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Mind Your Money: This 34-Year-Old Wants To Open A Wig Bar In A Mixed Use Building

She wants to have a station dedicated to people who are interviewing for jobs while on government assistance.

Name: Tamika Scriven

Age: 34

Occupation: customer service and assists with billing at a tech company. Owner, Allure Wigs

Salary: five figures

Location: New York

Money Goal: To open a wig bar in a mixed-use building. 

At the height of the pandemic shut down, Tamika Scriven launched her business, Allure Wigs, in April 2020. Timed perfectly, Scriven’s online business offered bespoke wigs to customers who wanted to look well-styled, despite not being able to go to the salon.

Now that cities have “opened up” and eased pandemic quarantine restrictions, Scriven wants to open a “wig bar.” The wig bar would cater to people who want to get their “wonder wave” and “kinky classy” wigs professionally installed. Scriven also wants a separate station at her wig bar to cater to people who are interviewing for jobs while on government assistance.

“If you look good, you feel good, and you leave a better impression in an interview,” said Scriven, who certified her business as minority-owned in New York.

Scriven first noticed the need while going on welfare to complete her final two years in college. She said that welfare recipients got vouchers to go to Goodwill to purchase interview clothing. However, she thinks that there is also a need for women on welfare to have their hair done before going on interviews.

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“It would make more sense if I had an actual salon to do this,” said Scriven, a licensed cosmetologist.  

Ideally, Scriven says she wants to purchase property with housing and a salon in the same building. She’s been searching but getting financed for a mixed-use property is complex. She is holding onto her 9-to-5 at a tech company to make her financial profile more attractive to lenders, and still no luck.

“It’s been a journey for me, especially being a minority,” said Scriven, who has been under contract for three different properties.

The REAL on Mixed-Use Real Estate

Jacob Channel, senior economist at Lending Tree, says that mixed-use properties are harder to get financing for, but it’s not impossible.

“Because it is like a combination of a mortgage and a small business loan, lenders are going to be very serious about making sure you can afford this loan and not default on it,” he said.

To increase the odds of finding a lender, ideally, a person should have at least a 680 credit score, but a score of 720 or higher is better, Channel said. In addition, a 20% down payment or more helps sweeten the deal.

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Potential purchasers should check out the zoning of the building to make sure that the building is zoned for the type of business they want to run on the property, Channel said. People can often check online or with local zoning officials to verify that information.

Also, the person should be licensed to run the business on the property.

In addition, purchasers should make sure that the building is properly inspected. In the case of a mixed-use property, it’s not just you affected if the electricity or plumbing is not up to date. The potential customers in your establishment can fall prey to the shoddy work —and sue you if harmed.

Also, people should be sure that a mixed-use property is what they want, Channel said. He said you would be out of business and out of a home if you face foreclosure. 

“You could be out of a home as well as a source of income,” Channel said.

Don’t leap before you look, Channel said.

“”Future you” will thank “past you” for being diligent and on top of things,” Channel said.

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America

Scriven may also consider using the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), national nonprofit homeownership and community-advocacy organization. It helps with homeownership, including up to four-unit multifamily and mixed-use properties. NACA is a zero-down payment program and offers 100% financing, but the potential purchaser must have a minimum of six months of reserves.

“The two major NACA requirements are that the owner lives in the residential portion and that the residential portion makes up more than 50% of the total square footage of the building,” said Tim Trumble, media and public relations coordinator for NACA.

The following are additional requirements for mixed-use properties:

• If the commercial rent exceeds the residential rent by more than 10%, it requires approval by NACA management.

• Must be appropriately zoned for mixed-use.

• At least 50% of the units are residential.

Natalie P. McNeal is the author of, The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving up the Fabulous Life.

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