Becoming a Landlord

Millions of urban families in the so-called Third World face a severe housing problem. They live in homes that lack adequate sanitation, have an irregular electricity supply and are built of flimsy materials. However, the form that the housing problem takes varies greatly between and within countries: homelessness is significant in some places, elsewhere the main problem is one of overcrowding or the unavailability of infrastructure and services. In many Third World cities most poor families rent accommodation, elsewhere they are forced to live in their “own” flimsy shelter. One relatively constant feature is that housing in the countryside is generally worse than that in urban areas. There are no easy solutions to the Third World’s diverse housing problems because a lack of adequate shelter is merely one manifestation of generalised poverty. Decent shelter for all can never be guaranteed so long as there is widespread poverty. At the same time, sensible policies can help mitigate shelter problems. It is important to remove biases in official policy, for example, subsidies should be shifted from the rich to the poor and unnecessary land-use and building regulations should be removed. More should also be done to improve the chances of poor families contributing to their own housing solutions. Making land more accessible, guaranteeing that building materials are not overpriced and providing land with basic services would all help. Little is likely to be gained by slum demolition because that simply increases the number of families requiring shelter. More should be done to encourage the development of rental housing, especially where most poor urban dwellers are tenants and where most landlords live in the same accommodation themselves.1

The word “house” appears in several books of the Bible. Building a house is capital intensive and no wonder the Bible in Proverbs 24: 27 (LB) advise thus:

“Develop your business first before building your house.”

A shelter is a basic need of life, coming perhaps only second to food and clothing. A believer should plan to own his home someday and in pursuit of this goal, he or she should remember the words of Psalm 127:1 which states that “Unless the Lord builds a house, the builders’ work is useless …” Every Christian who has a dream of becoming a landlord should first lay his plans before God and ask for the Lord’s favour and grace to conclude the project. There is nothing more humiliating than starting a building project which does not see completion. When Jesus spoke of counting costs he used analogies that ring as true today as they did two millennia ago; about building projects or battle plans using these analogies to illustrate the spiritual costs of being a disciple – See: Luke 14: 28 – 30. Everyone is aware that rent is a charge that hardly comes down. It is always prone to inflations, especially in the city. Rural dwellers may not be subject to the kind of hardship often experienced by city dwellers in a country like Nigeria. I recall that in the villages those good old days, you simply gathered certain raw materials from the forest nearby to build your thatched hut. A Chinese proverb says:

“A journey of a thousand mile begins with a step.”

Building a house or becoming a landlord is never a function of age or qualification. It is a function of priority and planning. If you belong to the lower and middle class, saving a part of your income will be pivotal to owning a house. A house owner is often a person who has saved and deprived himself of many pleasures. Saving should be an attitude and culture of any prospective landlord. Saving is crucial to real property investment. Where you have no savings, it implies that you have been into frivolous spending or indulged in unprofitable expenditures.

When planning for a house, the location of the building is the first issue to consider. However, I must quickly point out that it is better to be a landlord in suburbs rather than pay heavy rents in central areas of a town or wait indefinitely to own a house in the developed areas of the town. The most important factor in owning a house is premised on strong will and determination because where there is a will, there is always a way. Your determination to own a house will propel you to achieve the vision without hesitation.

The SWOT Analysis/Test should be applied to your finances:

   What is your strength financially?

   How much are you earning and how much can you save?

   What are your weaknesses in achieving this purpose?

   How can you turn this weakness to strength to achieve this purpose?

   What are the available opportunities to you?

   What are the impediment and threat to this vision of becoming a landlord?

At this stage, you need to reduce and cut down on all unnecessary expenditures, while control and discipline is an essential factor. Scales of preference have to be applied and only needs should be attended to and all want should be in K.I.V (kept in view), i.e. aso-ebi should be suspended.

–   Start saving 10% – 20% of your earning for this purpose e.g.

           Save N2, 000 per day.

           N2, 000 x 365 will give N730,000

           N730, 000 x 2 yrs = N1,460,000

           Saving N2, 000 per day could make you a millionaire in 2 years.

Example II

Reduce your beer consumption. Imagine Mr. X that takes 2 big stout per day:

2 big Stout at N350 x 2       = N700

= N700 x 365                     = N127, 750

30 year of beer consumption = 30 x 127,750 = N3, 832,500      

If Mr. X take two (2) big stout per day for 30 years, he would have spent N3,832,500 (Three Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty-two Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) within this period if the money is channeled to saving or investment and the simple interest and compound interest is calculated for 30 years. Mr. X would have been a comfortable Landlord. The most difficult aspect of building house is to get a litigation free land, as soon as this is achieved, the others are less difficult.

Weekly Sources of Finance to Build House

*   Personal Savings;

*   Grant from friends and Relations;

*   Loans from Banks and corporative societies.

Ensuring Personal Savings

–    A bottle of apple/malt drink at N150 can give you a block per day

–   Full B.I.S. Subscription at N3, 000 is equivalent to 2 bags of cement

–   Another plan of B.I.S. at N1, 500 is equivalent to a wage of a labourer on a site per day

–   DSTV full subscription at N10, 500 is equivalent to 6 bags of cement. 

Please discipline and control yourself to become a house owner.

Grants from Friends and Relations

It is almost impossible to get grants from friends or relation neither to procure a piece of land nor to build a house because most of them are yet to be Landlords themselves. But if the building process seems as an investment and the building itself will be seen as an asset, they may consider it worth investing on.

Loan from Banks and Corporative Societies

Source for loan at a low-interest rate and be clear with the terms and conditions before taking any loan. 

Loan from Bank

Loans from a bank are also one source to finance a capital project such as building a house, but this source is certainly not advisable for building a personal house, which primarily will serve as a shelter for our immediate family. However, Banks do have housing scheme but subscribing to any of this scheme is a function of one’s income, particularly your disposable income as other peculiar needs has to be met. 

Stages of Building

–   Acquisition of land

–   Land Survey

–   Building plan

–   Foundation of the building

–   Setting of blocks to window level

–   Setting of block from window level to lintel

–   2/3 coaches of blocks after lintel

–   Roofing

–   Plumbing & conduit wiring

–   Plastering, etc.

–   Painting

To achieve this, you need multiple sources of income. There should be mutual agreement and understanding from your spouse to achieve this vision. Furthermore, all unprofitable expenditures should be cancelled out rightly.

You need to consult widely for the sources of building materials at a competitive price. Proper monitoring on the site is essential on site. Also, pray for God’s favour and mercy to achieve this purpose.

May I wish you success in your vision to become a landlord, congratulations in advance, while I close this article with a track from Bob Marley, “some people feel the rain, while other just get wet.”

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