Once you own your home you do not have to worry about being given an eviction notice or asked to leave by the landlord. You are under no obligation to any agent or landlord and neither you do you have to worry about shifting or finding another home because you will never have to move out. So it is only wise to invest as much as one can on acquiring a dwelling of their own.
Yes you can!
A salary of Shs 800,000 is a head-start in most companies but it is as good as useless for most young corporates. Renting a modest two-roomed house alone goes for Shs 250,000 in the surrounding areas of the city, including upcountry towns. Factor in the expenses of food, transport and the must-have of entertainment and the salary is completely wiped out.
In fact, young people this age, fresh from university, usually have to solicit for bail-outs from parents or they borrow, making the situation even grimmer with debts to pay. Completely convinced they cannot survive on this amount for 30 days, the mention of building a house in itself is like too much ambition, a scaling a wall of sorts.
Some will think about it but relegate it for later upon promotion or a new better paying job. Six years down the road and approaching 30, a girlfriend, a baby probably and a take home of Shs 1.2m and the money will still not be enough. 10 more years with two or three children going to school and the now 40-year-old has probably only managed to purchase a plot of land with gritted teeth.
Get off your high horse
But people have built homes on much lesser incomes, so getting a home is not an indomitable achievement of a select few with seven figure salaries. In fact, this amount is roughly the only take home for most civil servants on a U3 salary scale without allowances, but if you start out immediately, you can enjoy the benefits of owning a home by age 30.
With Shs 7m, you can acquire a 50 X 100 ft. plot of land that has a land title in a radius of 30 km from the city centre. Newspaper croc sections are awash with plots at this cost affluent neighborhoods. Today in Gayaza, Mukono and Sseguku were costing this very amount about 7-9 years ago, so do not despair about buying so far away from the city since the city is expanding daily.
The trick however is in adjusting your lifestyle downwards if you’re serious about owning a home. For example, get off your high-horse and start renting a one-roomed house which is cheaper and makes certain that you put aside something for your dream home. “If you cut down on expenses in other areas as well, you may be able to save at least Shs 250,000 per month. In about a year and a-half, you will have a plot of land.
Now that you have land…
Acquiring a building plan complete with approval from authorities will take you Shs 1,500,000, another five or six months of stringent saving, a much needed virtue for this dream. We are now about two years down.
A modest house of two bedrooms, a living room and a small kitchen, with the toilet and bathroom outside, which is realistic in this case, will need about 5,000 bricks. With each costing Shs 300, you can buy these in five months and put them at the site.
In some areas however, bricks go for Shs 400, but to avoid this cost, you can make bricks on site, and these will cost Shs 170 each.
A bag of cement at the moment goes for Shs 30,000 and such a house needs about 30 bags according. So in another five months, you will have deposited money, say with hardware world, worth 30 bags ready to start. This is another year for bricks and cement, a total of three years now on the project.
You will also need two trips of lake sand at Shs 220,000 and 1 trip of plaster sand at Shs 200,000 and after this you will now have everything you need to start building. For labour, it is best to get a person who will charge you one wholesome fee for building the house up to the ring beam, at appoint when it’s ready for roofing.
This will cost you between Shs 2.5-3.2m, an amount you do not have to fork out in one go. You will also need iron bars, 12 in this case for this house all of them at a cost of shs 400,000. The sand, bars and labour charge will take you another year, but you will now have a house built to the ring beam at the end of four years.
This kind of house will need about 25 ordinary iron sheets each going for Shs 40,000. You will also need nails and timber, of which you can get used timber that is just as good at a cheaper price, and this will take you another six months. Save up for another six months for 20 bags of cement to do the floor and the plastering and you will have your shell house at the end of five years.
Three windows each going for Shs220, 000 will take another three months of saving. Excavation of a latrine will go for Shs180, 000, and you will also need about 1000 bricks, 6 bags of cement and two iron sheets for your exterior latrine and bathroom. Six years down and you will be staying in your own home.
Factor in another year for miscellaneous expenses and we are counting seven years down. At this point, though I strongly discourage the notion of taking a loan at any point in building a home, a loan can help to quickly roof the house, move in and then the money that you’ve been using to rent can be used to service the loan. So in Seven years you can enter your modest house.
Diversification yields quicker results
However, we have never built a house for anyone who is using the salary this way. Although this is possible, it could take upto 15 years for someone who wants a three-bedroomed self-contained house, the ultimate definition of modesty for most people. Our advice; diversify.
Save Shs3m in a year and start a poultry farm. Rent land at Shs 500,000, use Shs 600,000 to put up your chicken house, buy your first batch of feeds at shs 300,000 and use the balance to buy 600 layer chicks which go for Shs 2,500 each.
In six months, you can sell off these chickens at Shs 10,000 each after selling eggs along the way at a tune of Shs5m (I have used 500 assuming 100 died). You can buy the plot of land, lay a foundation, and using your poultry farm as collateral, get a loan and purchase 1,000 layer chicks this time and repeat your six months cycle.
You can also buy a she-goat at Shs 100,000 each month and entrust them with someone in the village. Goats produce twice a year and in six months, a young one is ready for sale at the same price. You can achieve your dream faster this way or through a small catering business supplying sambusas and chapatis.
In all, a dream home is achievable whether through disciplined savings or diversification.
Single Room self
This type is flexible it can fit even in the smallest piece of land. Depending on the size of the land and desires of a client all can work, however the cost of construction can also be affected by the nature of land.
Differences in cost occur where there is different topography of the land. For instance if the land needs grading you may incur an extra price due to the foundation difference.
But a simple single self-contained house can go for approximately sh6.8m to sh8.5m.
You may need about 25 bags of cement for such a house if you lay a slab and about 20 bags without a slab to make it up to the ring beam.
You need around eight 3 meter iron sheet pieces for a minimal single self-contained house to be complete.
Let us take you through in the phases and prices
One room can take 3,000 bricks and if each one costs sh300 then it will cost you sh900,000. Fine sand one trip costs sh220,000, coarse sand one trip sh220,000.
It can take 30 bags of cement and each costs sh34,000, dump proof membrane one roll will cost you sh90,000, gravel one trip at sh200,000.
In case you need hard core one trip cost will cost you Shs240,000, hoop iron one roll can cost sh95,000.
Roofing timber can cost you sh500,000, iron sheets will cost you sh640,000 and roofing nails will cost sh30,000
You have to account for tools as well, a hoe costs sh14,000, a spade sh22,000, a wheel barrow sh120,000, a pick axe sh18,000, mortar pans sh10,000 and a panga costs sh13,000.
Scaffolding poles 15 can be enough and each costs sh4,000, nails 3-inch, 5 kgs each at sh4,500, nails of 4-inch the same price and 5-inch are also at the same price.
Builder’s string one roll is enough and it costs sh35,000, anti-termite treatment one item costs sh28,000. Water might cost sh150,000 and lastly you may need a store which may cost more than sh300,000.
This one room may cost sh6.9M up to roofing stage. Add another 1.5M for window, doors, floor tiles and plumbing works.
when hiring contractors, it is wise to always get multiple bids from different contractors so that you can easily compare prices, and require bidders to break-down their prices to give you a clear picture.
This article first appeared on Young Trep Facebook page.