How to Buy Grandma’s House (Or at Least Try To)

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When their grandmother’s house went up for sale, award-winning audio producer CC Paschal wanted to keep it in the family. And so they crowdfunded a $50k downpayment and tried to buy it themself, stumbling upon lots of lessons about money and family revelations along the way. The housing market is a confusing place, especially for millennial gig workers like CC. In this episode, we’ll demystify the home-buying process and learn about so much more than just real estate.

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To follow along with a transcript, go to shortly after the air date.



CeCe, X Mayo

CeCe  00:00

Our grandmother’s house was really the only link that we had to what was a really rich and deep history of our grandmother’s family, and how she even came to be where she was. With so many black families because there’s not as widespread understanding or experience with intergenerational wealth and equity like grandma’s house always get sold. It’s like a trope, you know, it’s a cliche. This house also had a complicated history and it’s in its ownership and I began to learn a lot more about that as I was going through the home buying process.


X Mayo  02:14

Keeping grandma’s house in the family as you’ll hear in this episode isn’t always as simple as inheriting it in a dusty old will. Like our guests just said, that shit runs deep far back in history to how our fans got a hold of these homes to begin with. Every house has its story and this one’s a little complicated. So let’s just get into it honey. Hey, boo hey, welcome back to The Dough where cash is queen and we do know that bitch a little better by now. Okay, you can call me Mr. Mayor monopoly man because I am not triggered by that board anymore. No, sir it’s almost the end of the season people and I’m making miny moe. Well, not like cardi but I’m still moving my shoulders. And so on this episode, we’re getting to the big leagues of money mayhem, real estate. Okay, it’s 2023 and you’ve probably heard more than once from the mouth of the millennial generation. I could never buy a home and it makes sense. For one, the market is wild out here between 2020 and 2023 home prices in the US increased by 42% and some experts say that ramp up will continue into the next year who are buying a house right now seems near impossible for most people unless you win the lottery or you want it in three white man I want to go see the Titanic for fun, RIP this moment of silence but it’s especially hard in a country with a history of discriminatory loan practices and a tendency to steal land from people of color. You know that song This land is your land that land over there mind that white people invited us from California did and that other land is my land that’s that that’s that that’s they saw this they hit I tell you and if you look around, not a lot of that is improving okay, according to the National Association of Realtors, in 2021, the homeownership rate for white Americans was 72.7% compared to 44% for black Americans, and that’s the largest that gap has been since the 60s when our guest CeCe Pascal’s grandma bought her house. CeCe is an award winning journalist, audio producer and educator, their grandmother Mary Petaford who will call grandma Mary in this episode, grew up on family owned cotton and tobacco farm land and East North Carolina. Mary was the daughter of free black Americans, folks who were able to buy their freedom and property from the people who enslaved their ancestors. In 1966, Grandma Mary decided to break free from her ancestral land and move to nearby Raleigh for new opportunities for herself, and future generations of the pet afford family. She bought a house there, which has been in the family for three generations. Wow, that’s fire until earlier this year, when the house went up for sale, and CeCe decided to try to buy it. We’ll get into how all that happened. But first, let’s fill out this family tree a little more. Starting with CC’s father who grew up in grandma Mary’s house.


CeCe  05:45

I actually just found my dad and his family in 2018. After searching for him since I was 18 or so.


X Mayo  05:55

You see, CeCe was raised by their mom’s family hundreds of miles north in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They didn’t know who their dad was growing up. When they came of age, CeCe began their search and described it as an ongoing investigative project of theirs, such a journalist right. Anyway, flash forward 12 years.


X Mayo  06:20

That’s that’s the flash fork. Yeah, we got we’re on a budget here. Okay we told you listen, it’s about money. Okay, Cece is. 30, when they finally find who they think might be their father, and they wanted to be sure of it, right, you just can’t walk up to nobody like you, my dad to get in the car, right? You really got to know okay, so they went down to North Carolina for a paternity test. Now, it takes a couple of weeks for those to come back. So in the meantime, they were traveling back and forth to North Carolina, spending time with this guy and slowly starting to meet some other members of the family. But cautiously right.


CeCe  06:52

That nail biting cliffhanger of a Maury episode that was my life yeah.


X Mayo  06:58

The paternity test was 99% positive, though. And with that positive test came a ton of emotions.


CeCe  07:07

There was so much joy, but there’s also a lot of grief because it kind of felt like getting to the party late. My dad is he’s like the elder of his family line. Basically, all of his his siblings had passed away. And his mother had also passed away. When I met the family, there was just one great aunt left.


X Mayo  07:32

I learned so much about the Petafords made these trips to North Carolina special. And on one of those trips, CeCe met their sister Shahida. She told CeCe about their grandmother’s house and all the magic and meaning that came with it.


CeCe  07:46

You know, the memory she evoked of breakfast cooking, and just how our grandmother was, you know, the sweetest person and everyone called her tiny. And she lived in this small house with this big backyard and had a big tree in the back and, you know, under that tree is where the family would gather for holidays and events and you know, shade under the sweltering North Carolina summers and yeah, so just entering the space through my sister’s childhood memories. And I think there was a real longing there for me as well of all the summers that I didn’t get to have as a child.


X Mayo  08:29

CeCe is longing for these memories only intensified the moment they set foot in that house, their cousin Chloe was living there and 2018 when Cece went to visit.


CeCe  08:34

And then I finally got to set foot in the house and, you know, see how it really preserved the kind of archive of the family and my aunt Brenda’s room hadn’t really looked like it must have look when she lived there. You know, she was a DJ so there’s a bunch of records and you know, posters and things on the wall. She was a gamer so she had like a hand there’s like a computer from the 90s.


X Mayo  09:07

This preservation of time made them feel so much closer to the people they never got to meet. Meanwhile, their cousin Chloe also knew that she wanted to sell the house in a couple years. So Cece’s wheels started turning.


CeCe  09:22

I really wanted to have a place and be able to get close to them. Essentially by just inhabiting the spaces that they did. Smelling the things they smell looking at the things they looked at. I always knew that it would take something really like specialist or significant and to make me want to commit to to long term home buying.


X Mayo  09:48

And this house was it and not just because of who I belong to all those years ago. CeCe also didn’t want to see it go the way of so many homes around Raleigh, you see because of their proximity to three major research universities, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill form an area now called the Research Triangle, which is a hub for tech companies ushering in a new wave of gentrification into the area. As a result, new development and increased property taxes have changed the landscape of who can afford to live in Raleigh and who can’t. The mission of Cece’s were beyond grandma Mary in the family line, they were passionate about stopping the cycle of black families getting pushed and priced out of their historic homes in the area. And how powerful would it be for them a black creative with ancestral ties to the land to move in and develop the space into an artists retreat. With all this vision in mind, they approached Chloe and basically said, I will be the one to buy the house when you’re ready to sell it.


CeCe  10:49

For me, it was just like I I knew right away I was. So I told my cousin Chloe, and I was like, I’m seriously interested like when you’re ready, like, let me know.


X Mayo  10:58

At that time, CeCe was in a pretty good place financially. They were a successful Freelancer in New York City, they had savings, they had a full on emergency fund and no huge debts hanging over their shoulders. This is a great starting place for anyone but it’s especially impressive for Cece, who felt like they started off behind most of their peers financially.


CeCe  11:20

Epecially coming from an impoverished single parent background, I had to endure a lot of opportunity cost, so to speak, like maybe paying more money in rent, or having to move somewhere without the security of housing, in order to take internships and all these kinds of things so I was really starting behind my peers financially in so many ways. And it really did take me a decade of consistent work. But I had finally sort of reached this point of stability where I was like, okay, credit score was even topping off I was like, okay, like, we could start thinking about some adult stuff. But it would take a few years for Cece’s cousin Chloe to ready herself and the house for sale.


X Mayo  12:02

So when Chloe came to Cece earlier this year ready to sail, Cece has some things to figure out. Five years is a long time and a lot had changed for them financially. First, there was the god damn pandemic, which let’s be honest, okay, it drained many of us of our money and our smaller pant sizes that you know, I’m still working to get back into you don’t judge me, I just, you know, when she started making bread on Tik Tok, I started making bread, okay. And to make matters worse, CeCe had a traumatic brain injury in 2020. That took them out of work for a while making them rack up credit card bills and medical bills.


CeCe  12:38

So I knew that I was basically kind of in the worst position to try to buy this house. And so, you know, I did reach out to other family members to see there was anyone else interested, like, you know, what, what happens if no one takes it takes it up on it. And, and it really was like, either I try to save it, or that’s it.


X Mayo  13:03

Cece wasn’t going to give up this idea before at least exploring the possibilities a little more. So they decided to go down to North Carolina to see the house again.


CeCe  13:13

Once I actually was like, on the property, and I spent some time in the backyard with the big elm tree, and spent some time inside the kitchen looking out, you know, at the tree where my where my grandmother would have stood. And I was just like, yeah, obviously, I have to figure out how to do this. So I had applied and been pre approved, but only for a mortgage of $175,000. The house asking price was 215 so there was a gap of $40,000 so however, they’re also closing costs associated with buying a house, like upon close inspection, and what did they find something’s wrong with the pipes or the foundations and you actually need to do you know, 10 or $15,000 worth of work on the house before you can even move into closing. So I knew that I would also need an additional buffer.


X Mayo  14:14

CeCe couldn’t afford to buy the house, the bank would lend them enough money, so they started problem solving with their sisters Mary and Shahida cousin Chloe and their dad. And after some discussion, they decided to fundraise the money they were missing online via a GoFundMe campaign. They started with an ask a $40,000 and then raise it to 50,000 to account for that buffer.


CeCe  14:38

Asking for $40,000 is very bold, and I was very aware and so I like you know, it was a leap of faith. And also like as as a millennial, and like I mean, not just millennials I think you know, Gen Z and basically all you know, post, post Boomer generational folks kind of have this thing like is money even real like at a certain point over certain things my shoulder sits I’ve never seen that much money, let alone in my bank account. So like, it’s hard to kind of conceptualize.


X Mayo  15:07

After the break, the money starts rolling in and it gets very, very real.


X Mayo  16:02

And we’re back, at the beginning of Cece’s quest to buy their grandmother’s house. And here’s where things kick into high gear. They had to raise $50,000 and as we do in the modern day, they turned to crowdfunding.


CeCe  18:44

I knew that I’d have to reach beyond my immediate community if we were going to actually raise these funds.


X Mayo  18:51

And they enlisted the help of their whole crew to do it. Pro tip, if you want a lot of eyes on a GoFundMe campaign, get a lot of hands to help you out with it. To get this off the ground, CeCe consulted their friends with nonprofit fundraising backgrounds to get their input on strategy. They also enlisted the help of their former students shout out to the Salk Institute for Documentary Studies, who banded together to develop a media strategy for the whole thing. Ultimately, Cece one of the campaign to tell their grandmother story in a compelling, well researched way. And they wanted a lot of people to see it.


CeCe  19:29

My friend Lauren Kelly gave me the really invaluable advice that for GoFundMe campaigns or just crowd raising campaigns in general. People on average need to be exposed to the campaign seven times. And also I was advised to like do a soft launch with like my friends and families of supporters to kind of, you know, help build the momentum, a lot, a lot of grassroots organizing sort of wisdom, I think also went into this campaign.


X Mayo  20:03

And then the money started pouring in.


CeCe  20:07

I have some obsessive compulsive tendencies and I know this about myself so I know that I can’t just keep hitting the refresh button or else I will just be like a dopamine mean, like a dopamine monster all day just like I got to see it, I got it see, I got it, what about that? What about now? What about that, you know, and I was just like, I can’t do that to myself. My friends were really into checking it. So I would get daily updates via text from people being like, okay, five more K here we are they alright, I shared here I shared with their.


X Mayo  20:40

Upon launching the campaign Cece took to Twitter, where they kept momentum going by shared updates along the way. Their first post read Operation Save grandma’s house from the Amazonification of historic black Ronnie, what a rallying cry baby, go fetch my wife. And just two days, they crossed the 10k mark, and CeCe tweeted to tell a friend to tell a friend we didn’t Granny’s lamb back a day later, they were halfway funded. It all happened so fast and by the time the campaign ended two weeks later, they hit that 50k goal, and then some.


CeCe  21:13

It was really thrilling. And then at a certain point, GoFundMe starts to deposit the money into your account. So then you’re just like watching your bank balance grow. And that that was exciting and then I got terrified and I was like this, this these, this is too much.


X Mayo  21:28

CeCe stop, they’re like, whoa, well, Holla, holla, Holla Holla. Okay, they drove to the nearest branch of their bank and told the tellers about their situation like, Hey, I got 50,000 in my bank account, but where should it be? I’m new to this. I’m not true to this.


CeCe  21:44

They took a look at my account, they’re like, yeah, put it somewhere with interest. And so and then we also talked about, you know, differences between CDs, certificates of deposit, which are higher yielding and interest, but come with some caveats like you there is a penalty, if you remove the money, within a certain amount of time.


X Mayo  22:06

CeCe ended up going in a different direction and put the money in a high yield savings account, also called a high interest account. These are just savings accounts with higher interest rates. So as your money sits around, it can grow and the money stays liquid, so you can access it when you need it without facing a penalty. And that’s what CeCe needed, because the timeframe around this whole thing was shifting and a little chaotic. But anyway, step one, put the money somewhere safe, and not under the damn mattress, grandma, take it out okay, please, we’ll get into the new millennium. Next, they had to get back in touch with the loan folks.


CeCe  22:51

There’s already kind of a lot of challenges and rockiness to try to do this as an independent person with a mortgage being treated as an individual for what essentially was a collective project. You know, if I was going to do the FHA loan, then I would just have to keep it as individual. So that’s why I’m, you know, created this, the savings account for that just to give it some breathing space, and some earning potential. And really kind of, in the back of my mind, I was like, well, you know, there’s still a lot of ways that this could play out.


X Mayo  23:27

And then Cece headed into this process, they looked back into how their grandmother came to own this house in the first place, talking to family led to more knowledge of grandma Mary’s story in this area.


CeCe  23:39

So this area, King wood forest, is a historically black neighborhood. And like many historically black neighborhoods all over the country, it was established and what was considered to be undesirable land. And then I, you know, I’m a nerd. So I did some more cross referencing and it borders like what was a flood zone, essentially and a lot of these houses actually were in flood zone.


X Mayo  24:07

When grandma Mary first bought the house, black people in the south didn’t have the opportunity to buy houses just anywhere. And as CeCe started digging deeper, they found out that the house is history wasn’t just a success story. It was like watching Inception on shrooms just complicated.


CeCe  24:25

Yeah, I mean, from what I understand, through my dad’s understanding, which you know, he was a child at the time. So I don’t know how how much of this is sort of like him understanding this as an adult. You know, I still would like to talk to him more about this. But my grandfather, you know, really suffered. It sounded like after he came back from them, Warren had mental health issues. And eventually, I believe we spent some time hospitalized and he died pretty early. So, my grandmother was taking care of four kids while, you know, having these additional strains on her on her. And, you know, my dad described it as, as the bank taking advantage of this black woman and so it was something where it sounded like the interests made, the ultimate amount that my grandmother paid was way over the value of the original house.


X Mayo  25:33

And moving forward in the process, CeCe was scared of getting caught up in the same situation in 2023.


CeCe  25:43

So the asking price was 215, but the other houses in the area are very quickly, you know, rising up through 350, 450, you know, and with all of the tech coming into the Research Triangle area, you know, houses can be flipped, and a few years, you know, prospectors are, are saying it could be, you know, mostly 400 and 500 thousands dollars houses, right. So to potentially invest in this house at that time, knowing that, looking back through the records, the actual land that the house was sitting on, had doubled in value in the past four or five years. So then that got me thinking, because I was like, okay, well, I can get this, this loan from this private equity company, but what about the interest rates? And if I get this loan, now, by the time that I’m actually done paying, am I actually buying a $215,000 house? Or am I buying a $400,000 house? You know, so then am I actually going to make a profit when the property value goes up? Like all the questions started getting a lot more complicated.


X Mayo  26:58

I like to pause here and point out that these questions were hella important for CeCe to stop and ask at this point, before they got into some sort of financial hole, there’s a lot to consider when you take out a loan. So thinking long term is a must. And CeCe wasn’t just doing this with the numbers.


CeCe  27:17

You know, I have a spirituality as well. And and while I can’t say that I have, like, you know, had a cup of tea with my deceased grandmother or anything, but it made me think, like, try to imagine from her position like, what is it that she actually wants? Like, how is it actually the best way to honor this family legacy of landowning and if my grandmother already went through this situation of paying more than the value of the house was worth and then being tied to it, is that actually what she would want for me, if I had to do this, do an FHA loan where I would literally be tied to the property for a certain number of years. And all the other things that came with it, so we move forward and met the funding goal. And that was absolutely surreal, because all of a sudden, at the very least, I had options. So now we have now have the money in hand. And the next couple of moves go pretty quickly.


X Mayo  28:22

Cece’s cousin was on a tighter timeline than before to finish up the sale. The weekend Cece his GoFundMe campaign closed, the house was opening up for tours. And like they said, things were happening fast.


CeCe  28:35

That Monday, the real estate agent already had two offers. And so we got on the phone and, and talked. And basically these are what they call highest and best offers. And so the idea here is that you really want to be able to take one of your highest and best offers. Because the longer a property sits on the market, the more people assume that it’s overpriced. The other buyers could make a higher bid and pay in cash, which is very attractive. Like if I wasn’t family, you should absolutely take that offer.


X Mayo  29:11

Cece’s cousin tocc to act fast and get back in touch with their mortgage lender.


CeCe  29:16

So I went back to the mortgage lender and I said, hey, I know before, you could only lend me 175k. But what would happen if I actually had enough to to make up the difference?


X Mayo  29:33

CeCe was like, girl, listen, I got this 40k liquid in the bank. I’d like to add that to the 175k you’re lending me so that I can buy the house for 215k deal. At first they said that could work. The mortgage lender got to work but then some complications came up around the source of the funds.


CeCe  29:53

Basically they were making the loan to me based off of my banking statements. So Read the course of like six months to a year.


X Mayo  30:03

And in going through this, they saw that the money had been in Cece’s checking account, making it look like they made way more than they do.


CeCe  30:11

And they’re like, whoa, that’s a red flag. Like, we’re a little nervous about making the mortgage. Because where does money come from? Then we’re like, gofundme and they’re like, but how do we know? We’re like, you know, because, again, there’s something against it and people have successfully like, you know, raise money and then been able to use it for things. But it turns out, there’s a thing of timing. So the bank was like, alright, fine, we believe you. But just so we’re like, good, good and clear, super clear. We would like to make the we would rather make the mortgage in July, once this is off your immediate bank balance. But I had already like, negotiated with my cousins to to like the last minute basically of this campaign. And they really wanted to do a 45 day closing, which is like, an accelerated closing, basically, they wanted to be out by by early summer.


X Mayo  31:14

They wanted to house sold before the end of June and it was the end of June at this point.


CeCe  31:20

The bank might take a week, or who knows how long to get back to me about this. And in the meantime, my cousin’s could lose the best and highest offer that they have on the house.


X Mayo  31:31

And the timeline was only about to get more stressful. Cece would have 24 hours to make a decision. And it would not be easy. That’s after the break.


X Mayo  31:50

And so to recap, if you late to the party, Cece’s journey so far, they successfully raised 50k To cover the difference between the loan they were applying for and the cost of the grandma’s house, money in hand they approach their mortgage lender who gave them the thumbs up but four months later, awesome timing. Awesome, the weekend the campaign ended the house got shown and not one but two cash buyers step afford. Even Cece understood that these offers were attractive, they wanted their cousin to get the best sale possible, even if it meant the house would leave family hands. I know, I got the drama babe. And so they had 24 hours to decide if they’d sign off on the loan and putting an offer too, there is so much pressure when it comes to home buying that I think even us renters can relate to, you need the money upfront, and the timing has to align perfectly. CeCe was stressed and let’s not forget, still recovering from a traumatic brain injury. They had to stop and come back to themselves and think beyond family, beyond the larger fight against gentrification and development, what will be the best for them and their financial future.


CeCe  35:53

Because taking out a mortgage as an individual for an FHA meant that at the end of the day, even if this was a group project me, me Cece, Chiquita Pascall, you know, I would be on the hook for it, I would be on the line for it. And so I, because of my the nature of disability and chronic illness, and the fact that like my ability to earn money is directly tied to my health and I’m at I was at such a kind of vulnerable moment in my recovery. I was like, yes, I have the money for the downpayment now, but it’s not just about the money that you have today to buy the house, it’s about what happens if you need to replace the boiler, what happens if you need to, to like a bait asbestos? What happens if you know what?


X Mayo  36:43

Cece was already at the top of their budget, if something were to go sideways, God forbid something happened, you know what that big old tree in the backyard, they could sense it would lead to a financial hole. And so they zoomed back in? What would be best for them and their financial future.


CeCe  37:03

And at this point, it’s like, I’m really okay with letting go of trying to save the world from gentrification. I think that was also sort of like, rolled up in the original campaign. It’s like, oh, we got to stop the, you know, I another thing I thought about with 30 year mortgages, I, I would forever be the holdout. And you know, while everything’s getting torn down and built up, around me, and then realizing, realizing, ultimately, you know, maybe there’s a different story of this land. You know, my grandmother sounded like, made an incredible life out of a pretty difficult situation, and that she continued to raise her four kids and coped with some incredible loss. Her oldest son died really young when he was only 32 unexpectedly. And, you know, she outlived her two daughters who later passed away, but you know, that that house had seen a lot of grief as well. And in an unexpected way, something felt really right about closure.


X Mayo  38:13

They considered how little choice grandma Mary had in writing out this long ownership of the property. And they thought, maybe grandma wouldn’t want this for them. Maybe she wouldn’t want them tied down in the way that she was. Between that and wanting their cousin to get the best possible offer on the house, they reached a decision. They reached out to Chloe.


CeCe  38:34

Well, they were in Scotland at the time. So we ended up we were trying to, like, you know, figure out the timezone. First of all, because it was like, two o’clock in the morning, there when I got out of work. So we had kind of like some voice notes and or some voicemails back and forth, but finally got on the phone. And, you know, I walked my cousin basically through, you know, my thought process and sort of my concerns. At the end of the day, we just wanted each other to be okay and that was really beautiful to me.


X Mayo  39:09

CeCe said, go ahead with the other offers, um, good. And so, Cece took that 50k and put it into a family trust, so that it could sit safely somewhere, not just for them, but for all the Petafords they come to know throughout this process. And speaking of the fam, we got a happy ending for you folks or rather a hopeful one. You remember in grandma Mary’s story that she didn’t grow up in Raleigh, but in a nearby area where all that family farmland was. The area is called Spring hope. And CeCe kept their eye on it throughout this process going down in Raleigh. In the back of their mind, they could look into buying land there as well. But at a certain point, they just had to dedicate their focus to the Raleigh house. Spring hope was the role they didn’t go down at first. But it wasn’t too late to investigate it further. And so, CeCe reached out to Chloe again, asking if there was anything still up for grabs out there. And Chloe knew a cousin who knew another cousin, who knew another cousin that had another cousin who knew about a great aunt’s house that had been vacant since 2021.


CeCe  40:19

So it opened up an opportunity to reach out to those cousins, and let them know that not only were we seriously interested, but that we had raised funds for our downpayment, and we’re ready to talk whenever they are.


X Mayo  40:34

Folks, there was another house up for grabs the whole time. Not grandma Marry’s, but certainly a part of Grandma’s history further back. And this new house, this new opportunity actually had CeCe even more excited, Cece and their sister Mary took a trip down in North Carolina after all this to support their cousin through the sale of grandma Mary’s house, to hug the tree in the backyard one last time and pay their respects. And also to see about this other house.


CeCe  41:06

So my dad took us off spring hope and, and we actually went on the property and looked around and honestly, it’s it’s a perfect fit for an artist residency, you know, it’s it’s right across the street from a beautiful pond and just like lush rolling hills, and it’s surrounded by these tall, beautiful loblolly pines. And there’s like moss covering like carpeting, the little forest floors, it was really it was giving, you know, like a fairy paradise. There’s like a bramble of blackberries like growing on one side of the house and like a fruit tree. And I later heard at the family reunion that one of my aunts used to make a really killer BlackBerry cobbler. And I was like, oh, it’s all making sense now. But yeah, my sister and I both really fell in love with the property. And you know, there’s even two doors, and we’re like, oh, one for me, one for you. And, you know, not only is the house currently listed as about $15,000 cheaper than the grandmother’s house, but it sits on four acres of land.


X Mayo  42:17

So better deal, better bang for their buck on land with an even longer history in the family. If Cece and their loved ones can get a hold of this place, they’ll be returning to the family farmland that was originally settled over 200 years ago. That’s powerful to Cece. And it all connects to why they even set out to buy grandma’s house in the first place, preserving as a means of reconnecting to their family. Sure, no, they didn’t buy grandma’s house after all, but they got what they were searching for.


CeCe  42:51

An attempt to try to track down the cousins who are managing the estate, my sister and I went back to North Carolina A few weeks later, we just got back actually, for the Pettiford family reunion, which I had heard about since I even gotten the family like you know, back in 2018. And I think this is the first one they’ve done in a while so it was like a big deal. Three days fish fry on Friday like a whole presentation, I learned the family had built their own church. And I had driven past it a couple of times and never realized that that was ours too, our family donated a tract of land for the original house of meetinghouse that was erected in 1884. And yeah, and I thought that you know, my previous experiences with spring hope was just you know, a history that was dead and gone and sad and and you know, the joy of ancestors, but also just sort of like I don’t know, just these kind of ghosts of the past and, and this trip just felt so alive.


X Mayo  44:04

They were meeting second cousins, third cousins, fourth cousins, fifth cousins, which if you think your fifth cousin match, I don’t talk to me about as close to me as the bus driver, please. And CeCe also shared great grandparents with these cousins and great great grandparents. That’s lit, it’s wild to think just a few years before CeCe knew about none of this and now they’re at a family reunion that’s happened annually since 1949. They not taught it for the party, baby they right on time, and many of the folks they met still live in spring hope so. Ideally, Cece moves forward with getting their hands on this newly discovered property. Not only could they live where their ancestors once did, they can live amongst family still there cha I don’t even doubt CeCe you gotta be emotional, this is a real estate story and I’ve cried it was that good.


CeCe  44:57

So yeah, even my sense of spring hope is really changing because it’s like it’s not a long gone history like my current family still lives there and to be able to cultivate a space and a community there and have this place to be our home. It just feels it’s so special. And my favorite part is that my 15 year old nephew he calls it black hope now.


X Mayo  45:26

I’m gonna need a moment it’s not COVID I tested, Spring Hope Black Hope. Either way someone give me an invite to the next credit for family reunion because baby I love me a fresh fat cat fish. Don’t get me into that sway. I don’t want none of that Chilean sea bass bitch. I want cat fish in the hat. But in all seriousness, guys, Cece was put through money 101, 202, 301 and this attempt to do the millennial impossible buy a goddamn house. Did they buy a house? No, not yet. But they got something priceless on the other side, a true homecoming. This collective project to preserve family land let them back to the sprawling web of their family. Folks they didn’t even know existed, not dead but alive and ready to join them in their quest to invest in the pet afford name and all the history it holds. And that’ll be a good use of that 50k When the day comes and honey, it will. Next week on The Dough we’ll finish off this season with a story of some coworkers who banded together to make it rain for their rights. The only unionized strippers in the nation celebrating their victory. This is incredible. This is a victory for dancers. This is the first union for dancers in the 21st century. And their story includes plenty of tips along the way for gig workers of all stripes. See you then bye.


CREDITS  47:00

The Dough is a Lemonada Original. I’m your host X Mayo. This series was created in partnership with Flourish Ventures. This episode was produced by Kristen Lepore and Becca De Gregorio. Tony Williams is our associate producer. Mix and sound designed by Ivan Kuraev. With additional mixing and engineering from Andí Kristinsdóttir. Original Music by Pat Mesiti-Miller. Kelsey Henderson is our production intern. Additional production help from Jerusalem Truth, Claire Jones, and Hoja Lopez. Jackie Danziger is our Vice President of narrative content. Executive Producers include me X Mayo, Stephanie Littels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer. Help others find our show by leaving us a rating five stars, and writing a review. You can follow me on IG at @$80inasuitcase and Lemonada at @LemonadaMedia across all social platforms, not including MySpace. Follow the dough wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership. Thanks so much for listening. See you next week. Bye.

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