TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa Bay realtor is the star of a new HGTV show that aims to help educate first-time home buyers in the community.
Amina Stevens has been a realtor in the Tampa Bay area for four years. It’s something she hadn’t necessarily originally planned.
“I grew up in apartments in Tampa Bay most of my life and never considered owning a house myself,” Stevens said.
Not only does she own her own home, but she helps others achieve the same goal. However, her journey didn’t start in real estate, she was a schoolteacher in Hillsborough County.
“I knew I loved educating, but I thought maybe I could do it in a different way,” she said.
She took her passion for educating others and her love for watching HGTV and started her real estate journey.
“I started watching HGTV non-stop again and thought, maybe I can do this,” she said.
Now, her journey has now landed her on HGTV.
“When I hired my production company, they saw something in me and reached out to HGTV to pitch the show,” Stevens said.
That was in 2019. Stevens said due to the pandemic, filming was pushed back. Just a few months ago, filming began and two pilot episodes were produced. The episodes are scheduled to air Thursday, March 10 and Friday, March 11 at 11:30 a.m.
Stevens said viewers will get a faithful and authentic look at what it takes to buy a home for the first time.
“They told me to do what you normally do, she said. They didn’t tell me ‘say this, say that, show a house somehow,’ I think the people will get an authentic taste of what it’s like to be a first-time home buyer in one of the hottest markets in the countryside.”
The show is called First Timers Club. In it, Stevens helps first-time home buyers overcome the three barriers buyers often face: emotions, finances, and lack of education. She said this take will separate her show from all other real estate shows aired.
“Your typical real estate show is a home improvement or maybe luxury real estate show, but it lacks a departure from the everyday home buying show that may concern the ordinary person,” said she declared.
As a black woman, Stevens said she knows how important representation is.
“I’m really excited to be that representation and to bridge that gap,” she said. “I think it’ll be really good for people to put themselves in my buyers’ shoes, whether they’ve bought a home before or are planning to do so in the future.”
That’s why First Timers Club is more than just a show for Stevens.
“I used to get taken to the suburbs to go to school growing up from the city center and I thought ‘look at all these rich people and rich houses’ not knowing that it would be me one day and that I would help people build wealth through real estate,” she added.
For now, HGTV will air two pilot episodes. They will see how these shows perform before filming and airing additional episodes.