Fatima Nasser and her husband Moe Abdullah didn’t start out their careers to become home builders. In fact, they are both professional nurses, she as a cardiac nurse, and he in ICU. They expertly manage their home-building business, Urban Indigo Fine Homes, around their nursing shifts. And they have won numerous industry awards, even through the pandemic, that prove their exceptional home-building skills.
Seem impossible? Read on.
Rewind to 2010, when the young couple was renting an apartment, and trying to find a home to suit a growing family. They simply couldn’t find what they needed at an affordable price.
Since empty lots were well-priced at the time, they decided that building a home themselves might be the best option. “Learning how to learn is the biggest asset you get from a degree,” Nasser explains, “and we went into it with curiosity and questions, instead of pride and ego. We were willing to put in the sweat equity.”
After building their first and second homes for their immediate and extended families, they decided to carry on building homes on spec, discovering they had a knack for anticipating the needs of buyers. They were amazed when this soon turned into pre-ordered home construction, which came from a customer simply viewing one of their concept renderings on Instagram, and then committing to the project.
Awards Begin Rolling In
The couple was amazed when BILD awards began rolling in – these are like the Academy awards for the Building industry, as they are peer-judged awards. This started in 2018 and repeated in 2019, 2020 and 2022.
And while Urban Indigo continues to win industry recognition, one fact speaks louder than any award:
Says Nasser, “The three Bild awards we won this year were all second homes we had built for the same customers who bought their first homes from us.”
This means not only was the first experience of building a positive one, but that these homes appreciated in value – enough to help these families afford even finer ones.
And apparently, this was no accident. “We ensure our homes fit the buyers, but still have standard features to create value down the road,” Nasser explains, “We steer away from building a home that is so customized that it will not easily sell later.”
Somehow Nasser and her husband continue to work as nurses, even doing so through the pandemic, while building their award-winning homes. How do they do it?
“We limit ourselves to five to seven projects a year, and keep our kids with a reasonable balance of activities, instead of hundreds. Working as a husband and wife team also suits us well, since we have very complementary skill sets, and fully appreciate each other’s abilities.”
A Timeless Partnership
One feature Nasser enjoys including is Timeless Wood Flooring. “Our very first home had flooring from TRC, which is now known as Treeco, which makes Timeless. The whole line is very functional, with a wide range of colour options and price points. So even if the budget is tight, the floor is high quality and adds value.”
Although Nasser does not buy Timeless directly from Treeco (and instead buys through one of Timeless’ trusted flooring dealers) she appreciates that Treeco is a family business, and as she puts it, “has the same moral fibers as we do.”
One of the most important aspects of homebuilding is knowing and anticipating style trends. So what does Nasser see coming? “Neutrals and greys are out. Warm cream and true chocolate browns are back,” she says with enthusiasm.
And does she see Timeless fitting these growing trends? “Timeless has great colours. I’ve seen a hundred colours in other brands, but they just don’t seem to have the same taste or be on trend. I think Timeless is great at constantly reassessing and changing their options.”
How Does Nursing Relate to Home Building?
There was great laughter in our interview when a possible explanation was raised to the question of how the careers of nursing and home building are related.
Nasser is a pro at keeping her customers fully informed at every stage, just as she does as a cardiac nurse with a frightened patient.
Meanwhile, her husband has nerves of steel while juggling construction demands, because unlike the ICU, no one’s life is hanging in the balance.
As a team, a beautiful synergy results.
Curiosity begged one more question: Which is easier, nursing or home building? “Nursing for sure,” she says, “It is relaxing, while home building is more thrilling and creative. Our lives are are not all about the money. Everything we do fills our cup in a different way, and we are very grateful.”
To learn more about Urban Indigo Homes, visit:
- YOUTUBE: @urbanindigofinehomes8200
- INSTAGRAM: @UrbanIndigoHome