To black homeowners,

Take over, and throw that lease out!

- Nas “Legit”

Hey (aspiring) homeowner or condo association member,

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 more 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 for it to click. She paid attention to how he had disposable income after playing overseas. Just like that, the importance of ownership was locked in.

A few months later, she invested in a real estate crowdfunding program and simultaneously bought a condominium. Two years after that, she was nominated as the 2020–21 condo association president and 2021–22 condo board treasurer. From legal to personal to volunteer work, the entire experience taught her a massive amount of information about the real estate industry — with plenty of hiccups along the way.

“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, property managers, tenants and the latest in real estate news. As the former Editor-in-Chief of Go4Rent Magazine, you can also find her landlord and renter posts here.

Why Substack?

Shamontiel has written numerous online and print series since 2006. Some were with mainstream newspapers. Others were pretty well-known and lesser-known online news and lifestyle publications. Business decisions on her end were made, and she’s rebuilding. When she made the decision to start transitioning to Substack mid-2022, she crossed her fingers and hoped to regain her 4K followers plus more. Some have joined her, and she appreciates that. Will you come along for the ride on this Substack series and the other five?


Check out monthly homeownership and real estate news posts, and join the community to leave feedback for myself and other homeowners.


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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 is a freelancer with 19 years of journalism and editing experience, along with being a three-time dog owner (Lab/German Shepherd mix, purebred German Shepherd, Hound mix).