Why this homeowner accepted the lowest bid in London's hottest market

·2 min read
Damian Devonish, left, sold his London, Ont., condo near Victoria Hospital to Juliana Aguero, right, even though she submitted the lowest offer. (Submitted by Damian Devonish and Juliana Aguero - image credit)
Damian Devonish, left, sold his London, Ont., condo near Victoria Hospital to Juliana Aguero, right, even though she submitted the lowest offer. (Submitted by Damian Devonish and Juliana Aguero - image credit)

Juliana Aguero of London, Ont., knew she was going to have a tough time buying a house after she separated from her husband.

"Every time, I lost the offer for $100,000 or something like that. It was crazy," said Aguero, who made about 10 offers on homes within a span of three months.

The average price of a home in London is now more than $600,000.

Aguero, who moved to Canada from Colombia 11 years ago, has two children with her ex-husband. The couple decided they wanted to live in the same neighbourhood — near Victoria Hospital — and raise their children together.

Aguero is shown with her ex-husband, David Cuellar, and their children, Valeria and Santiago, when the couple was still married.
Aguero is shown with her ex-husband, David Cuellar, and their children, Valeria and Santiago, when the couple was still married.(Submitted by Juliana Aguero)

That's when Aguero found a three-bedroom condo listed for $330,000. It seemed like a good deal; other units in the building were listed for $20,000 more.

Aguero offered $375,000.

Paying it forward

"When my realtor came, she actually started with Juliana's offer," said Damian Devonish, a London-based therapist with three children. "[She] said, 'This is a really touching story. I know your heart and I know that you will want to give it to her.'"

Without her knowledge, Aguero's realtor had included a letter with her offer, detailing her client's backstory.

Devonish, also a recent immigrant, arrived in Canada eight years ago from Barbados and believes strongly in paying it forward. "We don't know how life will treat us 10, 15, 20 years from now. So the best thing to do is to live it well today."

Devonish, who moved to London from Barbados eight years ago, is shown with his three children, Destiny, Caden and Dasha.
Devonish, who moved to London from Barbados eight years ago, is shown with his three children, Destiny, Caden and Dasha. (Submitted by Damian Devonish)

"I really didn't have a lot of money when I came to Canada," He said. "I was having difficulty getting a job because I needed a vehicle."

Devonish found a car on Kijiji and remembers how the seller agreed to take $500 less for it, and he also threw in a set of winter tires.

And that's why when Devonish reviewed all of the offers on his condo, and Aguero's was the lowest by about $50,000, he still accepted it.

"I just feel so blessed," said Aguero, who takes possession of the home on May 6. "I've cried. I cannot believe there are people like Damian," she said.

During an interview on CBC's London Morning, Aguero spoke directly to Devonish: "I'm absolutely sure you will receive many, many blessings in different ways. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart."

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

<cite>(CBC)</cite>
(CBC)