Mrs. Gloria who just became a landlady shares her journey into home-ownership. She laments about the menace of site workers, Omo-onile and so many other challenges she faced when her building project was going on.
Please read her interview below.
NREH: Can we get a brief introduction about what you do and how you started planning to build?
My name is Gloria Okechukwu , I work with Prime Asset Housing Cooperative Multipurpose Society ltd. I joined the organization in Feb 9, 2009, We are into thrifts, credit and real estate.
I had always nursed the desire and intention to build for my parent at an Early Age and when I started working in an environment where real estate and owning a home is the talk of the day, the dream of owning a home came more alive and I started looking for an opportunity to fulfill that dream.
NREH: How long did it take you to build your house?
Mrs. Grace: We bought the land in 2012 while I was still courting with my fiancé (now husband) and 2 years later, in 2014, we laid the foundation. So from 2014 to Dec 2020 when we moved in, it is exactly 6 (Six) years.
NREH: Did you apply for any loan for the building process?
Mrs. Grace: Throughout the Six years, my husband and I were involved in yearly contributions, took loan in between but it was actually a family projects that all resources, I mean ALL were put to ensure the dream come true.
NREH: Did you consider other options aside from building? (e.g. buying)
Mrs. Grace: To us, buying was expensive, so we settled for building as it is more economical and flexible. It gives us the opportunity to choose a location and the kind of building that suits our budget.
NREH: Why did you settle for building?
Mrs. Grace: Like I earlier mentioned, I settled for building because it provides me the opportunity to plan and execute each stage of the building project according to my budget, so it was economical and flexible to build.
NREH: How long did the processing take? (Land title and all)
Mrs. Grace: The land mass already has o C of O so were given receipt, documents and survey is already been requested, so it didn’t take us much time.
NREH: Any issue with site workers?
Mrs. Grace: Hahaha! Of course. We had a lot and enough of it. We had monitoring issues most times because we were always at work while the project was on going. We had issues such as material theft, incomplete supply of materials, workers absconding after receiving funds to do a project, wastage of materials, paying for a job twice etc..
NREH: Any Omo-onile wahala?
Mrs. Grace: Yes of course. At every stage of the building, they came for different forms of settlement such as foundation which was eventually paid to two different claimed families, roofing, finishing (burglary) and even foundation for fence work .They tasked at every stage.
NREH: Do you think you could have built your house earlier if you knew what you know now?
Mrs. Grace: Yes of course. Thank God I have the opportunity to work with a real estate firm cum cooperative that opened my eyes to a lot of information on developing a savings culture and owning a home. I’m more knowledgeable and well informed now.
NREH: What mistakes will you advice our readers to avoid haven gone through the experience?
Mrs. Grace: My advices to our readers are as follows:
*Every opportunity to buy a land should be grabbed.
* Have a budget and a kind of home you want. Please be realistic to yourself as there is nothing wrong with having a first home.
*For us, we had a vision board with the picture of the kind of home we want. We set targets and with the Help of God we executed them. So, having a picture of what you want and staying focused on it goes a long way in helping you achieve your dream.
* Also, we had an idea to build a low-cost housing project with a budget of N4 million in Five years or Eight years which is more achievable than waiting for a Big Break.
NREH: Do you have tenants?
Mrs. Grace: No, I don’t have tenants. It’s a home for me and my family alone.
NREH: Please share your experience as a landlady. What does it feel like being in your own space now?
Mrs. Grace: Wow, Wow Woww. I have this inner peace, joy, security and rest of mind. The idea that it’s my own property cannot be over emphasized.
NREH: Now that you have your own property, is it possible to consider building another house for investment purposes?
Mrs. Grace: Yes of course. In fact, that’s the next phase of life.
NREH: Thanks for your time ma’am.
Mrs. Grace: Thanks for having me.