W.E.B Du Bois spoke of the Talented 10th, and in today's time, we're here to stake our claim. Striving for upward mobility has always been the agenda of people of color and it's our duty to bring up our brothers along the way. And within our pursuit, it's imperative that we begin to take interest in homeownership and why it's important for our advancement. The fact is, a little more than 40% of African Americans are homeowners and because of this low number, we're missing out on chances to change the communities around us and establishing Black equity.
Influencer Kahh Spence is an entrepreneur that we should know. He has learned to navigate a successful career as a creative affording the opportunity to invest in his future and others. We got a chance to speak with the man behind the hair-styling of some of our favorite Black queens like Elaine Welteroth, Normani, and Ella Mai as he dropped jewels about ownership and his home buying experience.
Why was it important for you to own your home?
Becoming a property owner has always been a goal of mine, so around the of age 23, when the opportunity presented itself, I purchased my first condo. Shortly after, I outgrew the space and needed something bigger. I shopped around for a while before considering the idea of building my very first home. This was super important for a number of reasons, but two main reasons were: it’ll be something I own and I’ll be able to pass it onto my children when the time comes. It’s not every day that you see someone like myself owning property, so I wanted to be an example for many young aspiring homeowners and home-builders.
What financial power does owning a home provide to a Black entrepreneur?
In terms of financial power, owning a home allows me to invest the funds that I’m making through different revenue streams into a home that I’ll be in for years to come. I’m also able to use my home in various ways: a studio space, office, and so forth, which allows for a significant tax write off; that’s what really counts haha!
During the purchasing process, what obstacles did you encounter that can be a lesson for others who are looking to buy their first home?
The main obstacle I faced was the pre-approval process from lenders. Being that I own my companies and am self-employed, on paper it may seem slightly different. So when going through the pre-approval process, I was denied for a loan initially because they weren’t able to understand the full scope of my finances & expenses. After going through two other lenders, I found one that understood my line of work due to his clients working in similar industries. From there, we were able to make it work!
All in all, be sure to find a lender that works with you, meets your personal needs and will help provide you with what you need based on the information & goals you’ve provided.
When did you know the time was right to make the purchase?
I honestly didn’t. I woke up one day & said “I want to go shopping for houses,” and a few weeks after, I wound up in the community where I’ll be moving into. I always wanted to own my own home but wasn’t sure of where, how, and every other question you could possibly think of.
Why did you decide to build your home?
I knew exactly what I wanted and what I was going for. I didn’t necessarily want to dive into the renovation process after buying a previously-owned home. With building your own home, you’re able to be part of every single process; electrical, structural, design, etc. I’m a creative person by trade so having that creative freedom was not only important but exciting. It’s actually been the most interesting, yet stressful task of my life because I’m piecing together things that I haven’t seen yet, so I’m pretty excited to see what the end result will look like! My full House Tour will be on my YouTube Channel a few weeks after I move in, so be on the lookout for that! I currently have a Building My Dream Home mini-series on there (YouTube) as well as IGTV, taking you through the entire process from start to finish.
Purchasing a home is also looked at as an investment into a community, what was your thought process when selecting the neighborhood in which you wanted to reside in?
I knew I wanted to live somewhere where I felt safe, knew a few neighbors, and wasn’t too far from everything. Having a home/neighborhood that serves as the perfect space to work from home when needed was crucial at this time. Especially now with my new company, Kahh Spence Beauty, my Luxury Fragrance + Candle, which is Unisex because I think the idea of smelling good is universal: having a space for inspiration and content creation was key. I wanted my home to encompass all aspects of my life, from Businessman to Homeowner whether I’m filming content, hosting small gatherings, etc.
What tips do you have for first-time home-buyers?
Patience. This is probably the best advice I can give because it can be a long process. If you’re going the route of building new, be sure to brace yourself as the timeline can change depending on weather, permits, etc. If you’re going the resell route: set a budget, get pre-approved & shop around until you find the perfect home!