2023 is reshaping our world in unprecedented ways. We are yet to complete the year, but the shifts in the terrain are undeniable. Some transformations are welcome, but others might pose hurdles as we move forward.
As a fervent advocate for security, I rely solely on myself to embed it in my lifestyle. Controlling everything is a fallacy, but strategizing around what one can control is imperative. A significant aspect of this is preparation for the future, with security being its cornerstone. Consequently, vigilance over possessions, accommodation, sustenance, family, and the community is crucial. We, as Black people, predominantly being consumers, need to reassess and refine our behaviors and strategies, especially in light of the recent retractions in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts in education—a change that echoes across various sectors. Additionally, the onset of Artificial Intelligence threatens 300 million jobs within the next six years, emphasizing the urgency to solidify our financial standings.
Implementing Strategies for Stability and Growth:
1. Secure Your Finances:
We are living in a time plagued by economic uncertainties and educational challenges, and financial security is paramount. Strive to optimize income and minimize expenses by continually exploring new avenues for wealth creation and cost-cutting. Scrutinize your spending habits and acquaintances, focusing on financial growth and reducing interactions that do not align with your monetary objectives. Effective cost reduction starts with revisiting necessities like insurance, cable, and mobile subscriptions and managing credit card debts strategically.
If you have high credit card debt, get a low-interest credit card and roll your debt onto that card. For example, if you have $2,000 in credit card debt, you want to get rid of it with a low-interest rate card. Apply for a very low or 0% interest rate card and roll that money onto that credit card. If the 0% card is for 12 months, pay $166.67 monthly, and you will have that card paid off in 12 months. Do this until all of your credit card debt is gone.
2. Secure Your Shelter:
Avoid external dominance over your finances and living conditions, which translates to undue control over your life. Navigating the current housing market may be challenging, but owning is crucial, despite the current high interest rates. The pathways to property ownership include Sole Ownership, Tenants in Common, Joint Tenants, and Joint Tenants with the Right of Survivorship as the four most common ways to take ownership of a property. For potential homeowners, act promptly without waiting for market bubbles or interest rates to decline. If you purchase during higher interest rates, refinance when the rates go down two points.
- Sole Ownership: The property is owned by a single, unmarried individual and subject to probate if the owner dies.
- Tenants in Common: The property is owned by multiple parties that can be held by different ownership percentages and may or may not be equal between parties.
- Joint Tenants: Property owned by two people who may or may not be married to each other
- Joint Tenants with the Right of Survivorship: This is a form of co-ownership, but different than tenants in common. The property is held in joint ownership, and upon the death of one of the owners, the remaining owner will have legal right to that property.
*** This is not legal advice: Contact a real estate attorney for more information on the previous four points. ***
Strategic Ownership Solutions:
If affordability is a barrier to purchasing, consider partnering with a like-minded friend or relative. Pooling resources can facilitate property acquisition, like a triplex, and present options for shared living or renting that cut housing costs and build equity, combating the ongoing property acquisitions by organizations.
Ok, this is the part where I put you on the game:
You are paying $1,800 a month in rent.
Your friend/family member is paying $1,800 in rent.
Together, you both are paying $3,600.
Buy a triplex [even if it needs work] for $430,000. Your payments with a 7.995% fixed interest rate for 30 years will be $3,154, leaving you with $446 for taxes and insurance. That is in line with the $3,600 you were spending on rent previously.
- Option #1: Your friend and you both take an apartment and rent the third unit for $1,800. So now you have cut your housing cost in half due to your purchase. You will pay $900 per month, and your friend/family member will pay $900 as well. You will be building your equity instead of your landlords equity.
- Option #2: Your friend and you share 1 apartment and rent out both units in the triplex for $1,800 each, a total of $3,600 rent you will receive. That covers your entire mortgage, and you will have $1,800 monthly to start saving toward your next real estate venture.
Both options are optimal for minimizing your housing costs while building your equity, not your landlords.
NOTE: If you are a first time home owner, you can go with a 10% down payment versus a 20% for an investment property.
3. Secure Your Sustenance:
Once finances and shelter are stable, prioritize health through self-reliant food production. Ownership provides the freedom to cultivate your food, with options like hydroponics, grow bags, and indoor growing being viable solutions for restricted or challenging environments.
4. Secure Your Family and Community:
Attaining security in finances, shelter, and food inherently enables family security. Control over these aspects insulates you from the uncertainties of a rapidly evolving world. Surround yourself with a like-minded community and emphasize collective well-being, moving towards community-centric living.
Conclusion and Dialogue:
I invite you to share your insights on this narrative. Let’s foster discussions on devising thoughtful future strategies. Feel free to voice your thoughts if you see this post on social media.
This post isn’t a blueprint for ease, but a call to action to navigate the necessary for home ownership and security in our ever-changing world. Whether you’re implementing change in spending habits, acquiring property, or cultivating a self-reliant lifestyle, the essence is to cultivate stability, security, and collective progression amidst the ongoing transformations in the last part of 2023 and beyond.