Can a person build one house just from their monthly salary? What about two? This civil servant tells us how he was able to build his first house and why he decided to push it to two.
“We completed the house in a year and a half. It was that fast because I had maximum support from my partner, and the artisans delivered projects speedily. Everything happened this way because I was eager to move into my house.”
Please introduce yourself, sir. What do you do?
My name is Adeniyi Adeola. I am a Civil Servant.
What was working as a civil servant like, and did it influence your thinking to have a land?
I had several experiences as a civil servant. Working in civil service is exciting as the workplace is vast and offers several opportunities for employee growth. It also influenced my decision to get a house as I was around competitive people in the workplace who voiced their desire to build their own homes before retirement.
Did you build or buy your house, and why?
I built it because buying is not the best option for me. I am scared of those who sell and tender fake documents to people.
What type of house did you build, and where is it located?
It is a bungalow located at Igando.
How did you get the land?
I learned about the land through my cousin, who is into the business. He lived close to the site and told me it was on sale. I decided to buy it as it was cheap. I am happy I did not lose the land.
Was there anything you liked about the area that made you go for it?
When I got the land, the area was underdeveloped and very reserved. However, I knew it would develop more with time. Aside from that, the area was good and presented the opportunity to socialize with different people at one’s level or higher than one’s level. The second reason I went for that area is the high-security standard and the low cost of living.
When did you get the land, and how much did it cost?
I got the land in 2005. It cost N750,000 then.
How much will that land cost now compare to when you got it?
As of last year, I know someone who bought a similar land to mine for 1.5 million compared to the price I got mine for. Even after I paid for my land, I was opportune to get another land nearby. The price was higher, about N1 million.
You own two houses; what is the second house for?
Yes, I do, but I don’t live in the second house. It is majorly for renting. I thought about the future and realized I needed a source of income in my retirement years. So, I rent out the other house to tenants.
Where did you get the capital to buy the land?
As a civil servant, I was opportune to be a part of a cooperative society. So, that was how I got money to buy the land. I was also saving separately so I could build my house.
Do you do any other business aside from being a civil servant?
Yes, I have a shop where I sell electrical appliances. I make good money from the business.
How much profit do you make weekly or monthly?
When I was building, I made a total profit of 50,000 monthly. It helped a great deal in running my household after saving my salary.
What were the challenges you had while building?
There were no challenges. My cousins recommended the artisans I hired. I trusted them, and they, in turn, did not slack during the building process; everything was fast. However, the omo onile disturbed me. Different faces would come to collect money daily. I had to reach an agreement with their bosses because I was tired of the daily payment. I also did that for peace to reign and to increase the building construction speed.
How much did the omo onile charge you for each delivery?
After the negotiations, we reached an agreement of N5,000.00 per truck delivery. It wasn’t convenient or easy, but I had to pay to make the construction work faster.
What were your funding sources?
I took out all my savings and also got support from my wife.
How much were you saving, and for how long?
I was saving based on my capacity. Sometimes, I saved half of my salary. Although it wasn’t easy, I just had to do it.
I saved for two years while building the house. Those periods were difficult because I had to give up so many things to ensure ends meet.
What did you give up when saving?
I had to cut down on my extravagant lifestyle. Working on my budget was one of the significant things I did, and it helped reduce needless spending
Was your spouse supportive during this period?
Yes. My wife supported me in her little way during our building project. She always contributed at least N60,000.00 every month. Other times, she would handle the children’s needs.
How long did it take to complete the house?
We completed the house in a year and a half. It was that fast because I had maximum support from my partner, and the artisans delivered projects speedily. Everything happened this way because I was eager to move into my house.
How much was the cost together to build the house?
We spent a total of N2 million on building the house.
For how long did you rent, and how much did it cost annually?
We stayed in a rented apartment for about five years, costing N300,000.00 annually.
What did you hate the most about renting?
Renting comes with its troubles. Living in a rented apartment requires patience, as you are yet to learn who your neighbours are. I had a dirty co-tenant who was terrible at maintaining her surroundings. She would also litter dirt in the compound, attracting flies. An awful odour always emanates from her corner. It was so terrible. Even after consistent complaints to the landlord, there was no change. That was one major thing I hated about that apartment. Living with dirty neighbours can be so frustrating.
Where were you living before you moved to Igando?
We were staying at Egbeda, Lagos. It was a two-bedroom flat.
Did you attempt borrowing during this period?
I almost did, but I had to stop myself.
I thought of the crazy interest on each loan and the repayment terms. Most fintech companies lend money to individuals and expect them to pay it back in a week. It is impossible to pay back in so short a time. That already negates the idea of borrowing- you won’t be at rest until you have paid back your loan. I know people who have had issues with fintech companies, and I know the stress they went through.
How did you build your second house?
I gave the land to a developer to build the house. I knew handling it would be more stressful, so I chose the better option.
Would you recommend the developer?
Of course, yes. The developer did a great job, and he’s someone I know very well.
What’s your take on real estate investment?
I will love to invest in real estate if there’s capital. Having several sources of income is essential, and real estate investment is a potential income stream.
If you were to build again, where else would you choose? Is it on the Island or Mainland?
I would love to build on the Island. I would love to experience living on the Island.
Why do you think it is essential to build as early as possible?
Building as early as possible is very important as there’s sufficient strength. As time passes, old age sets in, and you may no longer have the strength to do that.
For the civil servants, here is my advice – make it a must to build your house while still in service. You may be unable to do so when you’re finally retired and may continue living in a rented apartment. Make Hay while the sun shines.