One of the natural desire for every human being is to advance their lives to the level where they can fund their own dream home. Yet only a few people ever achieve this goal. The majority of people do not achieve this goal. Not because they don’t want to. But because they lack a clear path to follow. So if owning your own home is your desire. And if owning this home debt-free in one of the most expensive cities in Nigeria is what you seek. Let me show you how it can be done.
There are two key factors to consider before owning your first home. These factors will determine how fast you own your home and whether you own it debt-free. The first factor is the purpose of your first home and the second factor is your mindset and approach.
1. The Purpose of a First Home
The purpose of a first home will to a great extent affect how fast the goal of a first home is achieved. Different people attach different purposes to their first home. But if you want to achieve this goal debt free you must focus on achieving one goal at a time. The reason for this is simple. Your budget is limited at this point and you are most effective focusing on one goal at a time. Second, it is your first time and you are likely to make mistakes. Third the lesser the goal you try to achieve the sooner you ascend the homeownership ladder and own other homes. There are three kinds of homes to own if you approach your first home the right way. The first is the Starter Home also known as the First Home. The second is the Dream home also known as an aspirational Home. And the Third is the Income Producing real estate. Which can be commercial, residential, or mixed-use. While it is possible to try to achieve all three homes in your first home. It is a mistake to do so on a limited budget and when your experience is low. You will do a poor job at it and never truly achieve all three goals. The most effective purpose for a first home is to help you gain freedom from rent. Eliminating rental cost is a worthy goal to attach to your first home especially if you want to do it quickly. And move on to owning other more desirable homes.
So now that you know the three kinds of home and the purpose to attach to your first home. Let look at the second factor that can affect your home ownership goals.
2. The Home Owner Mindset
There are two kinds of mindset and approaches to homeownership. The first is the last destination mindset and the second is the Progressive mindset. Recognizing where you belong is critical for success.
The Last destination mindset is the mindset that approaches their First home as if it is their last. They try to build all three homes in one usually on a limited budget. And they do a poor job at it. They do this because they are driven by emotion to impress. They set unrealistic targets, overbuild their homes, drain their finances, and sacrifice their financial security. The worse of all is that they build these houses in faraway neighborhoods with low-quality tenants, low rent-ability, and the ability to command premium price. The result is financial stress, buyer’s remorse, a strain on their health, and a depreciated lifestyle in retirement. It is hard to make a good decision when the experience is low and emotion is high. The key to building a first home is to keep it simple. Focus on gaining freedom from rent, learn the lessons, and build other homes.
The Progressive Mindset approaches home ownership in a different way. They recognize that their first home is not their last home. And that their appetite and budget will change. They set realistic targets, build homes that meet immediate needs, and fund their homes from their hard work and discipline. The end result is financial peace of mind and the ability to move faster to other types of homes.
So whether you have the last destination mindset or the progressive mindset one thing is common to both parties. They struggle to fund their first homes out of pocket.
How to Fund your First Home Out of Pocket
The major challenge facing those trying to own a home is how to fund their first home out of pocket. There are expensive and non-expensive options to choose from. One of the least expensive options is to fund the building of your own home from your own hard work and discipline. Taking a loan for a first home is not advisable as it limits your chances of ascending the homeownership ladder. The second reason is that anything you are doing for the first time will be first done poorly before it is done well. Doing trial and error on other people’s money increases your financial risk. Third funding your own home out of pocket keeps your budget within the limit. The temptation is to increase the budget when you have access to a loan. So if you are ready to fund your first home out of pocket let me show you exactly how you can achieve it.
There are six things you need to do to fund your first home out of pocket successfully. The First is to move from a single income to multiple streams of income. The second is to build a solid cash Reserve for liquidity. The third is to protect yourself from emergencies. The fourth is to invest in the Right Land and Neighborhood. The fifth is to share the cost of construction. And the sixth is to use innovation to build easily rentable, and sellable homes. Below I explain each of these concepts in detail.
1. Move from One Income to Multiple Streams of Income
A single Income is too weak to fund your homeownership dreams. Having multiple sources of income is the fastest way to achieve your goals. To create multiple streams of income there are three steps to follow. The first step is to combine a part-time income with your full-time income. The second step is to add a solid passive investment income and earn money in your sleep. The third is to have other human beings work for you. Moving from one income to multiple incomes takes deliberate actions. It also takes access to income-earning opportunities and the strategic effort to combine sources of income that can work together easily. To fund your dream home you must move from a single income to multiple incomes. If you need help achieving this migration send an email to [email protected]
2. Build a Solid Cash Reserve
Homeownership is a cash draining activity. Thus you must maintain liquidity throughout the process. The only way to do this is to build a solid cash reserve that can handle basic needs. Building a solid cash reserve entails two things. The first is earning more income and the second is managing the financial demands from your past life and present lifestyle. To own your own home out of pocket you must produce new income streams and keep a low maintenance lifestyle. You must also run an economically efficient household if you are married and bring everyone on board. Without this, it is hard to achieve success.
3. Protect yourself from Emergencies
The majority of the things we call emergencies are created and not bestowed. There are created from our lack of timely decision and planning. So if you want to live an emergency free life you must plan ahead for likely emergencies. There are three things to do to an emergency that is likely to occur. The first thing is to prevent it. The second thing is to make provisions for it. And the third is to transfer it to a third party.
So what types of emergencies are the most likely to occur?
There are six emergencies to plan for if you must achieve your homeownership goal disruption-free. The first is the loss of Income. You can protect yourself from this emergency by building a solid cash reserve. The second is the Health Crises. No sick person can build a house. So maintaining positive health habits that keeping your health resilient and strong is critical. You must also make provisions for medical bills. The third is Car emergency. A major car breaks down will affect your productivity and concentration. You must thus plan ahead for car emergencies and protect yourself with the right insurance vehicle. The Fourth is school Fees. School fees like rent is a major cost element that can interrupt your housing project. You must ensure that you keep your school appetite and budget within reasonable limits. Putting your children in schools that massage your ego but deprive you of your goals is not wise. It is the main reason why people end up becoming a burden in retirement. The fifth is rent. You must keep the cost of rent down and within reasonable limits. High rent and homeownership do not go well together. The sixth is Parental care. Parental care can be a major disruption if not planned for. They include parent’s upkeep, health care cost, and burial expenses. You must plan ahead for these costs and use the right insurance vehicle to transfer them.
Funding your first home with little or No emergencies is the key to quickly achieving your goals.
4. Choose the Right Land and Neighborhood
Buying an already built home or building and buying land at the same time is a difficult goal to achieve for most people. So the less difficult way to acquire the land first. And this is where acquiring the right land comes in. Acquiring the right land is all about investing in the right neighborhood. And there are certain factors that determine the kind of land you should buy. These factors are what I call the end goal factors and there are four of them.
The first is the Build and Live end goal. This is where you build your first home and live in it. If this is your goal buy land where you can live and be happy. The second is the Build, Live, and Rent end goal. This is where you build a multi-family home and live in one and rent the others out. If this is your goal you must buy land where you want to live and where other high-quality tenants also want to live. The third end goal is Build and Rent. This is where you build a house and rent it all out with the hopes that the rental income will pay for the rent where you live. If this is your end goal you must invest in neighborhoods that can attract high-quality tenants. The fourth end goal is to Build and Sell. This is where you build a house and sell it with the hopes of reinvesting the proceeds in a better location. If this is your goal you must invest in neighborhoods that can command premium sales price.
Your end goal and exit strategy are what determines the type of land you should buy.
But what if you cannot afford to buy the land where you want to live?
There are three things you can do. The first is to take the land banking Route. This is where you buy pieces of land in hopes that in time, it will go up in value. Perhaps because it is in a strategic location. Land banking may be appropriate for you if homeownership is not an immediate need.
The disadvantage of land banking though is that it is risky. It is risky because you are guessing that an event in the future will increase the value of the land. It is also risky because you cannot control the speed of appreciation of your property which may take 10-20years. Lands in developing areas are also the most difficult to sell. Land banking thus works if you are willing to tie up money for a long time. It works especially well when an area is in transition or carries a huge potential for future profit. Land banking and homeownership are thus are two separate paths.
The second option is to make more money fast and accumulate what you need to fund your own land investment. You can also leverage the installment payment offered by most land companies to make the investment easy for you. The third option is to combine resources with friends or people of like-minds and co-invest in a neighborhood you all want to live in.
Breaking down the homeownership goal into a land investment first before construction is the best way to own a home without breaking your back. You must also ensure to invest in neighborhoods that are desirable, livable, and rentable.
5. Share and Reduce the Cost of Construction
By default, everyone builds their own home with their own resources. But it is possible to share the burden with other people if you choose the land correctly. Sharing the cost of construction can happen in two ways. First, it can be through a Joint venture between you and a developer. Where you contribute the land and the developer build the houses. Bringing in a developer as an investor and partner to build the house for an agreed reward is one of the most effective ways to build your first home. It brings in the capital you need plus the developer lends you his or her expertise.
The Second way to reduce or share the cost of construction is by partnering with friends or people of like minds. If your land is in a desirable location you create massive opportunities for partnerships both from ordinary people, developers, and investors. The key to success here is to answer this question. What kind of land do I need to buy that will attract investors or my friends to co-invest with me? And then focus on getting that land.
6. Build easily rentable and sellable homes
Building a home is more than just creating a box where people live. It is about using creativity to design eye-catching, and conversation-starting architecture that stands out. When you build a home that makes people stop and notice you get automatic referrals. And selling or renting that home becomes easy. If your end goal is to sell or rent your home, you must use innovation to create something likable and distinctive. This is not to say you should spend a fortune on your first home. You can be creative without being foolishly expensive. The key to success here is to know what your target tenants and buyers want. And to know what they will pay a high price for. Unless you are sure a feature will add value to the sales price, there is no need for it. Building homes just for beauty and ego is a waste of money. Tenants and buyers will only invest in your home because they like them and not because you built what you like. Ask yourself the question. “What design elements could I innovate into my property that would make it more desirable and command premium than competing properties? With some concentrated effort, you can find the answer.
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Funding your first home out of pocket is simple but not easy. To succeed you must combine the elements of earning more income, investing in the right neighborhood, reducing the cost, and approaching it with the right mindset. If you need help achieving any of the steps highlighted in this article or need a homeownership mentor to guide you, we can help you. Send an email to [email protected]
Remembers it is better to be rent-free and loan free at the same time and not transfer your rent from a landlord to a Bank-lord.
How to build solid financial success system and achieve financial freedom quickly
These are the three systems you need to speed up your financial success by almost 20 times.
The majority of people I know want to increase their financial success. If this is also what you want to do, you need solid financial systems.
What systems do you need and how do you increase financial success especially if you are stuck in a 9-5 job? In this article, I will show you exactly what to do.
To increase your financial success, there are three systems you need. These systems determine how fast or slow you achieve financial freedom and are explained below.
Multiple Income System
This is the system that brings in massive money into your life. It comprises 3 main components – quality of your main income, source of your income, type of income.
The quality of your income can be high or Low. It is high if your main income gives you the ability to save more than you spend. It is low when you can only spend more than you save. High-quality income is the only type of income that can make you rich.
The second component of the multiple income system is the source of your income and there are two types – the one source income and multiple source income. The key to fast-tracking your financial success is to upgrade your source of income from one to many.
The third component of the multiple income system is the type of income you earn. There are two types of income – active income and passive income.
When you earn only active income or have a weak passive income, you limit your chances of financial success. True success is created when you have a strong active income and a strong passive income. You accelerate your financial success when you depend on passive than active income.
These are the three components of the multiple income system. When you have all three components working for you, you accelerate your financial success by almost twenty times.
So, now that you know the first system for fast-tracking your financial success, let’s look at the second system.
Money Preservation System
Earning extra income is just one step in the financial success process. What truly creates wealth is the income that you keep. True riches are created when you keep more income for yourself.
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Most people are only keeping leftovers for themselves. They are enriching others through their spending and getting poorer and broke every day. To achieve financial success, you must preserve more of what you earn. To succeed with preserving income, you must maximize two key components – the savings component and investing components.
The savings component works best when you save big portions of your income every month and investing your savings to produce solid passive income. To save big portions, you must strive to increase your savings by 1% every month. You must also try to maintain a low maintenance living standard.
The second thing to do to preserve your income, is to ensure that money saved and invested is never lost. Losing money through unguided investment decisions is not wise. To achieve financial success, you must invest to preserve your savings.
So, now that you know the second system that can accelerate your financial success. Let’s look at the third system.
Money Multiplication System
The money multiplication system is the system that enlarges your wealth. There is a limit to which savings and investing alone can make you rich.
This is because they are heavily dependent on your own direct effort. To create massive wealth, you need to move beyond your effort and create systems that can enlarge wealth even in your sleep. To create this kind of system you need one critical component – Leverage.
What is Leverage?
The best way for me to explain leverage is to use the example of a school Teacher and a movie star. A school teacher solves the problem of ignorance through education and a movie star also solves the problem of ignorance and boredom through education and entertainment.
Both teach their audience something about themselves or other people, that they do not know before. A teacher delivers her services by standing in front of a few students and is confined to a classroom. Every day of her life she does the same thing, teaching the same materials to different kinds of students.
Without her presence, her work cannot be delivered, her time is blocked. She is cut off from the wider society and can only earn income from her direct effort. Although, the teacher arguably provides higher perceived value than the movie star, she lacks leverage and her income is limited by it. This, therefore, means that you can provide enormous value and still not be rich. Value alone does not lead to wealth. It is value and leverage that creates massive wealth.
The movie star in contrast has massive leverage. He shoots a movie in some remote town unknown to the audience. He invests weeks, months, and sometimes years producing the movie. But, once produced, he never has to do the same movie over again. The movie produced is distributed all over the world. He is seen on all the media platforms, in theatre, television, and DVDs.
His movie is watched by billions of people. He is able to build a solid fan base and is patronized from all over the world. A movie star works once and is paid for a lifetime. It is the long-lasting and far-reaching value of the work of a movie star that makes him richer and wealthier than the classroom teacher. Thus, even with little perceived value, a person can create massive wealth with the right leverage.
Leverage is thus the ability to work once and be paid for life. It also the ability to do it in one place and spread it all over the world. The tools that make leverage possible is the right relationships, the right media platform, and the right distribution system. If you do not build your own leverage system, there is a limit to how much money you can earn.
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
So, these are the three systems you need to speed up your financial success by almost 20 times. Perhaps, you are thinking to yourself how do I build these systems and where do I start. If this is you, we can help. We will help you build these systems and accelerate your journey to financial success. If you need help, send an email to [email protected]
Grace Agada is the Senior Financial Happiness Director at Create Solid Wealth. She is an Author and Column Contributor in six National Newspapers. She is a contributor at BellaNaija, Nairametrics and Proshare. She is on a mission to help working-class professionals and CEOs become more financially successful. To learn more about Grace and how she can help you, send an email to [email protected]
Must-do things after you finally become debt-free
Now you are finally debt-free, these next steps will help you make sure you never fall back into debt again.
So now that you are debt-free what next? Remember that clearing your debt is just one part of the exercise; staying out of debt is vital to ensure that you don’t end up in the same financial injury. Living debt-free is not rocket science. All it requires is the consciousness that healthy finance is essential for you to live a happy life.
You may want to check out our previous articles 9 Brilliant ideas to pay off debt fast in 2021 and How to get out of debt: A step-by-step guide where we discussed extensively how to find your way out of debt.
Outlined below are some things to help you live debt-free; have a good read.
Make a list of your income and expenses
The first thing to do to ensure that you don’t fall into debt is to plan. Planning is such a vital step to success for anything we want to do in life. Indeed, if you don’t want to fail, you cannot neglect to plan. This doesn’t have to be complicated in any way. It’s as simple as you putting down words and figures. The first step in this process is making a list. You need to see on paper, what your finance looks like. It may not seem like such an important thing to do, but it is necessary. Making this list, all you have to do is write out what you earn on one side. If you have different streams of income, put it all on paper. Then, write out your expenses on paper, everything you know you spend money on monthly. Depending on when you receive your incomes; you can make it weekly or bi-weekly. Just compare how much is coming in against how much is going out.
Create a budget plan
The next step in the planning process is to create a budget. Based on your analysis from the step above, you should assign every dollar/naira you earn a task. You cannot afford to be passive with your money, give them work to do. They are available to make life easier for you right, but if you don’t tell them what to do, they cannot help you achieve that. You have to understand also; depending on what the ratio of your income to expenses is, you might need to make certain adjustments. In fact, if you want to stay out of debt, you NEED to make those adjustments. This step is not as difficult as you may think, if you do not know how to go about this process of creating a budget, you can use a budgeting app to make it easier for you. There are so many choices out there so you must choose wisely because your financial needs may be different from your neighbour’s.
Be intentional about your money
This tip can be summarised into the first two steps already outlined. But it is such an essential factor that deserves special attention. Intentional merely is being deliberate in your actions. Therefore, being intentional about your money requires that you don’t leave anything to chance. Conscious money habits will ensure better financial health and keep you from running into debt. So, as basic as the first two steps might seem to you, you really cannot neglect them.
Do not make purchases based on emotions
It is very easy to spend to make ourselves feel better. The painful truth is that the things you buy won’t make you feel better. They cannot take away that feeling, because when the initial gratification has waned, you would still be left with that emptiness you were feeling in the first place.
Unsubscribe from sales emails
Everybody likes to get the first updates for those juicy deals and grab them as they come. If you have not planned for it, please don’t do it. You have to unsubscribe from emails that make you spend more money. Remember that the person sending those emails wants to make money. You do not need to place that instant ordering; turn it off.
Maintain a good credit score
Remember when we talked about how to stay out of debt; one of the tips offered was to negotiate lower interest rates. Having a good credit score qualifies you for lower interest rates. More than that; having a good credit score grants you more negotiating power, better insurance deposits, easier approval for loan requests, it also affords you higher credit limits. Overall, having a good credit score places you on better standing than having a bad one.
Do not tie up your money in illiquid investments
As necessary as an investment is, you must engage in those with high liquidity as opposed to illiquid investments.
Earn more money
There is no human on this planet that this idea will not be appealing to. We always want to have more money, no matter how much we already have; it’s in our nature. The simple ways to earn more money is to get a side hustle, become a freelancer or contractor; use your skills to make money. With unlimited access to technology, the world of work offers more opportunity than ever for anyone to turn their skills into pay.
Staying out of debt can be summed into these few words; “Live within your means”. The way to ensure that you do that is by planning. Be intentional about your money. Life can happen at any time but even when it does, with a proper plan already in place, you will be better equipped to handle unforeseen circumstances than when you don’t even know where your money is coming from.
How to get out of debt: A step-by-step guide
Follow these few simple practices and you may well be on your way to living a debt-free life.
Having to run or hide from someone just because you owe them some money is not a very fun exercise. But what if you didn’t have to do it, what if you lived debt free? Hold your gasps; it’s not so shocking. It is very attainable, and if you can follow the few simple practices we’re about to examine, you can be well on your way to FREEDOM.
Here, we’ve outlined necessary steps to help you live debt-free;
Gather your data: These include records and information that contain your bills and expenses, income and source(s) of income, credit score etc. the goal here is to get you acquainted with yourself. You have to know yourself well enough to understand your spending pattern and identify critical areas to adjust or habits to do away with.
Understand your debt: Make a list of all your debts, all that you currently owe, and how much interest rates are charged on them. Remember to include the minimum required payment for each debt. This would help you understand the type of debt(s) you owe. Understanding your debt will help you know how it happened and give you a clearer perspective on how to clear it. If you have more than one type of debt, it can be challenging to keep track, and you may find yourself always paying money and not even knowing if you are a step closer to clearing your debts. But you cannot begin to pay off your debt until you understand what the figures in your records represent.
Create a budget and debt pay-off plan: Creating a budget should have come as a first step. However, that would be more effective in the situation that debt doesn’t exist, because one of the reasons for budgeting is to make sure that you DON’T fall into debt. Having gathered your data and coming to terms with what the records are; the next thing to do is to create a plan. There are different tools you can utilize to help you. A simple keyword search would give you an idea of what to do. The budget plan doesn’t have to be complicated, create a list that you would be able to understand and stick to the program.
Lower your interest rates: The reason why people fall into debt and find it challenging to pay is due to the interest rate charged on their actual amount borrowed. You see; because you are required to pay interest rates on that money, it drags out the length of time you could payback. Negotiate your interest rates lower. Even when you may have already borrowed and started paying it off, if you find it challenging to complete payment, you should consider asking for lower interest rates. Depending on who your lender is, and how persuasive you are, you may find yourself having less to worry about.
Pay more than you have to pay: Another reason you could remain indebted to someone is when you stick to just paying the monthly required amount. Because of the interest charged on most loans, you only concentrate on paying that specific amount for that particular month. That keeps you in debt because instead of bringing you closer to clearing your debt, you are only dragging it out. Regardless of the interest rate, if you can pay more than the expected amount, you should go on to do so. It is something that you can discuss with your lender. It serves both of you because the faster you clear your debt, the quicker he gets his money back.
Earn More Money: To settle your debt, you have to go out of your way to ensure that your income supersedes your expenses. One way you could earn more money is by starting a ‘side hustle’ or taking a part-time job. In this modern age, there are more opportunities than ever, for anyone to diversify their streams of income. And most of these gigs are conveniently remote; you can run them from the comfort of your home. Of course, any human would be elated at the prospect of earning money, and when you are in debt, you just have to go out of your way to do everything possible to clear.
Curb Your Excesses: If you are in debt and you are finding it difficult to clear, evaluating your lifestyle habits could help put things into perspective. You have to be honest with yourself. If you want to pay off your debt faster, you’ll need to cut your expenses as much as possible. One tool you can create and use is a bare-bones budget. This is a strategy you can use to make your expenses as low as it can go and live a minimalist lifestyle. Live only on bare necessities and do away with frugality.
No matter the type of debt, you can always clear it. Never believe that it is impossible. Always remember to have a plan. You really cannot afford to leave your life to chance. Be intentional about every aspect of your life, especially with your finances.