Just Around the Corner

City program helps Edmonton teacher buy a home close to her family

When Kayla Chorley’s students ask, she tells them she lives with “roommates” — which is, technically, true. Since earning her teaching degree a few years ago, the high school teacher has lived with her parents to save money for her first home.

Soon, that dream will be realized — and she will finally be roommate-free — thanks to her hard work and the City of Edmonton’s First Place Program. She’ll be moving into a brand-new townhouse (still under construction) in the Casselman neighbourhood, in the city’s northeast. It’s actually just minutes from her parents’ home and the area she grew up in. In fact, while she’s at work, her folks sometimes drive past the development and report on its progress: “I think they’re more excited to get rid of me than they thought they’d be,” she laughs.

Chorley stumbled upon the development during an online search for condos and townhouses in the area; before this, she hadn’t heard of the First Place Program, which helps Edmontonians buy their first homes. Established in 2006, the initiative allows homeowners to forgo the costs of the land for the first five years, which in turn lowers the monthly mortgage payments and helps them pay down the principal faster. “Financially, this just makes so much sense,” she says.

And the home itself is everything Chorley wanted. Situated on the corner of the development, the townhouse shares a wall with only one other home. It has big, beautiful windows, and the siding is a classic shade of blue. “It’s not one of those trendy colours that won’t last,” she says. The home is spacious, boasting three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and an underground double attached garage.

On top of being close to family, the townhouse is in a great location with plenty of amenities. “There’s that new shopping complex here with a movie theatre and a Sport Chek,” she says. “It’s also close to the LRT, so that’s a plus, since I work downtown. And it’s close to the new leg of Anthony Henday Drive.”

It will be a little while until the builder puts the finishing touches on her new home, but Chorley has already planned how she’ll decorate. “I’ve done a lot of shopping — my account is getting low — but it’ll look good, I’m sure,” she laughs.

To learn more about First Place Housing, please visit www.edmonton.ca/for_residents/programs/first-place.aspx