Detroit Mom Welcomes Ashley, a Waterford Mom

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Hi! Ashley here, I’m so happy to be here!!

Photo by Sidd Finch.

About Me

I’ve always considered myself to be somewhat of a free spirit. But also kind of deep, goal oriented, and focused. I grew up in a semi-crunchy, Jewish liberal family. My parents divorced in my early teens, which left me with some issues to workout in my 20’s. I spent a lot of time not feeling worthy or confident, which led me down a road of self-improvement and discovery.

Thing is, I’m a very introspective person. I love personal growth work & learning more about myself. I’ve spent many years in and out of talk therapy. It almost feels like part of my weekly maintenance at this point, just like getting my nails done!

Yoga Was My Thing

Yoga was one of the things that really helped me come out of my shell. I’d been exposed to yoga when I was 12 because I would tag along with my mom when she’d go to classes. When I was in my early 20’s, I started committing to my own practice. I then got my teaching certification. I spent six to seven years teaching multiple classes a week. Once I started focusing more on my career, I backed off on teaching. It was too much for me to take on. In a few years I’ll be back at it.

How I Found My Calling

I spent most of my college years not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. On a whim, at 21 I got my real estate license and started doing some deals while I was in school. It was something that came very naturally to me. But, I was afraid of failure, so after a few months in the business, I took a “safe” salary job in property and construction management.

I spent several years unhappy in that job, while I’m so grateful for all I learned there looking back. Deep down, I wanted to be the independent boss babe I knew I could be. So, one day I quit my job of seven years and took the leap to be my own boss and sell real estate.

I should mention that my husband Vic and I were leaving for a three week Europe trip the week after I had quit my job. There was a lot in limbo during that time. But, I had no other choice but to believe in myself and go for it. Looking back a few years later, I’m so proud of the business I’ve grown for myself.

How We Started Our Family

When we got home from Europe in the fall of 2019, we found out I was pregnant. It was weeks before my 30th birthday. I was so excited. But, two days before my 30th (surprise) birthday party, I had an early miscarriage and it was really hard. My husband and I decided to try again right away and that’s how I got pregnant with our son Jaxton. He turned one in September and he’s the love of my life (and I’m pregnant right now with baby #2!!).

I was never the girl who “wanted” to be a mom, until I became a mom. Now, I could never see myself in any other role. As much as I wanted to be the perfect “crunchy mom”, I’m more of a “whatever works today” sort of mom. The “rub some dirt on it” type of mom. The type of mom that has to be okay with my house being a mess if that means I can get a workout in. The type of mom that’s okay with things not being perfect or shiny. 

Photo by Sidd Finch.

We’re a Work in Progress

We’re still figuring it all out in our house. But, I know my husband and I have a great foundation. We’ve been together for 11 years, married for four. We’re truly best friends over everything. We bought our first home in Waterford in 2018. I like it here and love our house. It felt like home the moment we walked in. We’re close to Cass Lake and close to all our family. In the future, I’d like to move to a more “walkable” community like Rochester or Huntington Woods.

We’re big travelers & go on two to three trips every year. There’s nothing like coming back to Metro Detroit. I love the feeling of getting home, especially after traveling.

There’s Nothing Like Home 

Our family is pretty simple when it comes to our local favorites. We love Red Coat Tavern for burgers and the local BBQ place J Bird in Keego Harbor. Katoi in downtown is a fun occasional treat. It seems like we order La Marsa at least once a week as our go-to – we have no food in the fridge for dinner. 

I was born and raised in Metro Detroit and am beyond excited to become part of the Detroit Mom community. I hope to help you with seeing a different side of the real estate market in Metro Detroit.

But most of all, I hope to connect with like-minded moms & support one another in this amazing journey of motherhood.

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I’ve lived in 15 different places in 30 years. Growing up in a divorced family, we moved a lot. During the recession, I called many places home. I’ve seen my childhood home go into foreclosure and seen many friends & family experience the same. Home has always been more of a feeling than a place for me, as it had to be during hard times. Most of my family was in the mortgage and real estate industry. I saw them lose their jobs and businesses when the market crashed in 2008. In a matter of a year, several homes that meant a whole lot to me get foreclosed on and bought by someone else. The world as I had known it for 18 years changed pretty much overnight. It was a scary time for me as I was a freshman in college. My mom was in a new relationship with my now step dad, and I wasn’t sure where home was for me. Deep down, I had a very strong desire to live in a space that was all mine for a long period of time. I was sick of moving, sick of struggling, and wanting stability. I knew I had a long way to go before I would be able to afford my own home. I had a lot of growing to do in all aspects of life. I had four years of college to complete, a career to establish and get my credit where it needed to be. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life or Communications degree, to be honest. All I knew was that I wanted to help people in some capacity. Everything came into focus for me when I was 22 and almost done with college. I was searching for a new job & came across an opportunity at a boutique real estate office in downtown Royal Oak. I went in for the interview and got the position on the spot. I also enrolled in my real estate licensing class, took the exam, and got licensed. I knew this opportunity to learn the business inside and out was my ticket to making a career for myself. I knew a career into real estate could have the potential to change my life and help me help others. It was redemption for me after what my family went through in 2009. Finally, I was taking control of something that turned my world upside down. I also knew that real estate was in my blood! I was only at that job for about a year, as it wasn’t the right environment for me to succeed. I moved on to a career in real estate, which inspired me to create Higher Living Real Estate. I got married in 2017 and we were finally in a place to take the ultimate risk and buy our first home in 2018! We’re expecting our first child this fall. House hunting took a lot of convincing on my part to my husband, Vic. He thought we should stay in our rental that we’d had for seven long years. and save more money. He worried that we would get in over our heads. I was fearful too, I mean I had seen people I love lose everything. I didn’t want to lose everything I had worked for. But something inside me said f*ck fear and to go for it, you’re ready! So, that’s exactly what we did. We got our pre-approval, had the money for the down payment, and found the home that we wanted to buy. On my 29th birthday, we closed on our first home. It was an experience that changed our life. It had been almost 15 years since I was in a home that was not a rental or roommate situation. My husband and I now have something that is ours, that we can paint and design the way we like. We can have friends and family over and entertain. These were all things I thought were super far away for me. Now, we’re expecting our first child, we’ve started to think about getting a larger house. We know we're going to grow out of this house soon. It’s scary to think that the home we worked so hard for and are finally settled in won’t be our forever home. But, we know that there’s something out there that will be big enough for us & the family we want to have in the coming years. Let's be honest, the journey to start a family is scary enough. The thought of selling our first home & buying something new on top of it all can be a lot to handle. Taking a financial risk coupled with balancing a family is difficult, but I choose to not let fear define me. Having been through that leap recently myself, I know exactly how you’re feeling. I know what petty arguments you’re having with your partner. I know what it takes to get through the process as quick & seamless as possible!

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