How to Build Your Own House With Low Income In Nigeria – A Comprehensive Guide

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You too can be a landlord! You can get your own land and build your dream house.  Building your own house is not as difficult as you think. It is possible.  Real estate investment is one of the best investments you can have because it always appreciates in value.

This article is based on my personal experience. I will be sharing with you how you can build your own house easily even if you don’t earn large income. I have done it and I have seen many people do it. Therefore, I know and believe that you too can do it.

 

Reasons why you should build your own house

1. Real estate is an appreciating asset. It always increases in value with time.

2. It is cheaper living in your own house than renting in the long run.

3. You will be more comfortable living in your own house.

4. Having your own house gives you some sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.

5. Your house can be a good inheritance for your children.

6. Your house can be used as a collateral for accessing bank loans.

7. It is cheaper building your house yourself than buying a house.

8. It saves you the stress of paying mortgage for many years.

9. You gain a lot of experience and learn new things in the process.

10. You have the opportunity of building the house to your taste and choice.

 

How to build your own house with low income

1.  Believe you can do it – Many people don’t believe they will ever have a house of their own. They don’t really mind being tenants for life as they believe that the title “landlord” is reserved for the wealthy. This mindset keeps a lot of people as tenants for life.  I have seen many low-income earners build houses while high income earners don’t have a house of their own. If you believe you can do it, you will work towards it and achieve it.

2. Make friends with landlords – You will hardly be a landlord if all your friends are tenants. When you relate with landlords their attitude and mentality will rub off on you. Landlords will guide you and encourage you to build your own house, but some tenants will give you a thousand and one reasons why you cannot build your own house.

3. Make some sacrifices to save – There is nothing you can ever achieve in life without making the needed sacrifice. You will need to cut down on some expenses to achieve the greater goal of becoming a landlord. If you keep a part of the money you spend weekly on fast food restaurants and annually on expensive vacations you will get additional money to invest in your building project.

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4. Open a building account – This has been very useful to a lot of people. Opening a building account makes it easier to save exclusively for your building project. Some banks have an account package for this whereby monthly a certain amount of money from your regular savings or salary account is being debited automatically and your building account is credited with the money. This automatic savings will make it easier for you to get some money for your building project.

5. Buy a land – This is the biggest and most important step to take if you want to build your own house.  People find it difficult to buy land to erect their building for three reasons.

First, they want to buy land at an already developed area of town, like the city center. It is not mandatory that the land must be located at the city center. Some persons want to buy a land at the city center and due to the high cost of lands at such a location, they keep waiting forever to save the required capital to buy such a land. Just get a land at a developing place where people are living. If people are living there, then it’s worth it. With time it would develop.

Another mistake people make that keep them indefinitely as tenants is that they are waiting when they get the money to buy a very large size of land. They want to buy acres or hectares of land. You will never buy a land if you keep waiting for when you have the money to buy a large size of land. All you need is a piece of land. You can buy a plot or even half of a plot of land and build on it. Subsequently, you can always buy that your dream large size of land. However, for now, if you must break out from the shackles of tenant hood, you just need to buy a piece of land and start building.

Also, don’t wait until you have all the money to erect a building before buying a land. Just get the land first, and you will get the money to start the building project.

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Ensure to buy land from reliable source. Before paying for the land make all necessary investigations to be sure that the seller is the genuine owner of the land and that all the papers given to you are genuine. Ask people living around the area.  Many people have been duped, don’t be a victim. Get a lawyer to write the land agreement documents between both parties for you.

If you can, ensure that the land has been surveyed and it is better if the land has the certificate of occupancy, C of O from the government.

Some community lands sold by community leaders are genuine but may not have been surveyed or have C of O. In that case, when you buy the land, ensure that the land is surveyed by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and apply for the Certificate of Occupancy from the state government before building.

6. Get an architect to design a good building plan for you – You need an architect to draw and design your building plan. Just tell him what you have in mind and he will advise you appropriately and both of you can put heads together to bring out a good design that you would like. You also need to submit your building plan to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development for approval. It is important that your building plan is approved before you commence building.

7. Start developing your land – Don’t leave the land fallow. If you leave the land fallow, the land can attract disputes and land grabbers referred to as “Omonile” in Nigeria.  Begin to mold blocks gradually. Get estimates of the number of blocks needed for setting the foundation and start molding blocks for it.

8. Build a decent house that your current income can accommodate – don’t try to build a gigantic building when your cash flow in the past 12 months has not shown that you are capable to do it. There are many abandoned building projects because the owners of such projects did not plan before commencing such projects. Before thinking of building blocks of apartments for rent, first build a simple apartment yourself. After building where you will live with your family, then you can start thinking about building blocks of apartments for rent.

9. Take the building project gradually and in stages – some people have the finance required to take  carry out a building project from foundation to completion within few weeks. However, all fingers are not equal. If you want to carry out the building process as a whole, you might be discouraged. Therefore, it is better to take the building process step by step.

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After buying the land, mold the blocks needed for the foundation, then do the foundation, take the foundation to damp proof course or DPC level, take the building to lintel level, do the roofing, do the ceiling, put the window burglaries, put the doors and windows, install the plumbing and conduit trucking, plaster the walls, put the floor and wall tiles, install the accessories for toilet and kitchen, dig the soak away pit , dig a bore hole and install overhead water storage tank ( for areas where the public water supply system is not functional ), do the painting and electrical wiring etc.

10. Avoid middle men – I can’t stress this enough. Since you are trying to save cost and build your house with little income, you must avoid extra costs.

You spend more with middle men. They charge you extra costs by linking you with the people who do the work. They don’t do the work themselves even when they claim they can do it.  Meet each contractor yourself directly. This way, you eliminate the extra charges.

11. Always get a comparative quotation from your contractors – this will give you a good idea of the prevailing cost of the service you intend to get and which would help you to avoid being over charged for any service. Before choosing a contractor to use for any service, ensure you get at least three quotations from three different contractors.

Following the above steps will help you to achieve your dream of building a house. It has worked for me and for many others. Therefore, it can also work for you.  Why not give it a try?

Have you built a house before? Are you building? Are you planning to build? Share your thoughts and experiences using the comment section below.

 


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