For well over a decade, Shamontiel’s grandfather kept trying to convince her to buy a home. Shamontiel wasn’t sure where she wanted her permanent home to be and opted out, renting continuously and living in three states. However, co-writing a real estate blog for a law firm made her start paying attention to property owners.

After that yearlong project, she briefly dated a basketball player. Sometimes it takes your peers saying the same thing that your elders did. She paid attention to how he had disposable income after playing overseas and locked in on the importance of ownership. A few months later, she invested in a real estate crowdfunding program and simultaneously bought a condominium. Two years later, she was nominated as the 2020–21 condo association president and voted in again as the 2021–22 condo board treasurer. It taught her a massive amount of information about the real estate industry—even through plenty of hiccups.

“Homegrown Tales” (formerly “Homegrown” on Medium) was initially created as a place for first-time homeowners and new condo board members to connect. Slowly, it expanded to writing monthly posts about her experiences with property owners, landlords, contractors and the latest in real estate news. Now she’s the Editor-in-Chief of Go4Rent Magazine for Realtors and Go4Rent Magazine for Renters.

To find out more about her, visit Shamontiel.com.


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This blog series started off as a guide for first-time homeowners and new condo board members. It's evolved into a place where landlords, contractors, HOAs and condo board associations can learn and share, too.


Shamontiel L. Vaughn

Shamontiel is a freelancer with 18 years of journalism and editing experience, along with being a three-time dog owner (Lab/German Shepherd mix, purebred German Shepherd, Hound mix).