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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

On the record with Egypt Sherrod
HGTV host opens up about motherhood, success and doing it all
 
Published Tuesday, August 5, 2014 10:00 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

PHOTO/PAUL WILLIAMS III
Egypt Sherrod, host of HGTV's "Property Virgins," said Charlotte's real estate market is "all the buzz." The show is filming episodes in the Queen City for its new season, which begins in November.

Egypt Sherrod, host of HGTV’s “Property Virgins,” is no stranger to hard work. In fact, she thrives on it.  Not one to put all of her eggs in to one basket, the Philadelphia native parlayed her success as a popular radio personality into a career in broadcast television.

A former “Maury Show” correspondent, Sherrod has been tapped to appear on major networks, including CNN, NBC and BET, and share her expertise on pop culture and music. Understanding the fickleness of the entertainment industry, Sherrod decided she needed more diversity in her career. In 2002, she became a licensed realtor and has since made a name for herself in the real estate industry.

She now puts her house-flipping skills to use as host of HGTV’s “Property Virgins,” which gives viewers an inside look at the house-hunting experience from the perspective of first-time homebuyers. The show is currently filming episodes in the Charlotte area for its upcoming season, which airs in November.

In between takes, Sherrod sat down with The Charlotte Post for a one-on-one interview. In the following Q&A, she weighs in on the Charlotte real estate market, the importance of giving back and how she manages to balance her demanding career with her roles as a wife and mother. Some questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

TCP: “Property Virgins” is constantly on the road following first-time homebuyers across the country. How does the Charlotte market stack up to other cities?

ES: Charlotte is all the buzz right now. There are a lot of corporate offices here, particularly for some finance companies that are located here. The rest of the country can be going through downsizing and job loss, but Charlotte seems to be holding its own as far as maintaining its market and remaining stable at the very least. Between job opportunity here, the cost of living and plans for the city, it’s really turned into a great place for overall quality of life.

TCP: Any tips for first-time homebuyers in the area?

ES: The rules don’t change no matter what city you are in. For first-time homebuyers, my advice is to do your homework if you want to simplify the process. Sit down with a mortgage professional early on to determine your buying power. Your buying power is how much you can afford. Typically, it’s different in your head than how it appears to the banks. Once you have that, check out a few locations where you might want to live. That way you can start narrowing it down. This is part of the homework you do before meeting with an agent and looking for houses… That way, your budget should be on par with your expectations. That’s hopeful thinking, and real estate agents that read this will probably crack up laughing because that doesn’t often happen.

TCP: Many first-time homebuyers have unrealistic expectations for their first home. Any advice on being realistic?

ES: I was guilty of that when I purchased my first property. I wanted something that costs double what I could actually afford at the time. There is a learning curve that we all have to go through. There’s a period of time where we bump our heads against a brick wall as we are searching. We get frustrated. It’s very normal for this to happen in the home-buying process. You get frustrated because you just can’t afford what you really want. That is a necessary part of the process. It’s painful but necessary. You have to come to terms with what your budget can get you if you really want to be a homeowner.

TCP: The frustration may be normal, but is it ever a sign that maybe you should hold off and wait a little longer?

ES: If the home you can afford really won’t make you happy and you just feel like you’re settling, then absolutely what you should do is take a few steps back. Don’t rush. It’s a huge investment. Most of the time this is one of the biggest life choices people make, outside of who they are going to marry. So, if you are feeling a lot of angst about the process and are not seeing anything you like or get that “yuck” feeling every time you walk into a house, take a step back.

There is no time clock on this. If you are not happy, wait another year. Wait another two years, until your financial situation changes or maybe until you save a little more for your down payment. Also, keep in mind that new properties come on the market everyday. What’s on the market now will not be on the market in a year. There will be a new crop of properties, hopefully. And hopefully, one of those will be the one you have been looking for.

TCP: A lot of us know you as radio personality and pop culture commentator. How did you get into the world of real estate?

ES: I always believed in having a plan A, B and C… At some point, you are going to need something to fall back on… I got to a point where I love what I do. I’m passionate about it, but realized that I can also be passionate about something else that will allow me options. So in 2002, I decided I wanted real estate to be that something else… I really got bitten by the real estate bug. I enjoyed it so much that quickly my plan B was turning into my plan A. For a while I was using my celebrity in radio to sell to other celebrities, and that became niche market. Then, HGTV came knocking. It was dream come true for me.

TCP: Speaking of plans A, B and C, you also seem to have a plan d, e and f. And you do it all at the same time. How do you balance the demands of your careers with being a mother and wife?

ES: I admit. I’m only human. I gave up wearing the “S” on my chest a long time ago. Like many mompreneurs (mothers who are entrepreneurs), I’m still figuring it out. I’ve been very blessed in many facets of my life. I have a great support team.

TCP: Many women feel they have to choose between being a mom and being successful in their careers. What advice do you have for those struggling with that type of decision?

ES: I think we often put too much on our own shoulders. As mothers, we try to take on the weight of the world and be all things to all people. I say, give yourself a break. Don’t forget to take time out for yourself. Don’t lose touch with who you are and what you are passionate about because if you can’t be good to yourself, you can’t be good to anyone.

TCP: You are successful in many realms – from being a television and radio host to a pop culture correspondent, motivational speaker and inspirational writer, what advice do you have to others about following their dreams?

ES: Be unrelenting. We only have one shot at this life. So do it fearlessly. And when I say fearlessly, I don’t mean without fear because that just doesn’t exist. Just try to fear a little less everyday, and follow your dreams with reckless abandon. If you are passionate about something, the money will come. Passion and purpose always equal success.

TCP: You are big on philanthropy. One of your initiatives, the Egypt Cares Foundation, focuses on bridging the gap within the family structure through financial seminars and clinics that educate families on retirement planning. What is the one message, you hope every family understands about financial planning and/or building wealth?

ES: It’s best to start teaching our children the benefit of wealth management, preservation, and the importance of building credit and saving money at an early age. That’s when they are moldable. They have an open mind like a sponge. But when you to shape an adults, sometimes it’s too late. They are already caught up in their ways, and it’s difficult to break bad habits. It’s easier to build credit than to dig yourself out of a hole.

TCP: What’s next for you?

ES: I do have a book slated for release the first half of 2015. I’m extremely excited about it. I’m also re-launching my lifestyle blog site, which was all of my musings and friendly tips about fashion and decorating the home. It’s called EgyptSaidSo.com. That will be back up by the end of the year. It’s really me writing on there. I’m changing the direction more into an entire reflection of who I am. I’m crazy about the home and DIY. I’m a bargainista/fashionista. I’m always on the hunt for a good deal. That will all be on the site.

We are also in development for a new TV project that accompanies “Property Virgins.” I’m also continuing to build my real estate empire, which is the Egypt Sherrod Real Estate Group.

Read more from this interview in this week’s The Charlotte Post on newsstands August 7.

Comments

Fantastic article and interview.
Posted on August 6, 2014
 

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