The new president of a group of predominately Black realtors is working hard to change the out-dated notion that Prince George’s County, Md. is a suburban wasteland.
On Oct. 1, Patricia Dowtin assumed the presidency of the Prince George’s County Association of Realtors, an organization of 3,000 realtors whose focus is to promote real estate interests as well as home and commercial ownership in the county. Dowtin’s term is for one year but she has bold plans.
Pat Dowtin is a 33-year realtor with Long and Foster. (Courtesy Photo)
“We are going to focus on our strategic plan that deals with community involvement,” Dowtin told the AFRO. “We want people in Prince George’s County to know that we are part of the community and we are working hard to message what we are doing.”
Dowtin said that her association sponsors college scholarships, fundraises on behalf of charitable causes, sponsors a fair-housing program for school-aged children, participates in the county’s annual Housing Fair, educates residents in the value of homeownership and recently participated in a blood drive.
Dowtin is no stranger to working in the community for she is a member of the Prince George’s Hospital Center Foundation Board of Directors and is active with the Prince George’s County Delta Sigma Theta alumnae chapter, chairing its Financial Fortitude Committee.
As Dowtin settles into her responsibilities, she is facing good news regarding the county’s housing market. Data compiled by her association shows that in the third quarter of this year, the residential market increased 7.7 percent in home sales.
The data also showed that average and median prices echoed this trend with a rise of 7 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively, as compared to the same time period in 2015.
Pending sales remained modest with a 2 percent increase.
“The ongoing improvement in the residential sales market in Prince George’s County is good news,” Dowtin said. “Not only do we have the increase in sales but a healthy rise in both average and median prices. We are watching actively inventory closely hoping that we see more homes on the market to meet the consumer needs.”
Dowtin, who holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in business administration from Governors State University in Illinois, said she decided to go full-time into real estate because of what happened on her government job.
“I was employed as an Equal Employment Opportunity specialist with the U.S. Government Accountability Office and I was downsized,” she said. “We went from 100 specialists to 50. From that point on, I decided that I would never be in a position to be downsized.”
Dowtin said she liked looking at houses and decided to turn her passion into her profession. She became a realtor for Long and Foster Real Estate in 1983 and has since become a certified real estate specialist and a member of the Maryland Association of Realtors.
Dowtin sees her work in real estate not as a means of becoming wealthy but helping people achieve their dreams.
“I love helping people with the largest investment they will make in their lifetime,” she said, referring to purchasing a home. “I love helping them move that dream from paper to reality.”
The Great Recession’s subprime mortgage crisis that took place from 2007-2009 with aftershocks felt in Prince George’s County for five years after that, resulted in many Blacks losing their homes to foreclosure due to shaky loans and declining income through job loss, sequestration and stagnant wages and salaries. Four years after the Great Recession ended, technically in the fourth quarter of 2009, Prince George’s County continued to lead Maryland and the Washington region in foreclosure rates.
Nevertheless, Dowtin said that it is still a good time to buy a home in the county.
“The market rate is hot,” she said. “The interest rate is fantastic and $350,000 will get you a nice home.”
Dowtin said that inner-Beltway communities such as Seat Pleasant, District Heights and Capitol Heights are good places to buy a home.