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The Exchange plans to pump generational wealth back into north O through real estate services

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jul 03, 2024

Buying a home or business space it can be a challenge especially if you've never done it before. I'm Melissa Wright your north Omaha neighborhood reporter. Local real estate agencies, a non-profit and many other companies are teaming up to the help community figure out the process.

Here on 24th Street new help in a historic part of town. Joining the neighborhood is The Exchange, real estate expertise ready to help the community.

“There's an opportunity for ownership, education, more investment and I feel like the way to really accomplish all of those things. And build wealth back into our communities is through education and that's what the Exchange all about," said Starks.

Angel Starks President of The Exchange says these organizations are collaborating with each other to offer neighbors real estate services.

“Input and understanding.. and to make those relationships and connections. We basically allow people to get invited to the tables…that we’re already at,” said Starks.

The Exchange will offer classes that focus on neighbors looking to buy and also those looking sell.

Mashara Valentine has been a realtor for two years now.

“Real estate is hard!! It’s not like what you see on TV… it’s not like you just look cute and sale houses. It’s not. What it is, it’s really about building relationships, getting out there, knowing the community, knowing the market,” said Valentine.

Valentine says while she has experience under her belt enrolling in courses and meeting people will be useful.

“Just like any license… you have to do continued education… so to be able to do that in my own community and not have to go to 225th street…it’s huge,” said Valentine.

A study by Harvard University shows 41.7% of Black households have the lowest homeownership rate nationally— 30% lower than white households.

Valentine says the courses available to the community is an opportunity for everyone in north Omaha.

“Let’s build up our own community… lets buy back our land and stop letting these outsiders… and take up our land and our property,” said Valentine.

Starks tells me at the end of July they will host their first meeting to figure the needs of the community when it comes to courses. She says with the recent opening of The Exchange they plan to begin courses come fall.