1. To Create A Place That Defines You There is something about the house you build yourself. It defines you; the colours, the interiors and other details all have a story best known to you alone. From childhood we are exposed to different kinds of home designs and neighbourhoods and get to discover what we like and what we don’t. This desire changes over time to accommodate new discoveries and more realities about our housing needs. You may prefer a large family and therefore need a large house, or you may just go for a small bungalow with 80% of the land surrounded by palm trees if you just want a family of 3. These unique needs might be hard to get in rented apartments where some landlords raise a red flag when there are too many people in your flat, while the option of buying a ready made house might not be the solution as the home design is not unique to your requirements. 2. To Escape Landlord Wahala Yesterday, he yelled at you from his balcony because you didn’t park your car well. Today’s shout is because your baby cried at night and his dog died in the morning, so he lit some candles at your doorstep to ward off the demons in your territory. You move to another house and landlord was so cool you almost added him on Facebook only for him to start behaving like your last landlord after few months. Suddenly it feels like they both read the book “How to DEAL With Your Tenants”. After 4 landlords (or landladies) and an unbeaten run of bad experiences, you start to think maybe you should become a landlord and end the abuse. Please, join the landlord club and get the bragging rights. Remember, you didn’t come to the city to count ceilings. 3. For Future Investment Nigeria is seriously undersupplied when it comes to housing. As a result there is more demand than supply, and it doesn’t seem it would end soon. Out of 700,000 home units needed to be constructed annually only 100,000 are being constructed. Scarcity increases value, building a house now is one of the surest investments you can have. Generally, once a house is constructed, the value of the house is almost instantly double the actual cost. Only few investments guarantee such growth in value. Unlike cars, a house is actually an asset, and its value grows year-on-year and it can be used for loan guarantees. In case you have a prolonged financial challenge, you can sell your house, buy cheap land in a growing neighbourhood to build a new house, and use the extra saving for more liquid business purposes. Whichever way, you never lose 4. Cost Savings Picture this scenario: A three bedroom flat in the heart of Ikeja, Lagos currently costs about 1.5 million naira, and in 10 years you will have spent 15 million naira (assuming there is no increase in rent). If in these ten years you are still in the same house, you will probably have become the deputy landlord and will be giving other new tenants orientation on how to live in the new place. Alternatively, you can build a three-bedroom bungalow (plus land) in Mowe/Ibafo, Ikorodu or even Ibeju-lekki axes with 15 million Naira. In 10 years you will have a more populated neighbourhood and your house could be worth as much as 25 million Naira. 5. Leaving A Legacy It has been said that the best legacies are the ones we build. Have you ever taken a trip to the first storey building in Nigeria? If yes, were you told about the rooms Samuel Ajayi Crowther lived in and where he worked from? Have you been to the new kalakuta republic where fela lived and still lives on? Have you been to Wole Soyinka’s house in Ogun State? What about your family house/compound built by your grandfather or father back in your hometown? These buildings arouse the life and times of their owners in you. It is in people’s houses that we understand how they lived their lives. The houses we live in are an extension of who we are. Don’t live and leave your best memories in a rented apartment. Build one so you can own your memories, and leave something for your generation to cherish. 6. Readiness For Your Grey Years Old age comes with a lot of uncertainty. Health, finances, and the society seem to change so fast. You feel dependent, and it is almost 50 years ago you felt this way. You no longer have the huge paying job you desire and you do not have the strength to pursue some money-getting goals. You realise you are out of the league in a fast-paced world. The last thing you want is to be homeless and become a financial liability to your kids for those yearly house rents. When you don’t have a constant source of income it is smart to reduce your constant expenditure – of which housing tops the list. Having a house gives you the assurance that there is a place for you in this world and for people who want to visit you. Yes, those visits matter especially as you get older. By now your kids and dependants have already moved on to face their own life battles, and they may not understand how loneliness is the new fear for you. With your own house, you can have your friends come over when they are in your area, and your grandkids can have their holidays with you. You can also demarcate your house and rent out one of the rooms to a younger person so the home feels lively. 7. Just Because What You Own is indeed Your ‘Own’ (Not What You Lease, Please!) You may argue that this subheading is a lame attempt at punning, but at least you get the basic idea. The name on the title deed on the duplex or apartment you have rented for the past 8 years is still that of the owner and there is no known real estate rule that converts years of lease into direct ownership except you pay the valued asking price to own the property. Has your current neighbour, landlord or work colleague ever been ‘high’ or drunk enough to ask you to move out of your own car ‘with immediate effect’ when you have planned a trip somewhere just because ‘they feel like’? “No way that could never happen”, you say. The same way one cannot place a premium on the ease, comfort, confidence, freedom and bliss of calling the shelter over the head of you and your family ‘Your Own’. While this seems quite clear and it is obviously sensible to work towards building/owning one’s private residence, the many challenges (starting from financial/economic factors to lack of adequate information and guide) has perpetually held many Nigerians bound from making a bold move towards achieving this desirable goal; but please ask yourself this frank question: ‘’If every other person who owns houses today chose to remain at the point of making excuses, would they own their houses now?”. Remember, excuses are the nails with which the houses of failure are being built. The choice of the kind of comfort and freedom your desire is entirely up to you.