Femi and Ada have been married for eight years. When they first got married, they both agreed to buy their first home in two years. Like most young couples, they spent a good part of their savings on their first baby who arrived sooner than they had planned.
Femi figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to hold a little longer on the housing project, coupled with the fact that he was now saddled with more bills. Ada had to take a break from work for a year to take care of their baby. Their savings dwindled and by the time Ada was ready to work again, the focus was now on paying school fees for their young son.
Five years passed and Ada got pregnant again with their second baby. Femi took up a side hustle to stay afloat with all their growing expenses. Ada once again had to take a break from work. The cycle continued. They managed to keep up with everything else except their dream of buying their own home.
The idea, however, crossed Ada’s mind from time to time. She wanted a bigger kitchen, an extra room for guests and a play area for her kids. Spending time alone at home with her second baby gave her ample time to think and plan. She looked at the possibility of them buying a home upfront but, before the thought settled, she quickly ruled that out as there was no visible way to make that happen in the nearest future.
Ada wanted a house in Sangotedo; it wasn’t too far from V.I, Ikoyi and the rest of Lekki. Cost of houses in the area where relatively fair and the location was serene for raising kids.
Ada shared her concerns with Femi, sharing her findings of Sangotedo. Femi wasn’t thrilled at first but was ready to actively work towards the goal of homeownership. It meant doubling up at work and saving a lot more. Ada too opted to take on baking and making small chops in her spare time. They both agreed to drastically cut back on expenses, completely taking off the following:
- Takeouts and eating at restaurants.
- Friday night hangouts and drinks with the boys.
- Buying ‘asoebi’.
- Sold off belongings they weren’t using like their old couch that sat in a storage room.
- Minimized her movements to the precise places to maximize fuel consumption.
- Cut down on power and gas usage; switching off lights that weren’t used and monitoring gas consumption.
With Ada’s new food business and Femi putting in more work, it wasn’t long before Femi earned a good commission for closing a client he’d been working on. Meanwhile, Ada used most of her daily income to run their home. After six months, they made a 30% down payment on their newly finished four-bedroom house at Sangotedo.
They opted for a mortgage loan to cover the rest of the payment for a period of five years. Of course, they could have continued saving and directing most of their income towards their housing project but they had other expenditure to worry about like school fees, health care and savings to re-invest in their respective businesses.
Their mortgage program was approved for a period of five years. They set their monthly payment at 20% of their total monthly income. Femi plans to complete the payment even before then. He’s truly grateful for the experience of putting more effort at work and saving more.
He said that the process of buying their first house has instilled a good dose of discipline in him and he wouldn’t stop putting much effort in achieving his goals.When we asked Ada what was the one thing that had driven them to achieve their goal, she said, it was taking the decision to make it happen.
In her words, “when you decide it’s time to own your home, and stay committed to that decision, everything else begins to fall into place. You come up with new ideas, you find better ways to spend money and in short, you become a better person for it.”
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