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@danaashmcginty Dana Ash-McGinty Homeownership

African-American Homeownership and the American Dream

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I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, but spent my summers each year in Hollywood, Florida visiting my grandparents. My father and my grandparents are from Nassau on the island of New Providence. Nassau is the capital and largest city of The Bahamas, known officially as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Unfortunately, the early decades of the 20th century were years of hardship characterized by a stagnant economy and widespread poverty for many Bahamians, including my grandparents.

It was during this time my family immigrated to the States and decided to plant their seeds in South Florida.

My family struggled, but my grandparents knew the importance of two main things- education and homeownership.

Although my grandfather didn’t fully adjust to living in the U.S., as he never learned to drive and rode his bicycle everywhere well into his senior years, he became a highly sought after landscaper and gardener to some of the finest homes in Miami and Hollywood, Florida.

It was his tenacity that allowed my grandparents to send all 10 of their children to college including the highly respected Spelman and Morehouse Colleges. It was their tenacity that allowed them to purchase a home in North Hollywood, Florida and the adjacent property and land.

I too am a product of their tenacity. I am of 1st generation born in the States, but the 2nd generation of educated HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) alumni. I too have created my own opportunity as the Principal Broker of ASH MCGINTY, a proudly black owned real estate brokerage and consulting firm in Washington, DC.

My mission and the mission of ASH MCGINTY is to uncover the unexpected, the unexplored and the underrated real estate opportunities. It is our goal to do this while promoting high ethical standards and being a positive influence in our community.

I intimately understand the difficulties immigrants and minorities face in the United States. I love what I do because I get to help our African American clients achieve one of their biggest goals in this country- homeownership. And that means I get to celebrate with them when they become homeowners – a dream many thought they could never achieve.

If you’re interested in becoming a homeowner in Washington, DC or Maryland, contact us for a strategic pathway to homeownership.

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, is considered one of the crowning legislative achievements of the civil rights movement.


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The Old Man, the Boy and the Donkey

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Have you heard the tale of the old man, the boy and donkey?

An old man, a boy and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

Later, they passed some people that remarked: “What a shame, he makes that little boy walk.” They then decided they both would walk!

Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So, they both rode the donkey.

Now they passed some people that shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey. The boy and man said they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey. As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.

The moral of the story? If you try to please everyone, you might as well… Kiss your ass good-bye.


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Creating Your Reverse Bucket List

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Under pressure to set new goals? Constantly focused on making your dreams come true? Give yourself a break—- first, acknowledge what you have already achieved.

Create a reverse bucket list. 

Every year, every month, even every week— I constantly feel under pressure to set and reach new goals. Although it’s usually self-afflicted pressure, my life is so focused on- “what’s next?” that I rarely take time to applaud reaching a goal.

I certainly believe it’s imperative to plan, reach your goals and attack your bucket-list. I also believe it’s just as important to acknowledge your previous and current achievements.

I’ve learned that you can do this by creating a reverse bucket list.

When I mentioned creating a reverse bucket list to my husband, he asked if it were a list of things you don’t want to do before you die. LOL – No, that IS NOT a reverse bucket list.

While we all know that a bucket list is your must-do list of experiences you want to have before your time on Mother Earth expires, a reverse bucket list is a celebration of all the things that you have proudly already achieved.

So, to get out of the “mental funk” I had this morning, I decided to give myself a little break. Instead of immediately focusing on what’s next today, I’m decided to spend a some time to acknowledge to myself what I have already achieved.

5 Reasons To Write A Reverse Bucket List

We’re certainly aware of mindfulness and being in the present moment, but there are valuable reasons for looking back into the past. Here are 5 reasons: 

➊ It will reveal what’s important to you as you continue your life’s journey. 

As crazy as it may sound, sometimes we forget what’s important in our lives. By recognizing what we’ve already done in life- big or small, we are reminded of the experiences that truly matter. After a little thought, you will soon see you’ve achieved much more than you thought. Looking back enables you to recall life’s most defining moments.

Why does this matter? Well, as you move forward with your life, you are able to concentrate on doing more of what you love by focusing on those achieved goals that are in alignment with what makes you happy.

➋ You feel positive about your life when you give gratitude. 

We are always thinking about the next big thing in our life and our next achievement or goal. Although this is part of what helps us evolve, survive in the world and thrive, it’s important for us to recognize and be thankful for our life and what we have already accomplished.

Even better, research shows that being grateful has a deep and lasting impact on our body!

➌ It takes the emphasis (and pressure) off chasing the next big goal. 

Give yourself a break! Your reverse bucket list moves the focus from doing to being. As you look back at all the wonderful experiences you’ve had so far, you can dive in the memories of those moments.

➍ You will see yourself in a new light.

Actually seeing your tally of experiences and achievements can give you greater self-esteem and confidence to walk your own defined path in life. Taking time for recognizing what you’ve already achieved in life, you can avoid the imposter syndrome caused by self doubt.

FYI – impostor syndrome refers to feelings of inadequacy that may persist despite evident success. While impostor syndrome is usually applied to intelligence and achievement, it also has some links to perfectionism. (I have my own issues with perfectionism. More on that in a later post…)

Unfortunately, many of us (myself included) see ourselves with a sometimes negatively skewed view. We often forget the good stuff! When we acknowledge and focus on our achievements, our prospective shifts to what makes us awesome. These positives thoughts help to wire our brain for greater belief in ourselves. ☺ 

➎ Taking stock of what you’ve already accomplished can create a feeling of contentment. 

Rather than comparing yourself with others and believing that you must take constant action, looking back and recognizing all you’ve done can bring long lasting fulfillment. Relax and enjoy.

Rinse and repeat.

Getting Started With Your Reverse Bucket List

Here are a few tips for writing your list:

☰ You may easily begin to remember all of your accomplishments, but you might find that taking a chronological approach- going from childhood to present day, will help you remember the many achievements and experiences that you’d forgotten about.

☰ Keep in mind, it’s not all about the huge, once in a lifetime type of accomplishments. Many smaller accomplishments are often the most meaningful and significant. Big, small or in between, they all count.

☰ Take as long as you need to relive the experience of those milestone moments. Highlighting what you’ve already accomplished is for your own personal reflection and celebration. Feel gratitude for how these experiences have enriched and shaped your life.

☰ Recognize how your accomplishments give you greater self-confidence and self-esteem. Remind yourself just how capable, adventurous, and resourceful you are. 

☰ Spend time to gather your thoughts. Use your reverse bucket list to focus on what you still want to accomplish. Don’t feel like you have to achieve any goals on someone else’s list. Let your list reveal to you what has and does really matter in your life. Cheers….


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Giving Up The “Boss Chick” Masculine Energy

“What?! She’s been duped. I would never be in a relationship like that. I wonder why she would choose that?”

The Call

Years ago it was a random Saturday morning when I received a call from a college friend. 

She had been married for just over 5 years with 2 small kids. 

We shared a little small talk, then she asked the question that everyone asks a 35 year old single, never married woman with no children. 

“So, when are you going to get married?”

I told her I wasn’t dating anyone special, but I was sure I would eventually meet the right guy. 

Now, let me be clear. I was enjoying my life and I didn’t feel any immediate urgency for marriage or kids. I was focused on my career, well traveled with a pretty decent social calendar, a nice designer wardrobe and a small group of successful friends (male and female). 

Out of nowhere she threw the “S” word on me-— “Spinster”.

“Spinster?”, I replied.

“Yes, you are a spinster.” 

Before I move on – Let’s define “Spinster”.

Spinster
/ˈspinstər/

:a term referring to an unmarried woman who is older than what is perceived as the prime age range during which women should marry. It could also indicate that a woman is considered unlikely to ever marry.

// The closest equivalent male term is ‘bachelor’ however, it does not carry the same derogatory connotation in reference to age and perceived desirability in marriage.

(As you see, SPINSTER is not a very flattering term.)

Back to the story…

WTF…..??????????? I couldn’t believe she said that.

The nerve! Especially considering her mostly stay-at-home-husband had transitioned into a fully stay-at-home-dad. I’m sure I could have been married if I were willing to be the primary and eventually the ONLY BREADWINNER. 

I did not want that. I was very clear on that………………

In Deep Thought

Hours later, I still couldn’t stop thinking about the call. 

My friend and I were the same age with similar levels of success and personality traits. 

We took different paths after college— I decided to deep dive into real estate and she opted for a MBA. After grad school, she started working for a Fortune 1000 company, which was the beginning of a fairly swift corporate climb. (No hate– she was doing her thang. #careergoals)

So, why would an attractive, successful, and super smart woman choose that path? Why would she choose to have a non-working husband and be head of household?  

ARE WOMEN REALLY BUILT FOR THAT KINDA SHIT?

I discussed the call with a male friend that joked,  
“You will have your own ‘house husband’ if you don’t turn down that Type-A Business Woman Boss Chick Masculine Energy!” 

HUHHHH??!!

Initially, I was mad AF. But, he was right—- kind of, a little.

The type of man I ultimately wanted to be with probably wouldn’t be attracted to that – Type-A Boss Chick Masculine Energy.

Why would he? A successful man with options, has options. And why would he choose that when he could just as easily choose a successful, ambitious woman with more feminine energy.

A Question

Would you propose to a man?

  • If your answer is YES– sorry, this entire blog post is not for you.
  • If your answer is NO– why? I think I know. (More on that later…) 

Ok, so who should propose? I like to think the man. (I actually know it’s the man, but I don’t want to appear to be a know it all.☺)

Most women want a man to take charge. That would make him more of the aggressor, the one leading the relationship. Science would say that’s biological– going back to our caveman days. 

Not sure if you want a man to lead?

Let’s see—- Imagine it’s 3am and you hear someone breaking in your home. Would you: 

a) have a quick conversation to decide who should go downstairs to check it out.

or

b) assume your man would go check it out (without conversation).

So… Who’s leading the relationship?

Ok, one more— If a man that wants to lead (BTW- this is most men) and he meets a woman that wants to lead, he either has to: 

a) accept that she will lead* (also accepting being regularly emasculated) 

or

b) move on

*hmmm, prob would not be a choice for a man with options

Feminism 

You may now be thinking this is an anti-feminist message. Nope, it’s not. 

Question: Am I a feminist?     My Answer: Yes and No.

I’m a feminist in the purest sense. I believe in equal opportunity. I believe in equality. 

Feminism at it’s core is about equality of men and women. Equal rights and equal access to opportunities. Equality, not ‘sameness.’   [I’m this type of feminist.]

Quoting Queen Bey:

“Les hommes pensent que les féministes détestent le sexe.” 

Beyoncé Partition 2013

Translation: Men think feminists hate sex.

Why? 

Unfortunately, feminism has been associated with overly aggressive, angry women that want to minimize men, change time-honored traditions and established gender roles. 
[I’m definitely not this type of feminist.]

Control

Reasonably, most women and even many books on dating/marriage focus on being in control. Being in charge. I completely get it. 

But, what if there was a different way. Let’s suspend belief for just a minute….

Most men instinctively want to be in control. What if you were to give him that. The PROBLEM for most women is that they give this control/power to the WRONG man. So let’s assume it’s the right man (more on choosing the “right” man later). 

What would happen if you let the right man be in control? What would happen if you let the right man lead?

When my husband and I were dating, we lived in different cities. He lived in Washington, DC. I lived in Atlanta. 

I was traveling to DC when we first started dating. On the first day of his visit, we decided to go to dinner. When we got to my car parked in the garage of my condo building, he told me he wanted to drive.

I was little surprised. He didn’t know his way around Atlanta.

I asked him if he knew where the restaurant was. Of course, he did not. I could have immediately and very reasonably said that I should drive. There were a lot of reasons I could have given—- it would make more sense, I knew where we were going, hell– it was my car.

But instead- I simply said – “Ok.” He obviously wanted to exert some control. But, did it really matter who drove? Of course I had insurance and he would have had no problem paying an insurance deductible.

What would be the worst thing that could happen?

Yes, he wanted to be in control and I relinquished control.

This a small, micro example of control, but think about it….

P.S. We have now been married for several years. Do I think we would be married if I didn’t let him drive my car that day? LOL- yes. Do I think we would be married if I brought a lot of masculine energy and I wanted to exert control of the relationship? No, I don’t…

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Fear Can Be a Great Motivator

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The two basic motivating forces in our lives are pain and pleasure. We typically make choices based on the pleasure we think we are going to gain or the pain we believe we are going to avoid.

For example; your “Why” for real estate investing may be to fulfill the dream of living everyday on the beach with the sun and the sand. An example of striving to gain pleasure. On the other hand, your “Why” could be that you never want to be poor and live financially insecure again – an example of wanting to avoid pain. As simple as this concept may sound, this is precisely how our brains work. 

Applying this simple but extremely powerful concept can open up an entirely new world for you. You can learn to motivate yourself in ways you never thought possible.

Most new real estate investors struggle with the paralyzing affects of fear.

Rather than eliminate fear, why not use it as a motivator?

Avoiding pain is a much stronger motivator than striving to gain pleasure. Most people will fight much harder to get back $20,000 that was stolen from them, than to save until they have built up $20,000 in their bank account.

You are far more driven to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. Use this knowledge to motivate yourself to take action. 

When you hit a juncture in your investing journey whereby fear begins to slow you down or even paralyze you, immediately begin to think of all the things you will lose by not taking the action. Really think deeply about it until you start to feel the pain that will occur if you don’t take the action.

Rather than ignoring pain and fear, take control of it and it will change your life. 


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The Availability of the American Opportunity

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Each and every one of us have the opportunity to participate (to the fullest) in a free-enterprise financial-economic system, no matter how much or how little money we have. That opportunity is real estate ownership, real estate investing.

Anyone with ambition, initiative, drive and determination can reach any financial goal they desire. The only restrictions holding us back are our own actions (or lack of action).

The American Opportunity is available to all of us. We can build wealth and achieve total independence by buying and owning real estate. There’s no limit.

Real estate opens financial doors and, when we want to invest, we can. We can establish our own independence at any time. We don’t have to ask an employer or meet with a corporate committee. We make decisions on our own- independently. This is an opportunity with few restrictions. Although there are building codes and tenant-landlord restrictions, for the most part government and its inflated bureaucracy don’t make it difficult for real estate investors.

And for all practical purposes, real estate investing is comparatively free of strong competitive forces. In fact, you’ll find a subculture of small independent real estate investors that are more friendly than competitive.


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