Kashmir Parker of KP Luxury Enterprises is holding a workshop on how to receive $15,000 for a new home Sunday, May 21 at The Museum of Fine Arts.
BY MARLO SCOTT-WILSON, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — If you’re tired of living in an apartment or paying someone else’s mortgage off, then it’s time to buy your own home. That might seem far-fetched if you’re living paycheck to paycheck or if you have poor credit, but a new three-hour workshop will put you on the right path to homeownership.
Realtor Kashmir Parker, owner of K.P. Luxury Enterprises, is conducting a workshop entitled “Crash Course in Home Buying.” Her goal is to educate those whose dreams of owning a home continue to elude them.
“Education is key,” said 29-year-old Parker.
A Lakewood High School graduate, she entered the world of real estate in 2006. When the housing market bubble burst, she decided to go to college and become a lawyer. Parker soon realized that her interests were elsewhere.
She moved back to St. Pete and started leasing apartments. Parker eventually became a leasing manager and moved on to regional property management. In her early 20s, she managed five apartment complexes in the St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park areas.
Working with Section 8 and income based leases, Parker noticed that many people could have been in their own homes for what they were paying in rent.
“I saw the rental rates were beyond ridiculous. It was supposed to be government subsidized housing but they were still paying beyond what you can imagine for rent.”
According to Parker, the average rental on the south side of St. Pete is anywhere from $850 to $1,100 a month for a one bedroom. On the north side, it’s between $1,100 and $1,300 a month.
“I was paying $1,500 for a one bedroom apartment on the north side that was less than 1,000 square feet,” she said, adding that $1,500 a month in rent is comparable to a $200,000 home.
Once she obtained her real estate license, Parker worked for a broker in south Tampa. There is where she learned about different programs and loans available to help people buy homes.
As Parker sat in meetings and attended conferences, she realized the importance of appreciating assets.
“Owning a home is the best way to generate wealth,” she averred.
She thought back to the exorbitant amount of money people in south St. Pete is paying for rent and decided to take all of the knowledge she’d gleaned and help people begin to accumulate wealth.
“That is my passion; my mission is to help our people.”
At her upcoming Crash Course in Home Buying workshop, Parker will discuss some of the programs available to first-time homebuyers who are purchasing a primary residence.
She’s not doing all of the educating by herself either, there will be a mortgage professional on hand, a credit repair specialist, a home contractor, someone to speak on homeowner’s insurance and even life insurance.
Parker explained that there are ways to lump life insurance payments up in a mortgage. So not only will you leave your family wealth in the form of a house, you will also leave them with the means to pay for it.
Parker feels if you’re not building generational wealth, you’re leaving generational debt.
“It’s always been survival. We don’t have $15,000 to $30,000 saved up to put down as a down payment on a conventional loan,” she said. “Our credit sometimes is not the best because again, we’re trying to survive. With these rental rates where they are, we’re paying double and triple and working just to keep a roof over our heads.”
Parker stresses the seriousness of staking a claim now. Citing an article on CoastalLiving.com, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area is ranked number four in the United States for hottest real estate markets to watch in 2017.
She’s even had investors approach her saying they want to buy homes in urban or ethnic communities but need someone to manage the properties.
“They want to come into these neighborhoods and take our money but are afraid to even go in and physically get it from them,” Parker said, adding that renters on the south side are being priced out of their own neighborhoods.
“We’re not even going to be able to own the homes that we’ve rented forever because they are going to price us out. There are investors that don’t even live in this country that are buying up homes.”
Parker said even if workshop attendees do not use her as their realtor, she wants them to have the information necessary to make educated home buying decisions and not be taken advantage of.
“I want to be able to plant in their heads why this is a necessity,” she said. “Again, it’s generational wealth. This is something you can pass down to your family. This is something that will appreciate in value.”
Owning your own home is feasible and Parker’s workshop will educate attendees on the steps they can take to make home ownership a reality for their families.
The workshop will also dispel the myth that owning a home is more expensive than renting because of maintenance. She’ll show you that with the amount of money you’re paying in rent, you’re actually paying more than an average mortgage. The surplus money should go into a savings account for unexpected expenses.
“At the end of the day, it’s still yours. You’re putting the money back into your own home,” she said. “We have to retrain the way we think.”
Parker makes it clear that she strives to give every client a luxury experience whether they are buying a $200,000 home or spending millions.
The Crash Course in Home Buying workshop will be held Sunday, May 21 from 3-6 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Lunch will be provided, seating is limited and advance registration is required. To RSVP, contact Kashmir@kpluxuryenterprise.com or call 1-855-983-KPRE (5773).