My Coming Out Story by Sheila Pope

I Can See the Lighty

I see the light!

It seems like celebrities are coming out  and telling the world their secrets every day. Finally, I feel comfortable enough to share my secret too. No, I am not gay; however, I am a homeowner! Yes, a year ago I decided to purchase a home. No, this is not my first new home. I purchased my first custom built home in 1996.

Why did I keep it a secret? I did not want to hear the negativity that some people bring to the table when you share your dreams. I learned early that some people cannot handle your dreams or your success. One “friend” asked me if I bought my home via housing?  It was shocking since she had never seen my home. To this day, I wonder why she thought I would qualify for housing. That stung and it told me a great deal about how she viewed me.

I selected my lot and paid my ernest money.

I selected my lot and paid my earnest money.

I watch HGTV almost everyday, and I beam with pride when I watch women of all ages and races purchase homes from $100,000-$500,000 by themselves. They are proud, fearless, educated, independent and ambitious women. They let camera film their every move while they go through the stressful process of buying a home.  I had to face my fears when I got ready to purchase my second home.

After my divorce, my credit rating was shot. I had to rebuild. It took years to pay my debts off. When I got ready to purchase my home, I had to make some tough decisions. I had to decide if I would postpone completing my PhD in 2012 or pay for my home. My great friend Dr. Hill, a Capella Sister, told me, “A doctorate degree will not provide you and your children with shelter.” She was so right! I made the right choice. I do not regret paying my credit cards and other debts off to increase my credit score. I do not regret taking a break from Capella, selling my Mustang to have cash on hands, and using every penny of the money I had in  savings to pay my closing cost on my custom built home. Now, I am ready to tell the world that I too am a fearless, proud, and independent female taxpayer that is living the American dream.

Starting the Building Process

Starting the Building Process

Talking with Loice Cottingham, my Realtor, from Realm Real Estate about purchasing a home provided me with tons of wisdom and advice. She was the voice that said, “Sheila you should build a home.” I had my eyes set on a few homes that had been previously built with  great landscaping.

The home that I envisioned myself living in had a huge backyard, three car garage, and was on a corner lot with beautiful mature trees.  Loice was the one that said, “Sale one of your cars. You can only drive one at a time.” Sometimes I did not like my realtor’s advice. I worked hard to pay off two cars. I wanted to keep my Mustang. However, my family had outgrown the car. Five people could not fit into my Mustang, but we could fit into a home.

I am so glad that I listened to Loice and built my custom designed home and sold my  2000 Ford Convertible Mustang. When I first got a divorce, I left my Mercedes Benz on the lot and drove off in that 2000 Mustang. The Mustang was with me through some tough times. I had owned that car for over 8 years. However, shopping for new items for my home decreased the pain of selling my car.

There is nothing like selecting your own stuff for your home! I love the idea that I am the first to live in my home. I had fun in the KB Home Center with Loice.

My 2000 Ford Mustang

This was the last day that I owned my 2000 Ford Convertible Mustang

When I went to the KB Home Center, I knew what I needed in my home. I wanted granite counter tops, an island, ceramic tile throughout my home, a beautiful door, and a garage door opener. I knew I needed dark carpet in my children’s rooms.

I loved this tub! I can spend hours in the tub.

I loved this tub! I spend hours in my tub.

I needed granite in the kitchen and on the island.

I needed granite in the kitchen!

I searched for what I needed to make my home look beautiful.  I made practical decisions because I understood resale value; I also made decisions that felt right in my soul. I knew that I needed grass to sink my toes in and to hide Easter eggs. I wanted enough room to park my two cars.

I love my patio

I love my patio!

I wanted fruit trees in the back yard. When I adopted three of my children, I knew I needed more space for all of us to continue to grow. Home ownership is the way I sought to provide my children a sense of stability and to show them how much I loved them.

Chris creates his garden

Chris creates his garden

My Children Motivate Me

My Children Motivate Me

I purchased a home to share my political views and be a real member of a community.  I can put political signs in my yard. Being the Democratic Precinct Chair  for Precinct 12 means a great deal to me. I want to share information with my neighbors.

Chris did a great job growing okra.

Chris did a great job growing okra.

I  entertain everyday at work. I am a professor; my students demand my knowledge, my time, my energy, and my humor. When I go home, there is very little juice left to give my family. I feel peace when I am at home. I get replenished.

There are days that I want to share my time with others. I look forward to entertaining in my home.  I love playing cards, watching movies, and eating great meals. So far, I have been able to have a few close friends and family members over. Now, I am ready to expand my home to other friends. It is important that I continue to grow socially. I have spent most of my life pursuing degrees and other material goods. I am ready to do other things to enhance my life outside of school and work. I love being a mother and working in my yard.

When I was selecting bricks and other items for my home, I  really did not know what I was doing. I am proud of the outcome. I love the archway to my home. I love my choices; I am a proud home owner. When I look at the photos that I posted, I see God’s sun rays shining in most of the photos. I know He blessed me and my family.

I hope sharing my secret helps other women decide to purchase a home. I love my life today. I feel more at peace with myself, and I know owning a home has influenced my attitude. I am finishing up my dissertation within the next couple of months; I am conducting interviews for Chapter 4 of my dissertation. I love the fact that I am 45, a single mother, a business woman, a published author, and a homeowner.

Home Owner

Home Owner

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