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Personal Finance

How to own your first home debt-free in Lagos

If owning your own home debt-free in one of the most expensive cities in Nigeria is what you seek, then these tips will really help.

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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.

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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.

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2. The Home Owner Mindset

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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    Financial Literacy

    Steps to take to bag international scholarships

    Here are the steps you should take if interested in pursuing international scholarships.

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    United Kingdom opens window of job opportunities for international students

    Studying abroad gives you exposure among many other things, and that is precisely why many Nigerians have been looking for ways to study abroad. However, not everybody is privileged with the resources to study overseas and this is where the international scholarship option comes in.

    If you are interested in studying abroad and don’t have enough funds, you should consider applying for international scholarships. This article lists the steps you can take to bag international scholarships but before delving into that, here are some types of scholarships available to you as an international student:

    • Location-based scholarships
    • Course or program-based scholarships
    • Sports-related scholarships
    • Research-based scholarships
    • University-funded scholarships
    • Organization-funded scholarships
    • Government-funded scholarships

    Having discovered the types of international scholarships available to you, here are the steps you should take to bag any of these international scholarships.

    Research: Research is vital if you don’t want to miss out on good opportunities or make mistakes during your application. Research scholarship opportunities available in your prospective college or location and be on the lookout for hidden scholarships.

    Check your eligibility: Having done thorough research and discovered the available scholarship opportunities, check to see if you are eligible for them. Many international scholarships have their criteria and requirement, so you should confirm that you are the right fit first.

    Get the required documents: After confirming your eligibility, you should get the necessary documents. If the scholarship requires you to write an exam, prepare for the exam, write a good statement of purpose and prepare all other documents.

    Start your admission process: Some international scholarships require that you start your admission process and probably get the admission before starting your scholarship application.

    Contact past scholarship winners: You might want to contact the previous scholarship winners to know what they did right and how you can learn from them.

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    Apply for the available scholarships: The last step is to apply to every available scholarship.

    The best way to get funds for your undergraduate, postgraduate, or PhD pursuits abroad is by applying for international scholarships. If you do thorough research, you can find fully funded scholarships that won’t require you to pay any amount. One of the essential steps to getting an international scholarship as a Nigerian is staying abreast of current information and this will require you to network with others.

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    Financial Literacy

    How to stay employable amidst massive unemployment

    Here are some ways to stay employable amidst massive unemployment.

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    With the advancement in technology and change in traditional job roles, the workspace is constantly changing. The recent Covid-19 crisis and its consequent economic downturn have rendered many people who were employed jobless, thereby increasing the rate of unemployment. Surviving in an ever-evolving and uncertain labour market, therefore, becomes a great deal of work which requires improved thinking pattern, continued professional development, life-long learning, and the ability to adapt.

    Here are some ways to stay employable amidst massive unemployment:

    1. Build your expertise

    Companies and organizations are looking for individuals with ideas and knowledge that will shape the company’s growth. Learning more about your field will give you an edge over others. It will also enable you to discover new tools and strategies to adopt, that will keep you marketable and make you an attractive hire.

    2. Be receptive to change and emerging innovations

    Life-long learning is a habit that has to be encouraged if anyone hopes to stay employable. To remain relevant in the workforce, you need to build your competence beyond past qualifications and ideas. Receptiveness to change and emerging innovations will keep you abreast with what is in your career field.

    3. Enhance your job-related skills

    Landing a job is challenging. It is even more difficult during an economic downturn when companies are laying off workers. One of the strategies to stay marketable is to find ways to improve your job skills. Individuals can learn skills that align with current employability needs by taking up training and courses relevant to their career scope.

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    4. Be Savvy on Social Media Platforms

    The recruitment sector is gradually gaining a presence on social media. Many recruitment agencies take to social media to look for and assess prospective candidates for some job opportunities. Building a strong social media profile and network will help to build relationships with peers and potential employers. This network will increase your chances of landing a job. Building a network in career fields of interest will keep you abreast of information and opportunities in your career path.

    5. Refine your soft skills

    As traditional work environments are replaced gradually by remote or virtual workspaces, companies are looking for individuals with soft skills like leadership, managerial competence, creativity, time management, good communication skills, etc. Individuals looking to stay employable have to develop soft skills that will help them remain economically viable. Many organizations do not just want to hire skilled people but also self-regulated and innovative individuals able to carry out tasks independently.

    6. Be Confident 

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    Self-confidence will make you more assertive about your skills, knowledge, and abilities. Confident individuals can communicate their ideas more eloquently and convincingly. This personality will make them stand out and portray them as relevant hands needed in any organization.

    Staying employable in today’s ever-changing and competitive work environment is a process of evaluation, learning, and adaptation.

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