Young couple shares crucial financial lessons about building a house
Lily Ronoh-Waweru, 31 and her husband Johnson Waweru, 35 are making huge sacrifices so they can achieve their objective of owning a home.
The couple holds two jobs each and have postponed buying clothes and going on holiday so they can get money to complete their home – a maisonette. This Christmas, the couple plus their two young children aged six and two, will spend Christmas in their semi-complete home in Limuru.
Waweru rarely sleeps as his side hustle is very involving. The income from his side hustle has enabled the couple to build their home with minimal loans.
“We only borrowed a small loan when we were about to move in so as to build the outside and fix the common toilet and bathroom inside the house. Also, when we moved in, we had accumulated debts from the fundi and suppliers. It took us around three months to pay,” explains Lily, the Editor of Parents Magazine.
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If all goes as planned, the Waweru’s will complete their home by end of 2019 – meaning it would have taken them two-and-a-half-years.
They share the money lessons they have picked along the way:
Make use of inherited land – especially if it is near Nairobi. Plus, you can leave the house to your children.
Be very practical. There is nothing like a dream home. We wanted something functional and within our means.
If you can, build your home when the children are young so you can enjoy the home before they leave the nest.
Our strategy was to move in before the house was complete. We had pressure to complete the ground floor so we could move in. Now we take things in our stride. We get quotations save towards it and once we hit our goal, we call the fundi to proceed.
Don’t rush to build a masionette if you don’t have enough money. It is very expensive and we sometimes regret the decision.
The saying ‘united you stand’ is cliché for a good reason. As a couple you both have to believe in the vision of a home and together work towards it. It will make things so much easier.
Personally supervise the construction and source the materials. Since you are in no hurry, you have time to compare prices and look around what you want and fits your budget.