@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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I Refused To Sign Another Lease!

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Invest every month in YOUR OWN asset.

“My 1st condo.” – Dana Ash-McGinty, Real Estate Broker

I was done with renting! I was determined to have the satisfaction of homeownership but, I didn’t want to break the bank or buy more house than I needed or could afford.

I bought my very first home for myself almost 15 years ago. It was super cute, small but just enough space for an up and coming boss chick and it included parking– Perfect!

I made my new place my own. Over time, I painted the walls two tone, purchased a custom closet system and upgraded the appliances. Later, I changes the flooring. I even got super bold and purchased blue kitchen cabinets.

I loved having my own spot. But, when it was time to sell, I REALLY realized the BEST part of homeownership– BUILDING EQUITY.

Instead of renting for those 12 years and wasting tens of thousands of dollars– I was paying down a mortgage. I walked away with a check for just over $100,000 when I finally sold my condo in 2018 (see below).

No, this wasn’t magic, a flip that house, or any get rich quick scheme– this was investing every month in my own asset instead of my landlords asset.

In addition to build equity, homeownership means….

  • No more surprise rent increases.
  • No more wasting money on rent.
  • No more waiting to get things fixed. 
  • No more calls from landlords.
  • No more mandatory landlord visits.
  • No more moving every year.
  • No more notices to vacate. 
  • No more waiting to get “approved”.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

– Maya Angelou

If you believe you have experienced discrimination in buying a home, getting a mortgage, or obtaining housing insurance, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Dana Ash-McGinty

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First Time Home Buyers Homeownership

The 10 Most Common Real Estate Terms

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homebuyer tips

Real Estate Terms

Here are a few basic real estate terms:

ACCEPTANCE DATE- The date of which the buyer’s written offer is accepted by the seller.

BINDING AGREEMENT- A written agreement, between buyer and seller, to do or not to do a certain thing.

CLOSING COST- Various fees and expenses payable by the seller and buyer at the time of closing.

CLOSING DATE-The date on which the seller delivers the deed and the buyer pays for the property.

CONTINGENCIES- A clause in a purchase contract outlining conditions that must be fulfilled before the contract is executed. Contingencies may be included by both, buyer or seller, and must be accepted by both parties.

EARNEST MONEY- A deposit made by the purchaser to evidence Good Faith. Often it becomes part of the down payment, if the offer is accepted.

EXHIBIT- A document used to present or expose.

LEGAL DESCRIPTION- A legally acceptable definition of real estate by government rectangular survey, metes and bounds, or recorded plat.

OFFER- An expression of willingness to purchase a property at a specified price or willingness to sell.

PURCHASE PRICE- The price at which real estate was actually purchased.

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Home Improvement Homeownership

10 Super Simple Steps To Remove and Replace Grout

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Want to update the look of your tile? Use these 10 steps to give your tile a fresh, new look.

1) Use a grout saw to remove as much grout from the joint as you can. Work the area using a North/South or East/West motion. Be very carefully to avoid scratching the tile or stone.

2) Clean the area using a heavy duty grout and tile cleaner for acid resistant surfaces. Or, a stone deep cleaner for acid sensitive surfaces. Rinse with clean water.

3) Using a margin trowel and pail, mix the new grout to a toothpaste consistency with a grout additive.

4) Using a grout float, spread the grout diagonally across the tile with the float held at a 45- degree angle. Press firmly and go over the surface several times to pack the joints. Finish by striking off any excess with the float held at a 90-degree angle. Be careful not to remove the grout from the joint.

5) Before you wet-clean the tile, allow the grout to set up for a few minutes. As soon as you can wipe grout off the surface using a damp (not wet) grout sponge without pulling grout out of the joint, clean until only a light haze of grout remains. Use light, diagonal strokes, and rinse and wring out the sponge often.

6) Clean and shape the joints by wiping parallel to them. Remove the grout until its level is just below the tile’s rounded edges. If any voids appear in the process, press in a dab of grout with the float, the sponge or a fingertip and wait about 10 minutes.

7) Final Rinse. For acid resistant surfaces (Ceramic and Porcelain) use a grout haze and film remover. Using a sponge, wipe down the area until all grout and admix residue disappears. Let dry.

8) Buff down the area with a towel. (Like removing wax from a car.)

9) After 72 hours, apply a grout sealer. Let the sealer penetrate in the grout, then wipe off all excess sealer (Much like cleaning a window with glass cleaner.)

10) Maintain your grout and tile surfaces weekly by using your a grout and tile cleaner.

All done!

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Home Improvement Homeownership

Home Is Where the Hardwoods Are

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When it comes to updating your home, it can be difficult to decide what to do, where to start and, most importantly, what will last over the long haul. Granite countertops that have been the trend? Passe. Faux painted walls? So yesterday (by the way, wallpaper is making a comeback). You get it.

Yet hardwood floors continue to withstand the test of time. They provide warmth and add classic beauty to even the most simple home.

“Hardwoods are just easier, especially for people who have pets and kids,” Kevin Aycock, president of Kevin Aycock Homes in Atlanta, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an interview.

These days homeowners have a cornucopia of choices when it comes to installing hardwoods. With so many choices, however, it can be daunting trying to decide which hardwoods are right for your home.

However, most industry experts agree: Pre-finished beats unfinished, hands down.

“Factory finishes can furnish up to 10 UV- and scratch-resistant layers, and offer a 20-year guarantee that on-site finishers can’t get close to,” Gary Mills of Fullerton Wholesale Flooring in Anaheim, California, told the Washington Post in an interview.

To that point, engineered wood (also called veneers), which are made of three to five layers of wood laminated together, can be an affordable option that has all the comfort, warmth and classic feel of solid plank flooring. And because of cross-lamination, engineered floors are more stable and don’t expand and contract as much as solid wood. They can also be installed at any grade level, are typically less expensive than solid planks (engineered wood costs anywhere $3-$18 per square foot) and will last from 20 to 100 years depending on the thickness of the top veneer.

While hardwoods aren’t indestructible, Mohawk Flooring is making it its mission to have its hardwood floors last as long as possible.

According to Tammy Perez, Mohawk Flooring’s director of hard surface marketing, its new ArmorMax top coating, which is added to its premium laminate collection, enhances an already heavy-duty wear layer to all hardwood flooring.

“Mohawk ArmorMax floors have all of the design options we love about hardwood—a variety of colors, widths and textures,” Perez said. “But ArmorMax finish is not a topical finish. It penetrates deep into the wood fiber, making it up to five times more resistant to wear than other extended finishes.”

For more information, visit
For any questions on selling or buying a home, contact us

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Home Improvement Homeownership

4 Ways to Decrease Stress During a Home Remodel

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Maybe you’ve grown just sick enough of that 1970s avocado-green kitchen to update it to something more sleek and modern. Or perhaps it’s as simple as remodeling a bathroom. Whatever the room, home renovations can test even the most patient personality through the sheer chaos and mess that are inevitable.

To get through your renovation, organizing the clutter is key. The following tips should help you stay on top of the disorder.

• Have files for everything. Paperwork should be kept in one place because it will pile up. Inexpensive file folders that are portable can help you stay structured. Create a file for all receipts, and as you post them to a budget, move them to another file labeled “posted.” Permits and papers from the city or homeowner’s association should be kept together in another folder in order to easily put your fingers on them. Just for fun, make a folder of design ideas and pictures from magazines to keep you inspired.

• Cover it up. One word: plastic. No, not credit cards. Use it to cover all heavy furniture that must stay in the room. This will prevent dust and debris from getting into the nooks and crannies and keep the finish on the furniture looking shiny.

• Keep a list. Supplies are going to run low, and no matter how good your memory, things are going to fall through the cracks if you don’t write them down. Hanging a clipboard on a nail in the area where you are working will help you to stay on point about people you need to call, or things you need to do or buy for the next day.

• Have a place for everything. If you’re doing the remodel yourself, there is going to be a certain amount of upheaval. One thing that will help reduce your stress level is keeping your tools in one place. Create a space such as a table, where all small tools are kept The larger tools can sit on the floor underneath. Also, every time you are finished with a tool, put it back in the appropriate spot.

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Home Improvement Homeownership

Lighting Your Landscape Like the Pros

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The deck is swept and ready for summer barbecues, the lawn is freshly mowed, and the outdoor furniture is dusted off. In short, the stage is set for cookouts, family gatherings and entertaining late-night porch hangouts. But don’t get left in the dark.

According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), proper outdoor lighting is just as important for a beautiful landscape as a lush lawn, bright flowerbeds, green plants and manicured shrubs.

Jeff Dross, corporate director of lighting education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting, recently explained that homeowners are opening up to new ideas with landscape lighting.

Use Indirect Light

Dross says the current trend is for homeowners to highlight their landscaping with indirect lighting, which essentially uses a source to reflect the light emitted by the light fixture. This creates more of an atmospheric tone, allowing the light to spread across a wall off the side of a house more effectively. Indirect light will illuminate flower beds, gardens, bushes or other decorative landscaping art. Additionally, the light will bounce off the ground and create a nicely lit walkway around flowerbeds.

The Shift to LEDs

LED light bulbs are beginning to dominate the landscape lighting industry. For the majority of homeowners, outdoor lights and landscape lighting are typically left on longer than other home lighting, which makes LEDs the more affordable and logical option.

Additionally, LEDs can be manufactured in much smaller sizes, which give homeowners more options to use them in unique spaces. Dross explains that LEDs are so small, they can be used as application lighting, as well as for aesthetic purposes. Hardscape designs are easy to mesh with LEDs, because the style creates both a passageway lighting source and indirect lighting for stone or brick landscapes.

Keep It Simple

Two significant trends in landscape lighting is simplicity and cleanliness. What this means is that more homeowners are choosing to go with fewer ground fixtures to illuminate their entire home. According to Dross, residents who simply align their light fixtures along a walkway in a very orderly and organized fashion are providing a lot of unnecessary light and wasting energy.

Going for a more simplistic design can still highlight plants and flower beds while giving just enough light to illuminate a backyard or around a patio. Also, homeowners are moving toward fewer lumens in light fixtures. This allows the light beam to spread more efficiently and even out the overall light sources.

To learn more about landscape lighting, visit a nearby ALA showroom, or go to

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