I’ve always had a deep interest in housing, interior design, and learning about how other people live their lives. I was working a 9-to-5 with some side hustles in my spare time, but that style of work didn’t suit me and I was feeling unfulfilled. A friend of mine was in real estate, and she encouraged me to pursue real estate as a career — that move ended up completely changing my life both professionally and personally.
I was a renter for a really long time, and owning a home was never even on my radar as a possibility. Like a lot of other people, I assumed that was something that you did when you had a forever person and a forever job so you were ready for a forever home. I was always on the move in my life trying to find my place in the world — the idea of a forever anything didn’t appeal to me. After I joined Space, I learned more about how real estate works and watched people with lives like mine actually buying properties. It started to click that my old assumptions about real estate were holding me back.
After a year as an agent, I bought my first home. The more I had learned over that year, the more I realized that buying a house was totally within reach. My house is in Fishtown and checked a lot of boxes — it was adjacent to the neighborhood that I was already living in, a lot of my friends lived nearby, and it was affordable. Most importantly, it was a place that I could see myself keeping as an investment and renting out in the future, which is something I would have never even considered before when I thought buying a house was a one and done thing.
In addition to being an agent, I also manage six Airbnb properties and I realized that I wanted to invest in one for myself. At first I thought it would be something that I would wait to do when I retired, but the right opportunity came up and I went for it. I bought a beach house in Neptune Township that I use as a seasonal rental from fall to spring and then as short term rentals throughout the summer. I love having an investment that I can also use myself so I make sure to block off time every year to relax at the beach with friends and family. My long term goal is to eventually take equity out of the home, buy another one, and hopefully continue the pattern.
I’ve become the real estate guinea pig for a lot of my friends, family and clients — I think it’s meaningful that I’m actually making the investments that I advise other people to make. It’s also really important to me to be the person that I wish I had to teach me about real estate back when it seemed so out of reach. Our parents model of real estate where you bought a house and stayed in it forever doesn’t work for a lot of people anymore, and I love seeing the lightbulb turn on for my clients the same way it lit up for me. Thinking of homes as investments takes a lot of pressure off of house hunting because now you’re not so rigid on your list of must haves or willing to get into a bidding war because you fell in love with a kitchen. When you change your lens to using homes as part of a larger investment strategy, a whole new world of possibilities opens up and I love being the person to bring that into focus for other people.