I believe that if most young people are asked to write out a list of their top 10 life goals, home ownership would be one of them. Let's take some time to examine critical aspects of this subject.
There seems to be a correlation between age and type of home ownership structure that is demanded by various age groups. It seems that young people generally start out preferring to rent either because that is what is practical at the time or they want to live in a particular area where the cost of land is beyond their reach. Then, as they begin to make big money later in life, they engage in major building projects of personal homes with little regard for functionality. Many of them get tired of such homes in old age and some may move to smaller homes later in life. Whatever the reason, the desire for home ownership cuts across.
There are several reasons why individuals want to own a home. One of the common reasons is the security home ownership gives. It gives you a sense of independence. Having a ‘roof over your head’ is a phrase that gives the image of protection and safety. It gives a family a sense of belonging and confidence. The home owner is spared from the whims of the landlord or landlady that a tenant is usually exposed to. The fact is, even if you were a good tenant, your landlord/landlady could serve you a notice to quit for any reason whatsoever including the fact that his/her son who is based overseas is returning home and your apartment is where he/she would prefer to lodge .
In addition, the purchase or building of a home is a form of compulsory savings. Most of us find it difficult to save and when we do save, if we are not committed to specific projects, individuals and circumstances that will help us spend part of the savings will surface. Whether you are building a home or buying one, the project will force you to manage your funds better and channel them into the project at hand. And after all the expenses the capital appreciation of the property is your benefit unlike in a rented apartment. Moreover, when you consider the spiraling increase in rent across the country it may be better for you to invest in yourself or better put, in your own home.
On the other hand, some have stated that home ownership could be more expensive than renting when you consider some associated costs; for instance, maintenance. And if your home is built in certain areas that have a common management policy, you may find yourself paying such a high monthly or annual service charge that may be as high as paying rent. This effectively makes you a tenant in your own house. Also, if you acquire a house using mortgage, if there is an economic depression, the investment of acquiring the house may become a burden and if you fail to keep up with the repayments you may lose the house and your entire investment.
With this balanced mindset you can then decide which is best for you. However, if you desire to become a home owner there are several options open to you. Firstly, you can decide to buy a parcel of land and build a home on it. If you choose this path, you must be careful not to build a house that is too individualistic in design with several odd features. This could make it difficult to sell in future if and when you decide to sell. Build something simple and functional.
Another method of acquiring a home is to buy an already erected home. This seems to be gradually gaining popularity in Nigeria. These homes are normally constructed by developers who are able to deliver professional jobs at a savings. It saves you the time and the hassles of dealing with multiple workers and professionals. You buy what you see. And it sometimes enables you to achieve your goal of moving into your own home within a clearly defined time. However, take time to examine the finishing of the work and you may go with a professional who can confirm the integrity of the work done. The good thing is that you can always get the developer to correct a few things before you pay and pack into the building.
In addition to the above methods, you can buy an older home and remodel or renovate it if necessary. Many older homes were built with better materials and the rooms are usually more spacious. But this is not always the case and you should verify the cost of remodeling the building before you purchase it.
Other issues normally arise with the subject of home ownership that should be given consideration. First, location and convenience for the family. This varies from individuals to individuals based on their goals and priorities. If nearness to good schools is important to a family, the other family members may be more concerned with nearness to their work places or to their places of worship. Since every member of the family will be affected by the move, their interests should be considered.
Secondly, the presence of basic public utilities in the area should be considered. The cost of living in an area where there is no electricity supply could drastically increase your monthly expenses through the need to generate power for personal use and preservation of food stuffs. Finally, watch the trend in the neighborhood. A place where nice and modern buildings are springing up has more potential for growth and appreciation than a rough neighbourhood.