Want to Own Your Own Home in Your 20s? Here’s How

Buying a home early in one’s career, has several advantages. We offer a list of dos and don’ts for young home seekers, to realise their dream of owning their own home

Owning a home is a dream for many and being able to buy a home early in one’s career, can give you lots of joy. Experts point out that very few youngsters take the plunge into this big purchase, as the entire process is often challenging and complex. Although it may seem like a challenging task, if the process is managed smartly, the benefits are worth it.

“A house is one of the most expensive investments, as compared to other purchases. Hence, buying such an appreciating asset early, helps in correctly setting one’s financial goals. Earlier the investment, higher the opportunity to reinvest and multiply your returns,” says Samson Arthur, branch director – Hyderabad, Knight Frank (India) Pvt Ltd.


Benefits of buying a home in the 20s

For a millennial, buying a home is an investment in the financial future, says Rajat Johar, head of residential services, India, CBRE, who explains some of the advantages of buying a home in the 20s:

  • Future investment: It allows youngsters to invest in their future, as it provides them with an asset that can be sold, when they are ready to move on.
  • Youngsters tend to learn better spending habits: It changes the young buyer’s decision-making process, as they learn how to save and spend money in the most effective and efficient manner.
  • Tax benefits: As home buyers get tax credits, youngsters can use it for lowering their tax liability.

“Also, owning a house is a huge responsibility, which can make youngsters more responsible” he says.


Planning aspects that a buyer in his/her 20s should keep in mind

Planning the budget for a home, is more important than evaluating the maximum loan eligibility. For a first home purchase, set aside a budget that is affordable and in-line with your career growth and pay scale. Ensure that you have savings of up to 20-25 per cent of the value of the house, prior to purchase, while the rest could be from a home loan. Maintain sufficient balance in your savings, for emergencies and other investments like marriage, family, vacations, further education, vehicle, etc.

While most banks provide loans of up to 85 per cent of the property value, youngsters need to first check the EMI that they would be comfortable paying each month.

Sunil Sharma, VP – marketing and CRM, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd, offers some suggestions for property buyers in their 20s:

  • Loan planning: Consult at least two to three reputed banking institutions, to understand the nuances of the home loan process, including documentation, interest, repayment terms, tenure implications, EMIs, etc.
  • Project location and connectivity: Work hours tend to be longer at an early career stage and thus, connectivity to core the business districts is important.
  • Social infrastructure: Nearby retail, dining and entertainment options must be considered, given the fact that youngsters give significant importance to recreation avenues.
  • Clear titles and other documentation: A younger buyer may need extra guidance on the various legal aspects of a property, such as land titles, statutory approvals, RERA compliance, etc. A consultant or expert can help evaluate the feasibility of a project in this context.

Inculcate financial discipline, by prioritising savings and asset building and you can end up becoming a smart real estate owner. If you get it right the first time, there is a good chance you will know the pitfalls during future investments.


Why buying a home in the 20s is a wise decision

  • Longer loan-tenure eligibility.
  • More tax saving, due to income tax deduction benefit available against home loan interest and principal repayment.
  • Risk appetite is higher, for which the rewards can be better.
  • A youngster has more time, to balance other financial objectives.

Source: By Amit Sethi

Local Contractors Given Opportunity to Rebuild Housing at Tyndall Air Force Base

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE — More than 800 homes were damaged in Hurricane Michael at Tyndall Air Force Base. Balfour Beatty Communities owns and responsible for repairing over 500 of them.

The company is hoping to hire local contracting companies to repair the interior of the homes.

Richard Cole, Project Manager, said, “we’re doing is asking them to put together their bids to return these homes to a liveable state.”

On Tuesday, the company invited interested local contractors to the base to give them an outline of what the work will consist of.

“There are about 37 homes in the Island View neighborhood. Senior officers live in this neighborhood and we’ve pretty much got this neighborhood set first cause we’re able to do the interior demolition on it,” said Cole.

Cole says there are a couple of reasons they want to hire local businesses for the interior work. The main reason is supporting the local economy but it’s also cost effective. “And secondly, it’s a cost issue. If we’re able to have the local workforce, qualified Florida contractors to come in here and do the work, then we don’t have to pay that extra burden for them to come in and get housing and the extra per diem costs that come along with it.”

He says this week’s meeting is just the first of many and they will go through the same process when they’re ready to tackle the other neighborhoods.

Cole says they hope to have the contracts completed in the next 30 days with the companies they select.

The company is hosting another meeting on Wednesday, April 24.

Contractors interested in pursuing opportunities at Tyndall AFB Homes should contact Balfour Beatty Communities Procurement Project Manager Geoff Hutcherson at TyndallRFP@bbcgrp.com to obtain the Request for Proposal package and indicate their desire to attend a site visit.

By: Kayla Tucker

Labour pledges to end ‘slum’ office housing

Labour says it would scrap a government scheme that allows offices and industrial buildings to be converted into homes without planning permission.

The party said changes to permitted development rules in England had led to the creation of “slum housing and rabbit hutch flats”.

It also said developers had been able to avoid building affordable homes.

The Conservatives said the plans would “cut house building and put a stop to people achieving home ownership”.

In 2013, the government changed planning rules to allow developers to turn offices, warehouses and industrial buildings into residential blocks without getting permission from the local council, in a bid to boost house building.

Barnet House
                                       House in North London is being converted to 254 flats

The rules have since been further relaxed, leading to 42,000 new dwellings being created from former offices in the last few years.

However, permitted development schemes are exempt from official space standards and also from any requirement to provide affordable homes.

Labour said the policy had seen the loss of more than 10,000 affordable homes, and meant that flats “just a few feet wide” were now counted in official statistics as new homes.

It said its policy was still to build 250,000 new homes a year in England with 100,000 being “genuinely affordable”.

“This Conservative housing free-for-all gives developers a free hand to build what they want but ignore what local communities need,” said John Healey, Labour’s shadow housing secretary.

“Labour will give local people control over the housing that gets built in their area and ensure developers build the low-cost, high-quality homes that the country needs.”

Terminus House
Image captionPolice figures show crime recorded at Terminus House, and the car park which sits beneath the housing, rose 45% in the first 10 months of it opening

In one permitted development scheme at Newbury House in Ilford, an office block has been turned into 60 flats measuring as little as 13 sq metres each.

According to national space standards, the minimum floor area for a new one-bedroom one-person home is 37 sq metres.

Critics say the schemes can be damaging to residents’ mental wellbeing, as well as being miles from amenities and conducive to crime.

At Terminus House – a converted office block in Harlow – crime jumped 45% in the first 10 months after people moved in and by 20% within that part of the town centre.

Tackling the housing crisis?

But some developers warn that without permitted development many office to residential schemes would no longer be viable.

The government says the rules are helping tackle the housing crisis and allowing people to get on the housing ladder.

Of the 13,526 homes delivered under permitted development last year, more than three quarters were built outside of London

Marcus Jones, Conservative vice-chair for Local Government, said: “Labour’s plans would cut house building and put a stop to people achieving homeownership.

“We are backing permitted development rights, which are converting dormant offices into places families can call home.

“Whilst Labour put politics before our families, the Conservatives are delivering the houses this country needs so every family has a place to call home.”

Source: BBC NEWS

Housing Stays Weak, Existing Home Sales Drop More Than Expected In March

The U.S. housing market remains distressingly weak, with data published Monday showing existing home sales fell a more-than-expected 4.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.21 million units in March.

A poll of economists by the International Business Times had forecast a consensus estimate of a 3.5 percent drop in existing home sales.  Existing home sales comprise some 90 percent of U.S. total home sales.

February’s existing home sales data was revised to 11.2 percent, or 5.48 million units, from an earlier reading of 11.8 percent, or 5.51 million.

Data on new home sales for March will be published at 10 a.m. Tuesday (23 March). Consensus estimates from the IBT poll forecast new home sales in March would fall 1.5 percent to 646,000 units, from a 4.9 percent month-on-month growth recorded in February.

Existing home sales saw reductions in all four regions last month. There were 1.68 million previously owned homes on the market in March, up from 1.63 million in February. At March’s sales tempo, it might take at least 3.9 months to exhaust the current inventory, compared to 3.6 months in February.

Steep sales declines were also recorded at the lower and upper ends of the housing market in March.

Overall, affordability is being helped along by falling mortgage rates, moderate wage growth and slower house price inflation. Despite this upside, housing supply remains tight (especially at the lower end of the market) since land and labor shortages are making it difficult for builders to boost construction in this market segment.

The larger-than-expected drop in existing home sales for March comes before the busy spring selling season when home sales normally rise. The tepid housing market continues to go in a direction opposite to that of the broader economy, which is regaining growth after slowing down at the start of the year.

Other indicators of construction activity are also downbeat. The Department of Commerce reported last Friday that housing starts fell to 1.139 million units in March, the lowest level since May 2017. This was the second straight monthly drop in home building.

The decline also pushed housing starts well below the 1.5 million to 1.6 million units per month range that realtors say is needed to alleviate the supply shortage.

Realtors also say houses for sale stayed on the market for 36 days in March, down from 44 days in February but up from 30 days a year ago. Some 47 percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers accounted for a third of sales in March, little changed from February but a 30 percent increase from a year ago. Economists and realtors estimate a 40 percent share of first-time buyers is needed for a robust housing market.

In a survey last week, home builders reported strong demand for new homes in April. But they complained about “affordability concerns stemming from a chronic shortage of construction workers and buildable lots.”

Arthur Villasanta

Africa Requires Four Million Housing Units Per Annum to Meet its Housing Need — Shelter Afrique

The Pan-African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique, has said that African continent requires four million housing units per year to meet its housing needs, adding that the continent is facing acute housing crisis.

According to Shelter Afrique, majority of African countries are facing a housing crisis as a result of high population growth, increased urbanisation and low supply of affordable housing.

Housing Speaking recently in Nairobi at the inauguration of Karibu Homes, a low-cost housing project financed by the organisation, Shelter Afrique Chairman, Daniel Nghidinua, said the situation is compounded by lack of affordable housing finance, high cost of urban land and weak tenure security, rising construction costs and rapid growth in slums.

The company is now calling for a stronger public-private-partnership to address the shortage. “These high growth rates have given rise to a surge in the demand for urban infrastructure and housing in urban areas. Unfortunately, urban planning and investment in housing are often lagging behind resulting in housing deficits.

The surge in demand for housing, in turn, has driven up housing prices and often pushed quality housing out of rich for the majority, especially the poor, low, and middle-income households,” Nghidinua said. Shelter Afrique Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Chimphondah, said several countries in the continent are facing huge housing backlog, adding that urgent action was needed to stave-off the crisis.

“It doesn’t matter which country you are referring to any more. Uganda is facing an annual deficit of 1.6 million housing units, Kenya 2 million housing units, Tanzania 3 million housing units, South Africa 3 million housing units, and Nigeria 17 million housing units.

Wherever you go, it’s a crisis and it is incumbent upon us to heed the call to action,” Chimphondah said. Nghidinua noted that even though the housing backlog was a challenge, it wasn’t insurmountable, adding that Shelter Afrique was committed to affordable housing for all in Africa and that the organisation was keen on forging smart partnerships aimed at creating growth with scale.

“We believe this challenge represents an opportunity for coordinated actions and investments by various governments, private sector players, and communities across the continent. Through smart partnerships, we want to focus on the lower end of the affordable housing market chain to be able to address this housing crisis”, Nghidinua said.

In a recent report, the UN-Habitat blamed the huge housing deficits in Africa to poor response of governments to the issue, ignorance by governments on the housing issue, land delivery systems, urban planning and poor organisation of construction sectors in most African countries.

Kingsley Adegboye with Agency report

Fashola Calls on FHA to Invest More on Housing, Job Creation

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has charged the Board of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to invest massively in housing development nationwide as a means to further addressing the challenge of unemployment in the country.

Fashola, who spoke after receiving the annual report of the board of the FHA in his office recently, urged the authority to replicate, nationwide, its ongoing 700 units, 10,000 employees Abuja Mass Housing project in Zuba, saying such an investment, if replicated in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, would create an ecosystem of opportunities for jobs and industrialisation.

Noting that through the project FHA has identified appropriately the critical role that housing development could play in responding to and solving some of the problems and challenges currently faced in the country, the minister said, “If you go to a site where over 700 housing units are being built and 10,000 people are benefiting and getting employment there, you are really then beginning to attack the social issues of exclusion, unemployment, joblessness and restoring the dignity of the human being.”

“If we can have 10,000 people employed in each of the 36 states and the FCT, clearly we will be pushing the needle in a significant way. With SMEs making paints, wires, roofing sheets and all of the building materials, we will really be creating opportunities for labourers who use them, transporters, food vendors and others; it is a huge ecosystem of activities”, he said.

Pledging that his ministry would continue to compliment the efforts of the FHA and what the Federal Mortgage Bank is doing to open up opportunities to allow for mortgage lending, the minister commended the Lawal Shuaibu-led Board of the FHA for coming up with a report of its activities within one year of its inauguration.

“I cannot recall ever reading that a board of the FHA in the recent past ever submitted an annual report after one year. I am highly delighted that within a year of the inauguration of this board, the Lawal Shuaibu-led Board of the FHA is able to look back while it projects forward to say let us go and report to those who appointed us. It is a strong vote, a strong validation of the Muhammadu Buhari administration stance on accountability; what gets measured and reported gets done,” he said.

In his remarks before submitting the Annual Report, which covers March 2018 to March 2019 to the minister, the board chairman, Senator Shuaibu said the report was aimed at highlighting efforts the board has made in its first year towards injecting new ideas and designing strategies for improving governance and service delivery in the agency.

Malikatu Umar Shuaibu

FHA Reveals Challenges of Housing in Nigeria

The Chairman, Board of Directors of the Federal Housing Authority, (FHA), Lawal Shuaibu has identified policy summersault, deficient operational capacity and incessant precarious funding obstacles as the major impediments to full actualisation of the FHA mandate.He lamented that the annual average of FHA production over the years was never more than 1000 housing units prior to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking at the formal presentation of the annual report of the FHA to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing,  Babatunde Fashola in Abuja,  Shuaibu said there is need for immediate actions to strengthen both the institutional and operational capacity of FHA as well as inject fund and sound management of entire assets of FHA.

He noted that historical antecedents in the agency for the past 40 years would lead to the minister arriving at the same conclusion with the board that the FHA could have done much better for Nigerians in housing delivery. Shuaibu explained that the board has seized the prevailing opportunity to help FHA retrace its steps and focus.
Shuaibu said that the report was aimed at highlighting the efforts made by the board in the first year towards injecting new ideas and designing strategies for improved governance and service delivery in the agency.

Responding , Fashola observed that the board has identified the critical role housing development can plan in addressing the challenges the country is facing presently and urged FHA to duplicate the ecosystem of housing provision across the country while FMBN should open up to more mortgage lending.

The Minister said he was delighted that within a year of the inauguration of the board,  they were able to look into the records describing it as a strong validation of the present administration’s commitment to accountability.

Fashola assured that he will go through the report and raise the salient points to the President for further actions ll other parastatals in the ministry that has not submitted their annual reports will see this as a challenge.

Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze and Cornelius Essien,

Government Urged to Suspend Housing Levy

Pressure is mounting on the government to abide by a court order suspending housing levy on all salaried Kenyans.

A section of legislators argue that the tax is insensitive as it comes at a time the country is experiencing harsh economic times.

The move by the state to introduce housing levy in a bid to build 500,000 houses to address housing shortage has dived into strong headwinds.

The High Court has suspended its implementation citing lack of public participation.

Some lawmakers led by Kisii Senator Okong’o Omogeni are urging the government to abide by this directive.

In their opinion, the deductions should be suspended given that Kenyans are undergoing tough economic times.

Besides this, Omogeni holds the view that the housing function should be left under the armpits of county governments to guarantee a seamless roll out.

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The Gusii legislators have in the meantime urged Kenyans to turn out and enlist in the ongoing mass digital listing.

In a notification published last week Tuesday in Kenya’s local dailies, the government indicated that it would start deducting the mandatory 1.5 per cent housing levy from all employees’ monthly basic salary effective this month.

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The government instructed employers to remit the levy with other statutory levies by 9th of every succeeding month.

The first contribution was expected to be made by 9th May 2019.  The housing fund shall be used to finance the affordable housing scheme under the government’s big four agenda.


Cooperation Among Estate Developers‘ll solve Housing Problems – Onaiwu

Worried by the increasing housing challenges FCT residents face, Chief Executive Officer, 007 Properties, a lifestyle, luxury and comfort company, Earl Osaro Onaiwu, has made case for improved cooperation among property developers as panacea to their housing needs.

Speaking during an interactive business lunch with representatives of high profile estate developers in Abuja, the former Director General of Governors Forum said 007 was poised to change the real estate landscape.

He said the meeting was initiated for them to share ideas on how to move the sector forward, noting that cooperation, professionalism and attitude change were key in solving existing housing issues in the territory.

Onaiwu, who decried the perceived mindset of the average Abuja property dealer to sell to the highest bidder and penchant to make more money than the property owners, stressed that with cooperation among the developers they would better understand the areas of need and leverage on each other’s strength.

While assuring that meetings would be regular, he said there was need to review landed property in Abuja noting that with acceptable building plans, and availability of facilities housing problems in the territory could be solved.

On his part, Group managing Director, FMG Platform Empowerment LTD, Francis Okumagba, made case for wealth education, change of wrong mindset on housing and availability of mortgage to enable people could become land and home owners with their rent.

He maintained that with proper strategy one could build houses that are worth more and sell for less, arguing that “money flows on the streets of Nigeria but we don’t know how to put it to use.

“If property developers come together they can do more because everything needed to succeed in real estate is available but success is being constrained by wrong mindset.”

Binta Shama

Brexit Delay to Boost House Prices by 1.1% 

House prices are expected to pick up during spring, despite Brexit delays. Prices rose by 1.1 per cent in April according to Rightmove’s house price index, adding another £3,447 on average to the cost of property.

Average house prices are now at £305,449 up from £302,002. It’s the largest rise seen at this time of year since April 2016.

Over the past few month’s Britain’s fraught departure from the European Union has temporarily stalled the housing market as buyers continue to drag their feet while they wait for the out come of Brexit.

But even though Article 50 has been pushed back until October 31, the report by Rightmove predicts that the “delay could boost the spring market” as buyers become fed up with waiting.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst said that even though it’s usual for house prices to rise in spring, “it’s one of the most price-sensitive markets that we’ve seen for years.”

In March, the average time to sell a property dropped down to 67 days compared January when it peaked at 77, although it’s still not as low as it was in May 2018 at 56.

The amount first-time buyers are spending on houses is up by 0.7 per cent at £190,920 up from £189,606 compared to the month before.

Three to four-bed family homes are the most in demand and have seen a 0.7 per cent price price increase despite a 0.1 per cent drop nationally.

The property analyst has put this down to families’ needs are often driven by the need of more space or local schools which outweigh Brexit uncertainty.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst said: “[House buyers] have already delayed for a year or two waiting for Brexit clarity, and understandably their patience is wearing thin.

House prices ‘will fall this year’ as Brexit uncertainty freezes market. “While some movers are awaiting the outcome of deal or no deal, many families are keeping on dealing in the housing market.”

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