'Golden Girls' for real: Rockwood retiree looking for roomies
Published Thursday, March 28, 2019 3:21PM EDT
Janette Ledwith may be retired, but she’s hoping to find some good roommates.
She owns Oak Hill Co-Living, a newly-renovated house in Rockwood. Now, she’s looking for other women over 55 to move in as co-owners.
“I was excited about it because we would have company for each other, I would meet some new people,” she explains. “I’m a storyteller, and I’m really interested in the stories that older women have.”
Ledwith is selling shares of her home under a new co-living bill called the "Golden Girls Act," after the TV show featuring Betty White. In the show, the four main characters share a house and get up to all sorts of misadventures.
The bill, introduced by Durham MPP Lindsey Park, is designed to promote communal housing for seniors. Oak Hill Co-Living, a 4,000 square foot home on Richardson Street, has room for six.
Ledwith says she’s not necessarily anticipating living like "Golden Girls" for real—rather, she’s trying to make living in Rockwood accessible for people without family or friends in the area.
“Some of the people who have come recall living in community earlier in their life, say at university, where there are a number of people living together, and describing it as, ‘it was the best time of my life when I had other people around,’” she says with a smile. “Here we are coming full circle.”
Bonnie Mullen is a real estate agent helping Ledwith sell her shares.
She says that Oak Hill has a unique advantage in that it isn’t considered a commercial property.
“If we put an apartment building up, it would be a whole different scenario,” she explains. “This is considered a new form of family, basically.”
Another bonus of co-living, Mullen says, is that it frees the people involved from having to look after an entire house themselves.
Each share of the space costs $265,000, and will make the purchaser an equal shareholder in the home. The shares come with a private bedroom, sitting room, bathroom and gas fireplace, and feature a shared kitchen, dining area, living room, laundry room and rec room.
For comparison, Zolo.ca lists the average price of a home in Rockwood so far this year at $863,000.
“I knew that I was looking for a place that was quieter, a slower pace of life,” Ledwith reflects.
The shares are listed on MLS through an area realtor.
With reporting from Leighanne Evans and Randy Steinman.