Emma & Marc’s Journey to “Yes”

Born and raised in Prince Edward Island, Emma Kelly moved to Nova Scotia in 2014 to pursue an education in business at Saint Mary’s University.  As a student, Emma learned about human resources, finances and marketing while making friends in a new city.  In early 2015, these friends gave Emma more than she bargained for, introducing her to Marc – a tall, dark-haired hockey fanatic with a dream of having his very own “man cave”. 

It didn’t take long before Emma and Marc said goodbye to roommates, packed up their belongings and moved into an apartment on a mission to pay down their existing debts and save for a down payment. With Marc traveling for work weeks or months at a time, Emma was often left in charge of the household finances – a chore that became a point of pride.

“Budgeting was like a game,” Emma says. “Every time Marc would come back, I’d give him an update on the progress we made that month.”

After many months, the couple was prepared and excited to invest in their future by getting pre-approved for a mortgage. 

With Emma still in school, Marc had a stronger financial footing and made an appointment at his bank.

Emma wasn’t sure what to expect.  She knew CUA did things differently, but having never done her banking at a big bank, she was surprised to experience the difference firsthand at the bank where Marc had always done his.

“All I remember was hearing no,” Emma says. “She gave us a list of things we did wrong and didn’t have, and told us to wait a few years before coming back.”

Marc was particularly disappointed in the place he’d done his banking for 20+ years, and decided it was time to give CUA a chance.  

Later that week, Marc and Emma sat down with a member of the CUA team for 30 minutes, sharing their financial information and hoping someone would see their potential.  Prepared to make their case, they were surprised when the “yes” was delivered without hesitation. 

The two admit they were a bit stunned when it happened.  “We knew we could afford it,” Emma says. “But after the first experience, we started to think it wasn’t a possibility.”

For Marc, the experiences were night and day. “I feel like the banks care about your money, and CUA cares about you as a person.  Getting that ‘yes’ was the best feeling in the world.”

With a pre-approval in their pocket, Emma and Marc put together their “wish list” and started house-hunting.  On July 18, 2018, the pair once again packed their belongings only this time, to move into a place that was theirs. 

With a chuckle, Emma recalls “moving day” as one she’ll not soon forget.  “It was 40 degrees outside and all I could focus on was getting out of that apartment,” she says. “I left before the movers got there and drove to the house where there was no furniture, no Wi-Fi and no power.  I laid on the carpet upstairs and couldn’t believe this was ‘home’.”

Having a place to call home has been “weird” according to Emma, who admits never worrying about mowing the grass or what she used to hang a picture in her past apartments.  “I just planted a bunch of bulbs in my flower beds,” she adds, “I’m excited to watch them grow in the Spring.”

For Marc, having space for tools and hockey memorabilia has resulted in a sizeable to-do list, though he admits it’ll take some time and prioritization.  “I have a vision for the basement – a hockey room,” he says, looking at Emma with a knowing smile, “…but for now Emma’s got me pretty busy with requests for handmade furniture.”

The two laugh, admitting they’re excited for the work ahead. Looking at Emma, Marc adds, “It’s an investment in our future, and it wouldn’t have been possible without CUA.”

Learn more about CUA's Products and Services or Mortgage options. Alternatively, visit any one of our branch locations, or call 902.492.6500 for more information. 

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