The House You Prefer vs The House You Can Afford

Posted by Bosun Davies /  August 19, 2011 / in Buying & Selling

Hey, welcome!

This blog explains how buying, building or renting a house works in Nigeria. It makes an interesting reading for newbies and outsiders, expats and newcomers, and basically anyone who is not familiar with Nigerian real estate market.

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A recent study shows there's a shift in the housing preferences of Nigerians. The Nigerian Dream is no longer the detached house set on a large expanse of land - instead, nowadays most people prefer the conventional block of flats (or multi-tenant units) within and outside the city center.

Well ... I don't subscribe to this. And here's why.

Don't get me wrong - I don't intend to question the truthfulness of the study. But if you were to ask me "Brabus, what sort of house would you rent, build or buy?" - the scope of my answer would lie within my means. It would simply be "a house that I can afford now - and not my dream house"

In reality, dreams are sort of hard to kill thoughts or ideas that many of us have about things that are beyond our reach - something we will have one day. Its good to have a goal, something to work towards and to look forward to. But we need to realize that CHANGE is the only thing we cannot afford to change.

Take for example, I would absolutely love to live in a new, four or five bedroom house built to the new standards, with big compound, a study and many nice-to-have features. But what I have right now is a 3 bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a 4 flat building. That doesn't sound like my dream house but it was all I could really afford at that stage.

Right now the reality is that less and less people can afford a single family apartment. But should housing become more affordable, we will see more people building their dream house on a large block of land. And the way property market is behaving, we may be headed in the right direction. There are many houses, even after dropping 30% in the asking price - still no buyer or occupant in sight.

Don't acquire or build what you can't afford!

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