What a way to end a day

“A conversation…” tonight about the West End and surrounding communities was a great way to end it. 

Hearing the concerns of neighbors, old/new and potential shed light on some areas we(Realtors) have not considered or focused on.  Sure, there were the normal questions about safety, housing renovations and crappy agent experiences- but there were also very real questions about the availability of affordable rental housing for students and the home purchase process for the millennials. Which, to be honest, is something I had considered myself to be, until I looked up the definition : “Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y, abbreviated to Gen Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to around 2000.”

Yikes- ….Maybe I’m not. However, I still am within their range, right? I STILL feel their pains.

Somewhat.  

Honestly, I’ve never worried about such things. Which is why i feel that I’m behind in all of this. In 1997 I was offered to by a Brownstone in Brooklyn for $118k. I scoffed, thinking “who would want to spend that kind of money in this hood” …. That Brownstone today is worth $1.5million( more, if the neighboring home sells for their $2million list price).

“Opportunity Costs”

That experience shook me and is one of my deepest life regrets. Now, I’m lifting rocks to find one at $800k. And, I’m certainly on a mission to ensure my experiences are shared and others do not fall into the same ditch. What a huge burden to carry! 

But is it a burden? Or is it just what you or I am equipped to do….

Tonight was good. Real good. It’s time to throw some energy towards our millennials.  After all, they are the future. 

As usual, when I returned home, I did a “drive by” past my missed opportunity in Brooklyn….now a historic landmark.  

I pray I will never miss another opportunity. 


 I also pray the serenity prayer …

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”

…the storm is over…

After my 15hr drive back from Brooklyn, I’m tempted to sleep the day away…wondering why my room had gotten so bright..


I guess, God has other plans for me.

The sun felt like confirmation to the end of a storm. Not only the storm of yesterday or last week- but an ongoing storm in life.  Then I received a notification from the Word Of Faith app and tuned into their live service. 

1 Samuel 4….as the preacher stated, a bad chapter for those in it, everyone dies. But even in this, there was hope- light at the end of a tunnel (literally) as a baby was born. Although a life line, it was not seized by the bearer, who named the child something like “the glory of God departed” before she died. 

I had to review.  

What am I giving  birth to, and disregarding?  

The journey to Brooklyn was emotional. Yes. I’m sure hard for many to believe as I don’t show many sad emotions (usually my sadness manifest in anger and aggravation) but it was very hard to “walk the last mile” with this lady…


…I refuse to dwell in sadness, as God has given me a reconfirmed focus and desire. 

My three are now finally up & about- annoying each other, and in between Leah (12) made breakfast … Eggs & crescent rolls

I am blessed and favored, with people present and memories. 

Now to get up and see the damage yesterday’s storm caused to my car. A tree greeted us in our driveway- all across our SUV.  God must be making room in my life for a Tesla 

Sharing a few smiles below, can you believe my baby has grown!


Oh I also brought home several packs of my favorite candy!! Can’t seem to find these in Atlanta 

 

New Orleans was wonderful….

 We did a lot in 5 days! Can you tell?   

    
    
  

    
    
    
   

   

  

  

  

   
    
    
 

   
    
    
 
   
    
 
   
    
   
   
   
   
    
   
   
   
 
    
   

   
   
     
    
   
   

   
 
   
    
 

Life IS fragile

Yesterday I attended a “wake” at Willie Watkins on Ralph David Abernathy Blvd& Peeples St. … I rarely attend these, or funerals -but it was the mother of a dear friend. My intentions were to slide in, kiss her (my friend),show my support-then slide out.  

However, God had other plans. 

I was amazed at the beauty of the deceased. She was born in 1928, lived a strong life, and well loved. Unlike anyone I have ever seen, in this state, she really did look good. Dressed in a pink suit, with a lace handkerchief in her hands- she looked dainty and fragile. But obviously her “dainty and fragile” appearance was purely due to circumstance as the many poured over her praises of being a “strong solid mother”. 

Her work was complete. 

I sat. 

I watched. 

I listened, to the many members recall memories and reconnect with each other. I absorbed a lot of love, sadness, and felt the thoughts of others ‘up in age‘ contemplating their own time. I wondered about my family and what circumstance may occur to get everyone together again.  After all, I do have a Nana, now 93…but really, no day is guaranteed to any of us.

Then, I thought about myself. 

 “What am I doing with the time God has given me?”  And, if I were to be called home tomorrow- would I be content with what I’ve done?  Have I made any significant contribution to the world? Did I strive for the “right” things?  What more can or should I do? 

It may seem odd, but I love these contemplative moments. They help us re-evaluate, stay on or get back on track. These moments also often energize weary souls. 

Today with renewed purpose, I am thankful for the reminder,Life IS fragile. And, when I am called home, I will have peace in knowing that I have spent a significant portion of my life, helping others and changing lives. 

As a Realtor, from day one, it’s been my mission to help rebuild communities, fight for the “under dog” and spread the news to those thinking its “impossible”- that they CAN own and build a legacy for their children.  

With God, I have helped break the cycle of poverty. I helped save families from bankruptcy and homelessness. I helped seniors get out of fraudulent loans made by their children.  I helped many find lost joy in communities they grew up in and ran away from. I helped young couples set the stage for their future families. I helped singles develop a strategy to accumulate wealth. I helped those divorced obtain independence. I helped those widowed gain peace to remember. I have championed the story of “revitalization” versus the term “gentrification” with its negative connotation …and sometimes scars we speak into existence when we embrace or accept the negative affects of this word.  

I am a firm believer in those stronger, more knowledgable, bolder and financially able are to be the protectors of those who are weaker.  I respect our seniors and consider their wisdoms.  

I am my brothers keeper….and although weary at times, the recognition of the fragility in Life is all that is needed to reinvigorate. 

I am glad my story is not complete,and I am thankful for my progress….

Enjoy your weekend.

~ Nia

Buyer/Seller…Beware!

  

Our market is doing well- and as you know, anytime the RE Market is well- the predators come out. 

Once again I am inundated with “let me buy your house” mail,emails, calls from newbie investors, calls from sleezy investors and calls from out of the country investors wanting to “flip”…

Some have gotten smarter by saying “Nia, I believe in community development like you, I want to buy houses, fix them and sell them to good people…but I want to do this in an area where I can get a good return….” (Oh, you mean “FLIP”?)

Or …”but I want to do this after I rent it for a while to feel out the market, so I need a good house with very little work “. 

Or my favorite: ” so I need a good house in the Historic West End, with very little work for $20-30k” 

What rock have you been under? Have you not reviewed our recent sales? It is not 2009! 

These calls bother me. 

If you wanted to help communities and really make a difference, why not tackle some of our other blighted locations that are still struggling?  Why come into a community- with momentum and end buyers eligible to purchase these homes, only to obtain a section 8 voucher? 

Do they really think they’re adding value to anyone but self? 

NOT! 

Beware of the predators! If you are struggling in your home and considering a sale, let’s talk- there could be options and programs out there to help you. I will freely help you review all options- you do not have to fall prey to these fast cash offers….your home is a great asset, don’t throw it away! 

New home….great location… BUT…

There is so much work to do to make my new home meet my vision. It’s sometimes hard coming from a fully renovated home to a “fixer upper” . Dont get me wrong- the house has the potential to be perfect:  the Beltline is my neighbor! Great schools (KIPP Strive), MARTA at my door, an active Westview Community association, spacious inside and out! But…. why is the street a dumping target? It’s just unbelievable EVERYDAY either someone dumps trash on my property (not just 1 bag or a little bit of litter-I’m talking several contractor bags) and if not the trash- I wake up to a stolen vehicle parked at my front or back door.  I would like to think the construction of the Beltline path would give indication that Muse St is not an abandoned street but I guess criminals dont think– then again, if they did, they wouldn’t be criminals.. lol  My husband is on a wireless surveillance camera mission to add to the trees-lol which is a good and bad thing. I dont want to be a prisoner in my home nor watch footage all day to see who tossed what. I’ll start with putting out some “No Dumping” signs  and making the outside of my house look more homey and occupied. Which reminds me, if anyone has extra Hasta plants or Mondo(Monkey Grass) I can use some.

That’s the outside. Where to begin on the inside? LOL… let me just say that the people who bought the home (some really good friends willing to part with this gem so that I can have a better quality of life- my last home mortgage was killing us) the previous owner are visionaries, brave and do not let anything deter them from their renovation/restoration goals and had a plan for this home.  I, on the other hand- have the vision but am a PUNK when it comes to work!! I try though. I really do try …..before I resort to hiring a contractor.    I did say the house is a “fixer” right? ……….well, I now know the true meaning. LOL.. The house was one caught in the mortgage fraud scheme and was flipped at ridiculous prices. Get this:  Dec 2005 sold for $206K, Sept 2006 $326K then it went to the bank in 2008… I’m sure in between there were private hard money sales to investors who caused the mess inside.  It’s as if they had blind contractors working without braille rulers … walls are crocked, archways are a tad shorter on one side, and my ceilings appear smooth ode to sloping dry wall. They were going for more of a “modern” open floor plan feeling so they knocked out walls and made huge opening between the kitchen and diningroom/great room… Apparently they didn’t think plaster would fit into their plan so they added drywall over the plaster walls. It was crazy to me to be laying in bed, look up and notice that the window molding are even with the wall.  Usually the molding would be sticking out,  right?  I jumped up to figure it out- are the windows sinking in? I see little round circles around the walls edge and started to pick the paint off…to discover nails-nails holding down drywall. *hilarious*

We have a huge renovation project for the many years we plan to live here. I’m finding the house to be a good conversation piece and think in the midst of some renovations I may just leave a crocked arch as a reminder of what happened to our homes during the dreadful years of mortgage fraud in the West End.

Here are few pics of views I enjoy. I’ll have some inside pics soon- right now you wouldn’t see anything  except boxes.