Design Inspiration

Here's Why 'Stop Renting, Start Buying' Is Every Millennial's Guide To Home Buying

The common misconception is that you're too broke to buy a house in your 20s. But according to broker and owner of Blisss Life Realty, Tonya Brown, "homeownership is the corner stone to building wealth." The fact is, with the right information about the market and knowing what you can actually afford, you can make your budget work for you. 

Let's face it, homeownership among millennials, and African-American millennials in particular, is waning. In spite of the numbers, Tonya Brown created a step-by-step guide for young buyers looking to stop renting and start buying.

"I wanted to give young people, especially millennials, a foundation. Often times I get a lot of questions from first-time buyers with no idea where or how to go about purchasing a home," she said. And after 15 years in business, you can bet that she knows a few things about how to buy a home but most importantly, how to keep it. 

In her 8-step safeguard guide for potential homeowners, Brown is very adamant about covering all the bases necessary to get soon-to-be homeowners into the right home. Readers can expect to learn the benefits of having a good agent, common mistakes to avoid and how doing your homework on  mortgage programs and lenders can save you in the long run. 


If you haven't already made your way over to Amazon to purchase the book, consider these helpful hints when making the decision to invest in a home. Here are some words of advice from real estate veteran Tonya Brown:

1. "You have to start buying if you want to start building wealth." Real estate continues to be the best bet to buliding wealth. To many buy­ing a home rep­res­ents security and a ladder to fin­an­cial suc­cess. When it comes to building equity, ensuring your family has access to good schools and opportunities, the benefits rent­ing don't compete. 

2. "Understand that you're not going to buy your dream house in your 20s." But what you are doing is putting yourself in a position to  buy your dream home in the future. There really is no substitute for homeownership. Buying property and forced savings are investments in yourself and your future. 

3. "Most people think it's way harder than it actually is." According to The New York Times, the housing market has managed to bounce back. Slowly but surely, a strong recovery can be reflected in sales and prices. Consumers and experts are more confident in making investments now than they have been in past years. 

3. "You're definitely going to want to look at your net income to know what you're really working with."  Mortgage lenders will look at all of your earnings and debts. There are front-end and back-end ratios, lifestyle factors and credit checks. It's easy to get in over your head. It can be a little overwhelming if you dont know your stuff (but no need to fret, that's what this book is all about). 

4. "Don't end up with the loan products that are not ideal for you." There are plenty of first-time buyer programs out there. There are opportunirties to get the down payment covered. You don't have to make a ton of money to buy a home but you do have to do your homework and you do need to know what not to do. 

5. "Get the house before you get the car." According to Brown, "a house will never make you not qualify for a car. But a car will make you not qualify for a house…or at least lessen how much you're approved for." In layman's terms, avoid the luxury cars. Cars always depreciate after you buy them, you have a better chance at getting a return on your investment with a home. 







Shops We Love: High Fashion Home

I just spent a good part of my summer working on projects in Houston. I didn't plan to be in Houston during the summer. I don't think anyone plans to be in Houston during the summer.  But I was there, in the heat, putting together a medical office and two residential projects.  I've been doing this for a while, but I sometimes underestimate just how much work it takes to pull off the "Oh my God, I love it" reveal.  So even with months of planning and thousands of dollars of furniture ordered, I found myself in Houston missing a few things to pull the spaces together. 

High Fashion Home has become my go-to spot for just the type of pieces I need in these instances. The building located in Midtown, at intersection of Elgin Street and Travis Street, is a four-story homeowner's dream.  No matter what you're looking for, you can find it at there.  The showroom is 125,000 square feet, so wear comfortable and be prepared to explore design treasures from all over the world.  

If you've ever been furniture shopping in Houston, then you know things tend to run big.  I was happy to find that High Fashion Home had furniture of various sizes and scale, items perfect for condos and my clients' more modern lifestyle.  

Some of my favorite brands like Bernhardt and American Leather are represented, insuring that the furniture that I deliver to my clients pass the quality test as well. 

The world of decorating is not a destination, it’s a journey.

If you find yourself in the showroom without a designer or decorator, don't worry.  They have catalogues that you can take home to make sure you didn't overlook a thing.  They've even made shopping online extremely easy.  You can now browse through their entire inventory from the comfort of your home.

I love this store and I know you will too.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces from their current collection. Let me know if you stop by.  I'd love to hear what you think of the place.

I'm loving these luxe offerings from the High Fashion Home current collection.