Who are you?
Shani Curry-St. Vil is the founder and owner of Purse Empowerment TV. Shani graduated with a journalism degree, and began working in real estate and banking, where she got a crash course in real estate and money. She then started to use her education and money background to build her platform for money news. Now, she teaches women all about money, and pushes to be the encouraging light that they need. The ultimate goal of Purse Empowerment is to show women that the contents in their purses should never cost less than the bag itself.
How did you get your start?
After college, Shani sold luxury vehicles, and was able to turn it into a lucrative gig. As she was selling the cars, she would notice people’s credit scores and started coaching them on why they shouldn’t spend money on car they couldn’t really afford. She realized that although the money she made selling cars was great (around $75,000 a year) she wasn’t being fulfilled in her daily work.
While selling a car to a sales recruiter, Shani was offered a job at a bank, and she took him up on the offer. There, she got an understanding of other people’s financial habits and instruments. She realized that people who didn’t make much money actually had the tendency to save quite a bit, and those who were wealthy worked to maintain their money, but the working professionals in the middle seemed to be missing out.
Let’s talk about homeownership for millennials. Why aren’t we buying homes?
According to Shani, millennials are buying homes. In fact, the 2017 NARS report showed that 34% of homeowners were millennials, beating out the baby boomers at 30%. Shani also admitted that she bought her first property at 24 years old, and it cost her $161,000. She lost her job 6 months after buying the property, which forced her to short sell. When she sold it, the house was only worth $30,000.
After selling that home, Shani and her husband bought a home for $80,000, which is now worth $280,000. Shani believes that millennials are thinking outside of the box when it comes to homeownership, not that they aren’t buying.
Do you recommend homeownership for millennials in debt? How would that work?
Shani recommends not buying a home if you feel you have too many student loans to pay off. Instead, she recommends finding a way to earn extra money to pay off your loans faster. However, if your loans are smaller or more manageable, Shani believes that buying a home is still okay, as long as it doesn’t put a damper on your finances.
What steps would someone need to take in order to buy a home?
Shani believes that the first thing to do is to look around and decide where you want to live. Once you’ve narrowed down your favorite areas and neighborhoods, use your phone or computer to see the cost of living in those areas. She recommends Zillow or using a realtor to get the pros and cons of the area.
Once you’ve taken those steps, you can then examine and work on your credit (if needed), build your income, and start the process of homeownership. Homeownership for millennials can be a steep hill to climb, because there are so many factors in owning a home today, especially if you live in an overpriced housing market like Miami, New York, or San Francisco. However, it can still be done.
Resources that are mentioned or add value to this episode: