We stopped our N70,000 weekly family dinner outing to buy our house.
What type of house is it?
It is a detached duplex located in Oniru, VI extension. I bought it for N90 million.
When did you buy it and how did you get to hear about the property?
In 2012. I got to hear about the opportunity to buy a duplex through a friend of mine. The developer my friend introduced me to was offering fully detached houses, which is something my wife was very keen on. And because Oniru is very close to where we both work, it made sense. All in all, I think the developer tried their best to deliver exactly what they promised, but of course not everything is under their control.
How long did it take to complete, and would you recommend the developer?
It took just under a month from the start of the transaction because the house was already at an advanced stage of construction. I had no fears about the transaction because they came highly recommended from a close friend who even had some interest in the company. So, I knew that in case of anything I had someone I could ‘hold.’ Based on my experience, yes, I would recommend them.
How long did the entire transaction take?
The entire process took about 2 months, if I remember correctly.
How much do you think the property is worth now?
Conservatively, I would estimate its current market value at about N175 million now.
What is your profession and that of your spouse if you have one?
I am an engineer, and my wife is an architect.
When did you become a certified engineer?
I was certified in 2003, and I’ve been working for about 16 years now.
What is your total annual household income?
What were your funding sources?
I cleaned out my savings and I also took a loan from friends and family.
How long did you save up to buy the house?
About 4 years in total.
What did you give up when saving?
Travel. Travel expense was the main thing that had to go. Apart from travel, we also cut back on some extravagances like our weekly family dinner outings, which could cost as much as N70,000. Basically, anything that we calculated and saw that it added up overtime which wasn’t an absolute necessity, we struck it out of our budget.
For how long did you rent and how much did it cost annually?
I rented for 12 years, and the last rent I paid was N4 million.
Where were you living before you moved to Oniru?
We rented a lovely semi-detached house in Ikoyi and, left to me, we might even still be there. My wife was the one who was convinced that we needed to move to our own house because that amount was too much for us to be paying for rent. I didn’t particularly have a problem with it, but you know how it is when you’re married – she’s the boss!
How much was your first payment for the house?
I paid N5.5 million to start with.
How would you rate your house on a scale of 1-10?
I would give it a 7.
How would you rate your first accommodation in Lagos on a scale of 1-10?
Ah, that place! I would have to give it a 3 if I am being generous.
Where was this house and what did it look like?
It was a room and parlor in Agege.
How would you rate the infrastructure of your current accommodation on a scale of 1-10?
I would put that at a 3 because of flood, the roads aren’t great and it sometimes feels like I haven’t got value for my money.
Has the infrastructure in the area improved since you moved in? What is the residents/landlords association doing?
The infrastructure is the biggest reason why I miss Ikoyi. Drainage in particular. There is a residents’ association here, but I think there is also some sort of issue with regulatory overreach that prevents us from self-organising to sort out the road and drainage problems.
If you had more money, what kind of house would you buy and where?
I would get a duplex in Ikoyi.
Are you planning to make any investment in real estate to get income?
No. I don’t believe that real estate in Nigeria is actually a smart investment. I think buying a house to live in is a sentimental decision because as an investment, the numbers don’t support it. What do you invest in?
I invest in stocks – foreign tech stocks to be precise. That’s where the real action is.
Would you take a loan from a bank to invest if you could?