We took inside deep on someone’s property each week and see what they have got. This time we’re hanging out with Adesoji, 70, who owns his Laboratory and works there as a Lab scientist. Adesoji was 52 when he built his house in Lafenwa Ogun state.
What type of house are we talking about, and where is it located?
It is a 5-bedroom bungalow located at Lafenwa, Ogun State.
Why did you choose to build in Lafenwa, Ogun State?
I choose to build in Lafenwa because of its serenity, Lafenwa is a very calm place to live as a family man, and it is not a congested area, unlike Lagos. Due to the traffic conditions in Lagos State, I wanted a place that would be stress-free. Thereafter I settled for Lafenwa in Ogun State.
Are you a native of Ogun State?
I am not a native of Ogun State, I am from Ilesha in Osun State
How easy was it to facilitate the purchase of the land?
It was not too easy though, because I had to make sure the land has not been sold to anyone before. After that, I thought of how to complete the money I had on me so as to pay on time.
What was your experience building the property? Did you have issues with the workers or with the landowners (Omo Onile)?
We didn’t have issues with our workers because the Contractor we hired was a very close friend who engaged competent hands. However, we had problems with the Omo Onile people. Almost every day, they came with one demand or the other. Bringing our building supplies to the site became a nightmare because you must pay them for bringing in your tipper of sand and water tanker and pay them for every milestone of the construction process.
How much were you charged by the Omo Onile for each delivery?
After prolonged and often heated negotiations, it was agreed that we would pay 5,000 per tipper truck of sand. Imagine the number of times I had to pay this sum. It was not convenient initially, it took a lot of work to pay that amount, but I just wanted my peace.
How long did it take you to complete the house?
It took me about 6 years to complete the house; because I don’t believe in overstretching myself to build, I would fund the building project with whatever is left after paying all the necessary bills I used to fund the project for the house. unlike some people who would save to build a house, I worked within my budget and added the bonuses I got on my job. That helped a lot: it saved me from going through the unnecessary stress of having to borrow to complete the house.
Where did the capital to buy the land come from?
I did a business with a very good friend of mine before I started my medical laboratory business, and we made money from the business then, so, I thought that instead of spending the money, why not use the money to do something meaningful. so, that was how I decided to get land at Lafenwa.
What type of business was it, and how much did you make from the business?
We ventured into snail farming. We started the business with N100,000.00, so when it was time to sell the snail, we sold it at a high price and there we got our profits. We did It for four years, but we stopped due to the stress involved considering my age, In that period, we shared the money equally, so I used the money to get the land, and saved the remaining money for future purposes.
When did you buy the land, and how was it?
I bought the land in 2006, and I got it for N600,000.00.
What is your profession? What of that of your spouse?
I am a laboratory scientist, and I own the laboratory. My wife is a matron at Westcare Hospital in Egbeda. Also, support from my siblings went a long way. It wasn’t easy, but we were determined to achieve our dream of owning a house. But glory be to God, business was moving fast, and we were both making money from our jobs at the time.
How substantial was the assistance you got from your family, with regard to this project?
We were getting at least N50,000.00 from my siblings monthly to build the house, and I appreciate them for supporting me during those periods.
Did your spouse help in any way while building the house?
Yes, she helped while building. We both contributed funds. Interestingly, she pushed me to complete the house as quickly as possible and would have hounded me but because I already told her I won’t be straining myself to build so that made her reduce the way she disturbs me in completing the house. Every month, she dropped about N100,000.00 to support me while I was building the house.
So, did you save any money throughout the project?
I don’t think I saved while building the house. Like I said earlier, I don’t save; I just build as the money comes. Bonuses from work and also the help of our family members went a long way because I felt saving might take me a very long time to complete the construction, so we decided not to save for the house, but we were saving for other things that had nothing to do with the house.
Was there any impediment to saving?
Nothing prevented me from saving. I do save; I just didn’t save towards building my house. I felt like savings wasn’t going to be the best option for me, because there are some things you would stop yourself from doing if you decide to save to build, and you know how that can turn out to be at the end of the day, I might go broke after I take all my savings to build, so I don’t think I can go through that stress which is why I adopted the idea of taking from the excess, I make from my business.
You mentioned that you dislike borrowing. Were you ever tempted to borrow?
I didn’t want to borrow. I don’t like borrowing again after I had a terrible experience with one of these fintech lending companies, their interest rates were ridiculous. It takes a lot of my monthly income to pay back. So, I took my time to build the house.
The project was getting done in bits, and whenever I had some money to spare on me, I immediately used it to get more supplies.
Apart from the ridiculous interest rates and putting me in danger because of too much thought on how to repay loans, my parents also never taught us to borrow because it is slavery. In every borrowing, there is always a due date to pay up, and when the due date comes, you start panicking, which can lead to another damage to one’s health.
Talking about your loan experience, what exactly made you borrow at that time?
If I remember vividly, I borrowed to complete the payment of my school fees, pending the time my parent would send the money; although the interest rate was high, I never cared about it then. What was on my mind was how to settle my school fees payment; the trouble started when the due date came, and I could not settle the payment; I was running helter-skelter to source for means to clear the debt. The experience was what made me vow never to go into borrowing again.
How much did it cost you in total to complete the project?
The total cost was N5 million.
Where were you living before you completed the construction of your house?
We rented a 3-bedroom flat in Iyana Ipaja, Lagos.
For how long did you rent, and how much did it cost annually?
I lived in the rented apartment for about eight years, and it cost N300,00.00 annually, which was between 2006-2014.
What unpleasant experience did you have living in the rented apartment?
The issue we had was with a co-tenant. He would always disturb the whole environment with his
generator. We complained several to the agent till we got tired of complaining; even at night, we don’t sleep because of the noise, and I still have to go to work early the following day, and I am someone who doesn’t joke with my sleep, so each time, my prayer is that there should always be NEPA Light because if there is no light, then we are not sleeping in peace for that night. That was probably my worst nightmare living in that apartment.
If you had to purchase a house in Lagos, what kind of house would you buy and where (Mainland or Island)?
If I had to, I would love to get a duplex on the Mainland because housing on the island is more expensive and too congested, and unsafe for old couples like us during the rainy season.
What advice do you give aged couples hoping to own a house like you?
I would advise that they build it systematically and not overstress it. Take their time, discuss and agree on a plan that works best for them with little or no unnecessary pressure. The source of funds and support from friends and family might go a long way. Most importantly, they are getting old and should enjoy every day of their lives as they work on their project.