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Housing Project, Opinion

Why Nigerians Prefer Bigger Homes.

Nigerians have lofty dreams and often look at the future with blink interest. The fear that certain previlages may be withdrawn from them within a short while, often tend to make them prepare and acquire wealth meant for generations unborn thereby putting themselves into unnecessary hassles. This is also why they always build property they cannot manage alone just to show off. So to advise one to build small homes may be one advice that may be thron out. Those who consider the idea of building small houses are mostly seen as people who are not affluent in the society. In places like Dubai, where real estate accounts for 20 per cent of GDP (compared to an average of 7 per cent in most other countries), governments need to reconsider regulation of the real estate sector. This is necessary in order to ensure that the sector continues to be healthy, transparent, professional and not-fragile, while keeping the whole economy balanced.

The Great Recession of 2007 has taught most Africans costly lesson of what it means for a real estate sector to be out of control. There was a financial loss of more than $14 trillion in the United States alone, and more than 20 million jobs were lost worldwide, according to the International Labour Organization. This was a crisis of confidence, when people’s trust in governments and businesses were at an all-time low. Unfortunately, this trend continues until this day. Therefore, governments and businesses need to find a formula to regain people’s confidence, as traditional regulation of real estate has proven ineffective.

All homes are mostly the ones whose economic and financial levels are nothing to write home about, so they manage to develop the small home to shelter the nucleus family. Also, when life seems too complicated, some people advocate the solution that it is better to move into a smaller home to have a bigger life.

Although, for some, the tiny house movement has become a way of life, adjusting to a smaller space and fewer possessions, with a goal of saving money and focusing on relationships and experiences. This system is not rampant in the country because of government housing policy. Housing policy in Nigeria can be defined as the government’s action on its people’s housing objectives. Basically, whenever the government gets directly involved in the housing objectives of its people, either by taking actions to provide shelter for her citizenry or by taking actions to improve the quality of the shelter of its people, it means talking about government housing policy. A second perspective of housing policy would be government interventions and subsidies on housing. In this case, we are talking about any government effort to make housing affordable for its people or and its attempt to take care of the housing of its homeless citizenry. Since housing is one of the most fundamental needs of the human race, it goes without saying that everyone should be interested in knowing and understanding the government policies out there that could make it easier or more difficult for one to get his/her own basic shelter or the house of his dreams.

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When you talk of policies in places like Dubai, where real estate accounts for 20 per cent of GDP (compared to an average of 7 per cent in most other countries like Nigeria), governments need to reconsider regulation of the real estate sector. This is necessary in order to ensure that the sector continues to be healthy, transparent, professional and anti-fragile, while keeping the whole economy in bal- ance. The regulations will also help to examine and determine why one should go into a style of building
in consideration with where he intends to build it.

Those that go after small home despite government policies, have some advantages they believe could be inherent in the system. For in- stance , if you’re looking for reasons to build small, there are some ideas to think about. In this regards, the biggest or best reason for doing so is very subjective. Ultimately, you will decide what is most important to you. First and foremost, small homes are easier and cheaper to maintain. Building a small home is quicker and less expensive. With a good design, a small home can be cozy and comfortable and the costs to heat and cool is less. It will make your home less expensive because in-laws and friends coming to your home already know that you don’t have space and so shall make their visits very snappy. They will legitimately know they will require a motel to stay in. Although, these are some of the reasons people go after small home, the Nigerian housing policy has got a lot of challenges.

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In 1991, for instance, Nigeria got a new housing policy that was intended to provide solutions to the problem of housing her increasing population. Twenty years later, the government confessed its inability to achieve the then set objectives and went on to review the National Housing policy. In 2012, Nigeria got her latest national housing policy that promised Nigerians real mass housing which the country has been dreaming of. The new national housing policy emphasized the introduction of mass housings that will provide houses for Nigerians of all financial levels. The policy also introduced the concept of social housing stating that the government hoped to provide housing for even the poorest of the poor by making houses that aren’t for luxury but that will ensure every Nigerian gets a house.

Three year slater, in 2015,a check was made with the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to analyse the progress made with housing the poorest of the poor and how one can get the social houses the government promised. The report was that the government has not started on that project. Surprised, questions were asked why it is taking so long and the authority stated that the process was at its planning stage which must come before execution. So, for all these, it will make sense for you to ponder the possible disadvantages as well. If your house is small, it can also be very frustrating. The small home can be a problem to the woman in the home because there is not enough storage to ‘play’ around, put this utensils and the food stuff. Because the space is too small, it could be too crowded or closed in to be comfortable. You would not want to put yourself in position of rejecting the home in a year or two. The fact that you feel uncomfortable, the owner of a small home always consider resale value and because it does appeal to a large enough market, it could be a liability to the owner.

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For some time, bigger was better. Families, especially in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt could need large space just like in North America where houses seemed to get bigger and bigger. But things are changing. It’s not that big is no longer desirable, but there’s definitely a move towards smaller homes. To make sure that your small home is marketable, get professional help with its design. Small homes require thoughtful design and experts recommend that you find a good architect. You really want to maximize your space, focus on comfort, and enhance its usability. Good designers can do that for you. Governments need to create and enforce high quality governance practices for the industry, while still leaving room for creativity and innovation.

One of the reasons for this is that the real estate market does not have official, and therefore credible, access to performance indices or accurate information on supply, demand, property sales prices, ownership records and other important market variables.

source: Nweke, (manweke@gmail.com)

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