By Taroue W. Brooks
I know that I have many titles, but with respect to my title as Radio Show Host on Real Realty Talk with Balkis on WUIM 92.1, I serve as a Realtor who provides useful information to the listening audience related to all aspects of real estate, including but not limited to credit health (how credit scores affect your interest rate, credit repair and credit improvement strategies). The reasonable expectations of a buyer/seller of a real estate professional and vice versa. Home upkeep, safety and security information and preparing a home for sale are included in the topics that I cover on my show.
How is it being the host of your own radio show?
Being the host of my own radio show is more empowering that I ever thought, mainly because the opportunity presented itself at a time when it was never expected. I enjoy that I am able to share information in a field that I love with so many people, and it is based on my knowledge and expertise. Sharing information this was gives me the opportunity to interact with people in a way that brings me joy.
What kind of special guest do you like having on your radio show?
I love having guests on my show who are passionate about their craft. Whether they be a loan officer, electrician, plumber, home inspector, appraiser or interior decorator. When someone is passionate about their craft, it lets me know that they love what they do. When someone loves what they do, it’s not work, it’s what is in their heart and soul.
What inspired you to work in the field of real estate?
While working as a flight attendant with the DC ANG (District of Columbia Air National Guard), I was a home owner, but I was also going through some tough financial struggles due to my attempt to assist in handling a critical family situation. I sacrificed my own financial well being and have no regrets for it. My life got more complicated as I saw myself drowning and decided to throw myself a rope and quietly enrolled into real estate classes because I knew that I needed another source of income and had an interest in real estate for a long time. I saw the writing on the wall, went for it and didn’t look back. I never missed a class while maintaining a rigorous flying schedule and passed my licensing exam on my first try. What a proud moment that was for me.
What advice can you share to someone looking t buy a new home?
When buying a home, I always advise people to first secure their financing with a reputable mortgage lending source that they trust to determine the level of their purchasing power. If it’s a couple purchasing and there are 2 incomes involved, try to base the purchase amount on one income source if possible, so the potential of rendering themselves “house poor” is decreased. I also advise my clients to thoroughly investigate the neighborhood which they desire to live in by contacting the local law enforcement agency to inquire about undesirable activity in the area, locate the nearest municipal services in the area such as hospitals, fire stations and community centers. Talking to potential neighbors while house shopping can also serve a helpful resource. What I consider to be my strongest advice is to NOT DO ANYTHING using their credit until after settlement. There is no feeling more disappointing than going to settlement only to find out that the loan has not been funded because someone purchased a big ticket item such as a car, furniture or appliances and has jeopardized their debt to income ratio. Most mortgage lending institutions will run a pre-settlement credit check and discover this. No one likes that punched in the gut feeling.
What tips do you have for someone who is selling their home?
For persons looking to sell a home, I always advise owners to start packing items that they do not use on a regular basis. The goal in that action is to give the appearance of as much space as possible. Taking down family photos and packing away valuables is advised so that as potential buyers come to view your home, that allows their own decorative ideas to expand as you maintain your level of security. Commit to full disclosure regarding any issues that you have had with your property, because if you don’t tell it, your neighbors will. Be proactive in addressing any potential home repairs that may be noted by a home inspector or appraiser such as cleaning the gutters, proper downspout placement, replacing missing roof shingles, making sure that electrical outlets are up to proper code standards, even consider replacing a standard sump pump with one that has a battery back up. When seeking “top dollar” for your home, make sure that you have things in place that can command that “top dollar”. Remember that buyers are looking for “bang for their buck”. Spending a little can get you a lot.
When is it a buyers market and why?
A buyers market is created when there is more inventory on the market than buyers shopping for a new home. When properties stay on the market for more than 60-90 days with few showings and sellers make decreasing price adjustments to spark an interest and stability of the economy are also factors in the creation of a buyers market.
What has been the most difficult thing you had to overcome?
My most challenging experience in life has been homelessness. I know that many people don’t have a full understanding of what homelessness is, but know that it is more than the person you may see on the corner with a sign in one hand and a cup in the other. Not having a permanent fixed address where you are responsible for housing costs (rent or mortgage), utilities and your own sustainability is what constitutes homelessness. With that being said, I ask for all persons to be more mindful of people in their immediate and expanded circle who may be faced with an unfortunate circumstance and try to be patient, kind and understanding. Most homeless persons are not looking for a handout, but would most likely appreciate a hand up, as you never know when you may be faced with the same unfortunate circumstances, tomorrow is never promised.
What is your experience like being a black woman who is a veteran?
My experience being a black female veteran has been more empowering than I could have ever imagined. Some people see it as a triple treat in the business community and I only expose that aspect of my life when it is truly necessary. I try to maintain my highest level of humility at all times.
What are three goals for your radio show?
My first goal for my radio show is to expand the number of my listeners.
My second goal is not for my show, but for the station. That is to obtain more sponsors for the growth of the station.
My third goal is to uplift and assist others in their dream to provide listeners of the station with useful information.
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