When Homeowning Dreams Become Reality
The Owen Hart Homeowners Program supported Olubukola in understanding the many facets of homeownership, from saving for a down payment to the unexpected costs of ownership.
- Money management
Tue Jan 2, 2024 by Momentum Staff
Olubukola and her family moved to Canada from Nigeria in 2019. They hoped to land jobs and find their footing, then COVID hit. She and her husband were trying to support their three children when Olubukola’s partner landed a job at Amazon.
“We were able to pay our expenses and we were paying our rent, but we were coasting,” Olubukola said.
She found the matched savings program through Carya, which supported her insetting some financial goals and working towards achieving them. She was pleasantly surprised by how much she learned from the program.
Olubukola explained that there wasn’t a credit system in Nigeria. People saved for things they wanted to buy and paid for them in cash.
It was an eyeopener for Olubukola to learn about the credit system in Canada, and to learn about credit cards and how to avoid debt. She especially appreciated learning about how debt can spiral out of control. It was during her matched savings program that she learned about the Owen Hart Homeowners Program, and while buying a house seemed out of reach at the time, it was something she saw in her future.
In 2021, Olubukola was working a practicum at an accounting firm, planning towards getting her CPA license. Her husband had moved into a job with the government of Canada. Their income was stable, and she felt ready to enroll in the Owen Hart Homeowner program.
“One of the things the program teaches you is to assess yourself, where you are at right now, and [determine] what you need to do to get to the next step,” Olubukola explained.
She and her husband determined they needed to increase their income, and Olubukola was lucky to start a full-time position at the accounting firm.
Olubukola learned about purchasing a home and discovered what the process entailed, including getting a realtor, qualifying for a mortgage, and obtaining homeowners insurance.
“It was a rude shock, calculating the cost of homeownership and all it entails,” she said. When most people are thinking of buying a home, they just factor in mortgage costs, and it can be easy to forget about insurance and property taxes.
The program helped her feel much more prepared when she began talking with mortgage brokers and realtors. She was asking the important questions that she knew to ask because of the program. She had gained the confidence to go through the home buying process with ease.
“There weren’t any surprises, I was prepared for the process,” she said.
Even though the real estate market in Calgary was “hot” at that time and inflation was very high, Olubukola and her husband closed on their home in September 2022. “I would recommend the [Owen Hart Homeowner’s] program to others.”
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