For well over a decade, Shamontiel’s grandfather and mother 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 dated a former basketball player and learned about disposable income from becoming a landlord. A year later, she invested in real estate crowdfunding and then bought her first permanent home: a condo. She was the 2020–21 condo association president and is currently the 2021–22 condo board treasurer. “Homegrown Tales” (formerly “Homegrown” on Medium) is a place for homeowners, condo owners, board association reps and contractors to chat with weekly posts. To find out more about her, visit