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A HOME ISN’T jUST A HOUSE

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th February 2007 03:00 AM

Today, many people are struggling to make ends meet, to at least get themselves a house or is it a home to their name. In a hurry to do this, many are finding it worthwhile to buy a house to avoid getting frustrated with the lengthy procedures of constructing their dream houses.

Today, many people are struggling to make ends meet, to at least get themselves a house or is it a home to their name. In a hurry to do this, many are finding it worthwhile to buy a house to avoid getting frustrated with the lengthy procedures of constructing their dream houses.

By Juliet Kakeeto
home is not always a house, one rchitect usu-ally tells me.

WHAT IS THE BEST OPTION? Many people would want to construct their own houses, but because of the fear that they would get a raw deal from the builders, they buy ready-built houses mainly in estates

Today, many people are struggling to make ends meet, to at least get themselves a house or is it a home to their name. In a hurry to do this, many are finding it worthwhile to buy a house to avoid getting frustrated with the lengthy procedures of constructing their dream houses.

One home owner, who supervised construction of a friend’s house, but decided to buy an already built house, says: “I couldn’t see myself going through the same stress I went through during the construction of my friend’s house.

The strain started right from the approval of the plan, which took us more than three months, up to the very end, not forgetting the absenteeism of the masons and their habits of sneaking away with cement, timber and anything they could carry.”

“When you buy a house, you are buying more than a shelter. You are also buying a lifestyle. Like the clothes you wear and the car you drive, your home will say a lot about you,” says Nusura Nakabuye, an architect.

She advises that before one rushes out to look at houses on the market, one should first decide on what he or she wants in a home. Some features will be determined by one’s lifestyle. If one entertains a lot of visitors, a big dining room, compound and kitchen should be some of the qualities to look at before concluding a purchase.

But it is rare to find a house that meets all your requirements. It can have a big compound and dining room, as your needs demand, but not meeting your dream design.

“One can only live in a house of his or her dream design, if he or she takes a broad step of having it constructed. A house can have an acceptable design and everything one would want in a home, but unfortunately, in a slum.

That is why when asked the three most important things to remember when buying real estate, an architect will tell you that they are: ‘Location, location and location; stressing the importance of location of any building,” says Christopher Kasujja, another architect.

Yes, with the available mortgages with attractive offers by banks, many people are already making use of them to buy themselves houses in estates, which is good. But what about using them to construct one’s own house.

Nakabuye says it is cheaper to construct a house than one. Besides houses bought from individuals might prove more expensive in the long run.

Many of them are very old and were only renovated for the sale. Unfortunately, the buyer only realises it after a few years, when the walls start cracking.

Kasujja says a house sold at sh150m can actually be constructed at about sh80m. And remember, if well-supervised, that house will be built to one’s design and satisfaction.

The sh70m balance, that is if at all one can afford it, can then do the furnishing.
With the hard-earned cash, many people would otherwise pay heavily for the already built house than entrusting their hopes of owning a house to incompetent builders, only to have the houses collapse on their backs.

But other people think otherwise. Other than having to take the the risk of buying houses from individuals, they would rather resort to buying apartments in the many estates around the country.

The pertinent question is: Are you ready to live in a school-like environment? Oh yes, some people get irritated by having very many people around them or even having to live in a house with a similar design with the one in the neighbourhood.

Such people will not feel comfortable in an estate. Building their own houses would be their best alternative.

So, where do you have a comparative advantage?

A HOME ISN’T jUST A HOUSE

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