winner. But the reason I did the work was because I loved the house. It was my first. Kinda like losing your “you-know,” it always had a special place in my pants. Sorry, I meant my heart.

After a few years of living in the duplex, prices of real estate started rising in the city. And when prices start increasing, greedy capitalists like myself take action. My current tenant or as I liked to call it, “The person living upstairs,” gave me her notice that she was moving out. This was perfect because her rent was low. The next person moving in would not be so lucky.

Ok, so let’s go ahead and do some numbers. My mortgage costs were 600 a month, property tax was 150, and utilities were about 200. Let’s say the house costed a grand a month. Well, the lucky next tenant to occupy the unit paid 1200 a month plus bills. 1300 hundred monthly. So not only was I living for free, her payment also helped with house maintenance and would support my beer fund. Life was great.

Just like any investor, there always comes a point when you need or want to sell. I did just that. It was the first home I owned, and for some years, I lived for free and at the end, it was time to sell and make dinero baby. Thanks for reading. Here are some more pictures of the house and the property.


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