Meet Stephanie

Who am I? Long story put simply, I’m just like you. A twenty something, who at any given moment may be found anywhere between not having a clue and having it all figured out, falling apart and having it wrapped up tight.

But more specifically, I’m a black girl from Columbia, SC raised by a single mother of four in a middle class family. While I’m still a part of the middle class, I’m not a huge fan of the concept. We work our 9-5s, save a few dollars and one day we may retire comfortably. However, some of us are one event away from slipping below that line and having to live paycheck to paycheck, barely scraping by and pulling out loans to make ends meet. My mother found herself there as a product of having gone through a bad divorce with four children to raise on her own. Even so, she instilled in me the importance of having more, even if she didn’t.  After graduating college, I fumbled around with ideas about how to “get rich quick” while working in corporate. When that failed, I quickly began to understand that being wealthy was more important than being rich. The long game was more important than the short. Having assets and equity can be like having pure gold if played correctly!

I was raised in the church. My mom taught bible school on Sundays and we had to memorize a new verse during each class. My mom did everything in her power to help us commit these verses to memory, be it making up songs and rhythms as we all chanted and clapped, danced or whatever it took. Of course I was way too cool for all of it back then but coolness aside, several of those verses did stick with me. One in particular became my mantra, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all of your might.” Ecclesiastes 9 and 10...AGAIN! I can still hear Mommy encouraging me to keep repeating it. To me, this means whatever you do—do it well. It means not only working hard but working smart. It means being intentional and conscious about everything that you do.

While I’m still trying to figure it all out, I do understand that investing in real estate was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. When you purchase a home it should ALWAYS be purchased through the lens of investment. Whether you’re using it for a primary residence or for passive income. Always think return on investment. I bought my first home at the mere age of 25, lived in it while I flipped it gradually for two years (did you know you get hit with property gains tax on a home that you haven’t occupied for two years?), and now I’m selling it for profit! I’ll explain more as we take this journey together...

I’ve always been a fan of The Secret Life of a 20 Something. Not because the founder is one of my best and closest friends but because we are honest with each other when we don’t like something-- and because I can come to this blog and find a safe and familiar space. I know that in the words and pages of this blog lies something real and something genuine that will be thought provoking and wise. I’m honored to be here to give you the advice and insight of a 20 Something just like yourself as it relates to real estate, wealth and life. Come take this journey with me!

And in the meantime, follow me at @stephanie_renee_realty on Instagram for even more updates!

Brandis Haynes