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5 Real Homeowners Share Their Journey, Advice On Achieving This Milestone

#AtHomeWithHer: 5 Real Homeowners Share Their Journey, Advice On Achieving This Milestone

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Mar. 31 2021, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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Bank of America as part of our series Property and Power: The Millennial Woman’s Guide To Homeownership — What Every Woman Needs On Her Agenda To Make Smart Decisions.

Bank of America as part of our series Property and Power: The Millennial Woman’s Guide To Homeownership — What Every Woman Needs On Her Agenda To Make Smart Decisions.

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This article is sponsored by Bank of America as part of our series Property and Power: The Millennial Woman’s Guide To Homeownership — What Every Woman Needs On Her Agenda To Make Smart Decisions. Catch up on the full series here.

5 Real Homeowners Share Their Journey,  Advice On Achieving This Milestone
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Homeownership is possible, and it may not be as complicated as it seems.

In our recent Property and Power series educating you on the process of becoming a homeowner, you’ve heard from the experts. Now, what about the reality of the experience from the perspective of everyday women?

We tapped five women from our community to share their thoughts on homeownership and advice for you to take with you as you start your journey.

One key takeaway, our ladies recommend taking things one step at a time and having a little faith.

Emmelie De La Cruz – Entrepreneur Second-time homeowner, based in Dallas

Emmelie, 30, is an entrepreneur who recently purchased her second home, relocating from Atlanta to Dallas. Emmelie purchased her first home at 28 years old.

“My current home in Dallas is my primary residence. I own another property in Atlanta that is an investment property and currently rented out.

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I bought my first house in Atlanta in the summer of 2019, I lived in one unit and rented the one upstairs to cover the mortgage. I saved what I would’ve been spending on rent, for the down payment on my current home in Dallas. I was very intentional in getting my second property within a year of the first.”

In the video above, hear advice from Emmelie on what motivated her and advice she has for potential homeowners.

5 Real Homeowners Share Their Journey, Advice On Achieving This Milestone
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Sara C. Ketchum – TV Producer First-time homeowner, based in Atlanta

Sara, 32, is a news producer and works as the video producer for Her Agenda. Sara was part of the production team for our first installment of the Property and Power series. She credits her learnings during that time as inspiration to take the first step and buying a single-family home with her husband.

What homeownership means:

Homeownership means legacy and a pathway to financial freedom. I dreamed of owning a home but I didn’t always believe it was attainable. I thought I needed to have a certain income or live in a particular place. I know now that to own a home you need a plan. It’s a huge responsibility and can be financially overwhelming at times. But homeownership has been the most rewarding experience because I know I’m creating opportunities for me and my family.

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How recent events impacted her view of home:

I bought my first home during the pandemic so I was disappointed that I couldn’t host a housewarming. Especially because I have always had the party house. However, during this time I’ve become intentional about who I allow into my home and the energy I allow inside. Home is my safe haven and what’s inside becomes part of my community. My family mantra is big faith, big fun, and big love. If something doesn’t fit with that, then it’s not welcome in my community.

Her advice:

I wish I knew to give myself more grace and to be patient with every aspect of the homebuying journey. So many “surprises” came up for me during this process. I know now that the one thing you can expect is the unexpected, so I encourage homeowners to make a financial plan for those times. Don’t stop saving after you purchase your home. One more tip: get a home energy audit and save yourself the headache of enduring a cold winter due to drafty windows. (Been there, done that, don’t want to do it again!)

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#AtHomeWithHer: 5 Real Homeowners Share Their Journey, Advice On Achieving This Milestone

Tiffany Patterson – Educator First-time homeowner, based in New York City

Tiffany, 32, is an educator based in New York City. She currently owns a condo. She attended the Property and Power event last year, and it also helped her jumpstart her journey to becoming an owner.

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What homeownership means:

Homeownership is laying a foundation for my future and a means of leverage for future endeavors.

How recent events impacted her view of home:

I view my home as a sanctuary and sacred space. I previously thought of my home as just a place to sleep, but now it has become a haven for nurturing energy. As we slowly return to the hustle and bustle I want to maintain my home as a sacred space.

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Her advice:

I wish I knew how achievable home ownership really is. It is definitely a step-by-step process and you will have to make sacrifices but it can be done!

Meagan Ward #AtHomeWithHer: 5 Real Homeowners Share Their Journey, Advice On Achieving This Milestone
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Meagan Ward – Entrepreneur First-time homeowner, based in Detroit

Meagan, 30, is the owner of Creatively Flawless, a branding company, and Co-Founder of Femology, a women-focused co-working space. She is based in Detroit with a single-family home in the city with her son and her husband.

What homeownership means:

Homeownership means more opportunities for our family and future generations to come. The impact of having our own home has been a foundational necessity of generational wealth giving us the ability to build equity and having the option to pass it down to future generations. As a 4th generation homebuyer, it's set the tone and pattern for positive financial health such as increased net worth, financial flexibility, and access to equity lines.

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How recent events impacted her view of home:

Homeownership has become even more important in recent events like the pandemic realizing it's more empowering than it is intimidating. Key factors in making the homebuying process easier are truly understanding your affordability of expenses so you can walk into a home loan with confidence and assessing the market to determine if your long-term investment is a purchase that will allow you security and abundance.

Her advice:

I had a great experience buying my first home, however, I wish my perspective was shaped to look at it as my first investment rather than just a home. After 5 years, I have about $80,000 in equity that I can use toward the purchase of a 2nd home or a potential new business. This allows me flexibility in decreasing debt and growing my net worth which as Black women is something that we must work towards to level the wealth gap.

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Sharifa Murdock #AtHomeWithHer: 5 Real Homeowners Share Their Journey, Advice On Achieving This Milestone

Sharifa Murdock – Chief of People and Culture at Kith, Entrepreneur Third-time homeowner, based in New Jersey

Sharifa, 42, is the co-owner of Liberty Fairs, a men’s contemporary fashion and lifestyle trade show, and creator of ENVSN Festival, an annual event, and community dedicated to the professional and self-development of Gen Z and millennials.

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What homeownership means:

Homeownership means independence. It gives you a sense of freedom. My mentor taught me the only way to obtain long-term wealth is to own rather than rent.

How recent events impacted her view of home:

I’m someone who is accustomed to traveling constantly and working remotely, but the pandemic redefined what remote working means for all of us. It’s always been important to me to come back from a trip to a safe haven. Spending more time at home has given me the chance to focus more deeply on how to make my home a comfortable and beautiful environment that allows me to feel accomplished, relaxed, and happy at the end of each day.

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Her advice:

One thing I wish I knew before I started my home buying journey is that it’s never too early to be in the market. Personally, I should’ve started earlier in life. More young people need to be aware of how important it is in the long run to own your house.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS SPONSORED BY BANK OF AMERICA.]Bank of America, N.A. Equal Housing Lender. This is not a commitment to lend.# # #

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By: Rhonesha Byng

Rhonesha Byng is the founder and CEO of Her Agenda— a digital media platform bridging the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women. The site provides access to content and community that gives millennial women access to information and inspiration to help them get started or to move to the next level of their career. Rhonesha is an Emmy award-winning journalist and entrepreneur whose philosophy in life is established by her acronym of N.E.S.H.A. No one Ever Slows Her Agenda. This motto served as the inspiration for Her Agenda. Rhonesha was named to the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and ESSENCE magazine named her among 50 Founders To Watch. Rhonesha is also the co-founder of the newly formed nonprofit org The Black Owned Media Equity and Sustainability Institute (BOMESI).

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