BusinessDay
Nigeria's leading finance and market intelligence news report.

These 3 steps will lead to owning your first home

To any adult in Nigeria, a country where owning a home is more of luxury  than necessity, the reality of having his or her dream house creates a sense  of fulfillment. It is, indeed, an amazing experience everyone would love to and should have.
 Buying your first property can be a challenging task, but the beauty of it is that millions of people have been there and have successfully gone through this process to purchase their first property.
Armed with the right information, you will have the best possible chance of getting a decent, affordable property at a price you can afford. Chudi Ubosi, an estate surveyor and valuer, advises “one block at a time”, especially where there is no mortgage as it is in Nigeria.
Like many other achievements in life, owning a home also comes with some risks. Because of the associated risks with the process, experts advise that one should be cautious. According to them, there are steps to take and you should follow them to ensure it is done safely and properly.
The first step is to have  financial clarity, which has to do with the size of your budget.  Before getting too excited about your dream house and clicking through pages of online listings, there’s need to do a serious audit of your finances. First, you need to take a close look at your monthly income and savings.
You have to be sure that you earn enough income to generate the amount required to purchase your dream house.  “Don’t even consider purchasing a property before you have an emergency savings account with three to six months of living expenses,” warns Udo Okonjo, CEO, Fine & Country.
 “You need to consider a property you can afford, a property within your means,” she adds, noting that buying a property is a big step involving substantial long-term financial commitment, also requiring  thinking hard about what you can afford.
The second step is to have clear knowledge of the market or to get market insight.  As a matter of necessity, you will have to conduct extensive research about the real estate industry- trends, insights and information that will assist you in making an informed decision.
“These can be gotten from real estate experts, property magazines and other online resources as well as real estate reports. Fine & Country also conducts bespoke market research for intending buyers,” Okonjo assures, adding, “having clearly identified your budget and gained relevant knowledge about the real estate market, figuring out a good payment plan for your new home, is very important.”
The next step is to have payment plan. This is because most first time home buyers are always under the impression that paying for a home only involves applying for a loan and making payment to the developer.
That is not always the case. It will surprise you to find that there are various payment types and options. That is why it pays to figure out the best payment plan for you because that can go a long way in ensuring your financial stability.
CHUKA UROKO
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