Finding Stability as a Legal Immigrant | By Tobe Nneji [GOOD READ]

If you are a legal migrant to Canada or America, here’s a priority list that will help you have a handle on your affairs in 4 – 6 years.

  • 1. Get your first job within 3-6 months. It doesn’t matter what type of work it is. Chances are that you will be underemployed in a low skill labor intensive job. That’s absolutely ok. Do it and save — A LOT.
  • 2. Plan to work that 1st job for at least 3-6 months. In that time, focus on finding the high paying industry into which you can transfer your skills and enter into. Spend time upskilling yourself.
  • 3. In 12-15 months from your entry, plan to have a good job (good jobs are anything from 50k and above per annum).
    In this time, do your best to keep your credit card use very low and save. If you buy a car, buy a used car and have a car note that’s less than $200 per month. The 2nd part of number 3 is important. This is how you grow your credit and get yourself ready for your 2nd/3rd year as a migrant. Keep reading. You will see why your 2nd/3rd year are important
  • 4. Plan to stay at your good job for at least 1 year. While there, take advantage of 401k matching, life insurance, any rewards (there might be monetary rewards for being smoke free, maintaining healthy BMI etc), and health savings accounts. Also make it a point to not pay attention to issues fueled by emotion. You are there to work and earn the highest possible for your job level.
    Work. Work hard and work smart.
    If there are bonuses and performance rewards to be earned, figure out how to earn them regularly.
  • 5. Again, keep your credit card use low. You might be tempted to splurge because your paycheck is now juicey (especially if you convert to the currency of your home country) but please don’t. Use your credit cards often and pay it off by every due date. Never fail.
  • 6. 18 – 30 months after your entry, buy a house. The good credit behavior you’ve had over the last year+ means your credit score is probably around 690+. Add that to your 6month+ work history and your filed tax return, and chances are that you will qualify for a mortgage.
  • 7. Stay in that house for up to a year. You can choose to rent it or sell it after or you can keep living there if you like it. But live there for at least 1 year.
    Let me tell you why.
  • – the interest you pay on the house is a tax deductible. After one year of paying your mortgage, you will be pleasantly surprised by the lump sum you get back when you file your taxes. It might make you burst out in praise and worship. No jokes. – since it’s your first home and you (hopefully) took advantage of 1st time buyer perks, you probably didn’t pit down a huge sum to purchase.
    After 1 year, you can refinance and pull out some lump sum from the house (please research this well and consider current mortgage rates) – you’ve done the required 1 year of residency in your home. You can now rent it out for slightly more than your monthly payment and have an alternate source of cash flow – depending on the size and type of house you bought, you could have actually been earning income with it by renting out a room or AirBnB through the 1 year of required residency.
    That’s a thread for another day.
    For now, we’ve addressed the 1 year of residency I recommended
  • Oh, by the way, for most loans, the 1 year of residency is required. Yes, there is allowance for ‘life to happen’ but typically, you sign that you ‘intend’ to have the property as primary residence for at least 1 year. It’s usually part of the condition for qualifying for a loan.
  • 8. Remember the tax return I mentioned? The one that might make you sing praise and worship? Good.
    Take that money and put it towards your next house.
    Depending on your bank, you might qualify for low down-payment loan programs. Even if you can’t get a low down payment option, remember your 401k? The one you took company match advantages on? You can pull money from it (please research this well and make sure it works for your situation. There are fees and taxes involved)
  • 9. Within 40-45 months of entry, buy your 2nd home. If you like, you can also change jobs, get a promotion, start a business…just find a way to increase your income. Do I need to tell you about the tax return you will get after deducting the interest paid on two houses?
  • 10. After 6-12 months of owning your 2nd home, you can now decide to buy a nicer car, travel more, splurge more…whatever you like.
    But still, be sensible.It’s very easy to go from being house-wealth smart to being house poor.
  • End note:
    We all have different paths to stability and wealth. If you chose to use this steady property method, in 6 years you should be owner of 3-4 houses. If you did it smart, all houses would be paying for themselves and providing cashflow.

    Cheers to a stable you.

Written By Tobe Nneji

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Some more Related News you might be interested in....