BROOKLYN, NY / ACCESSWIRE / November 12, 2020 / 'Middle-class millennials are in danger,' warns Nikki Merkerson, entrepreneur, mother, and founder of Pairgap.
If millennials, who make up a quarter of the nation's population, according to the United States Census, are in danger, the rest of the nation should take notice. This looming peril is not the consequence of too much time spent on smartphones or their quirky dating habits. The real and present danger is that many middle-class millennials risk losing their middle-class status and falling into a lower income bracket, according to Merkerson. For the middle-class demographic, ranging between 24 and 39, their 'averageness' may just be their biggest adversity. According to a recent Business Insider article, rent, college tuition, and the cost of buying a home have all increased faster than the average income in the US. Although millennials have benefited from a 67% income raise since 1970, they have not been able to keep up with inflating living costs. 'Ultimately, high costs of living, along with effects of the Great Recession, have made it harder for millennials to save and build wealth', states the article.
For many Gen Xers, the purchase of a home in their early to mid-twenties served as the foundation for building wealth. Today, fewer and fewer millennials are buying homes in their twenties, which delays their opportunity to build wealth over their lifetime. The problem is that middle-class millennials make too much money to qualify for housing assistance but too little money to fulfill the 'American Dream' and buy a home. Without a home, building wealth can be very difficult, if not impossible.
'This is a nationwide issue, and without a solution, the wealth gap will continue to widen and the United States is in danger of losing the middle class altogether,' Merkerson postulates.
Thankfully, according to Nikki Merkerson, there just might be a solution.
'Millennials can still buy homes and build wealth, they just need to be strategic and open to partnering with other like-minded individuals,' explains Merkerson.
Nikki Merkerson was raised in Queens, New York. She left home at age 17 and moved 22 times over the next decade until she bought her first home. Ironically, housing was her biggest problem, until it became her solution. At 20, Merkerson gave birth to her son. Determined to provide a comfortable, secure life for him, she was thrilled when she landed a job as a bank teller at JP Morgan Chase. This job proved to be much more than a weekly paycheck, rather, it was the catalyst for decades of learning and eventually, a business venture.
Merkerson recalls, 'This job changed the trajectory of my life.'
The position afforded her the opportunity to learn about money, mortgages, and wealth-building strategies. At the age of 29, Merkerson purchased her first house, and 11 months later, a second house, both in an up and coming Brooklyn neighborhood. She had spent months researching city plans and her knowledge of the mortgage industry served as her crystal ball into Brooklyn's future. Indeed, her vision for Brooklyn came true, and a decade later, the houses that she bought for 670K are now collectively worth more than 4M. Furthermore, a few years ago, Merkerson discovered Co-living and scaled her rental income 2x.
Co-living is an intentional living set-up in which like-minded individuals (often entrepreneurs, artists, or creatives) cohabitate a room, apartment, or home. When the profits from her rental properties and her discovery of co-living as a contributor enabled Merkerson to leave her corporate job of 23 years, she dedicated herself to educating others about strategies that had allowed her to break free from a cycle of generational renters, buy property, build wealth, and create a legacy for her children. Merkerson worked hard to turn her homes into a business in order to increase her profits. Landlords typically don't consider themselves entrepreneurs but they are and homeownership can be a pathway into the world of entrepreneurship.
With common barriers of homeownership for millennials such as student loan debt, high rent, and a lack of savings for down payments and closing costs, the process of buying a house can seem nearly impossible. Simply put, the majority of modern middle-class millennials simply cannot afford to purchase a house on their own in most high cost cities. However, utilizing Pairgap, they could afford to buy a home by collaborating with other like minded people.
Pairgap connects people to buy properties or homes based on compatibility. Through their innovative technology, they connect communities of like-minded people to work together to reach their goals. Collaboration is key. There are so many benefits of co-ownership, such as an increase in your chances of loan approval, help with mitigating the hurdles of homeownership, and splitting costs (i.e. down payment, mortgage payments, utilities, household maintenance, etc.) to make owning a home more affordable, enabling you to start building equity in a home earlier in life.
The first step of the process is comparable to setting up an online profile. Potential buyers will go through a series of personality and financial questions to be later matched with a compatible partner. Not just for strangers, the platform also facilitates the process for couples, family members, co-workers, etc. Before any potential buyer can be matched with another, they must go through an educational process.
'People need to understand what they're getting into,' Merkerson explains, 'But we provide these educational resources in a fun and engaging way.'
Based on their personality assessment and financial status, Pairgaps' technology will curate customized matches. Pairgap is digitizing the homebuying experience, providing a roadmap, strategy, and tools along the way that empower users to make the right investment choices each step of the process through support, education, tools, and referral connections. They go above and beyond, supporting the home buyer's journey from start to finish from providing solutions for every 'what if' and variable to connecting you with a credible attorney in order to create an LLC and draw up necessary contracts.
According to Merkerson, 'This is the future of homeownership and one of many solutions to narrowing the wealth gap.'
Be open and willing to change the traditional norms of the home buying process. Be intentional with how and where you buy, think like an investor, and utilize property ownership to build wealth with Nikki Merkerson and her team at Pairgap.
SOURCE: Nikki Merkerson
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