Published: 25th October 2016

Buttermilk pancakes with caramelised banana

Hi, I’m Victoria. Great to eMeet you!

For most Kenyans, purchasing a home is a major milestone that tops many people’s lifetime to-do lists — and maybe their list of financial fears too in some cases. My story is not so different. I grew up with fairly able parents who offered me a decent education all the way to university. A massive graduation party was next in line. I had my International Relations degree tattooed on my back!

It wasn’t long before a graduate position came calling and I joined a leading microfinance institution. With a little disposable income,I could afford to spend the weekend with my girls & close friends. Unlike my university days, I could go out and spend my own money rather than depend on what we used to call “donor aid from Mum”. Fluffy buttermilk pancakes with caramelized banana and vanilla gelato was slowly becoming a weekend ritual. Life was good! A couple of years down the line, I moved out of home and I knew this was the time to start thinking about the idea of owing a home. You know when you get to that point where you’ve had enough of paying rent?

Unlike my university days, I could go out and spend my own money rather than depend on what we used to call “donor aid from Mum”.

While house hunting for the first time can be exciting, tales of regretful home-buying mistakes and the not-so-distant housing market meltdown have also given it a bad name for being a stressful and confusing process. My biggest fear was mortgage. This word is like a horror movie to people. This huge axe above your life waiting to drop on you and break your frame into 2. The idea of being in debt for the next 20 years is something that doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. “It’s too risky for me. I don’t think it’s meant for someone like me. Coz like I don’t earn 200K a month or stuff. Nahh”. Let’s be honest, isn’t that what we all think?

Like most millennials, I jumped on Google to do some research on the best rates for mortgage financing at different institutions. The never ending tale of “your income can’t afford you this” came to a too good hamming song and I was at the brink of giving up when one day a friend referred me to a real estate agency. The agency took me through training on the different models, their cons and pros and I was pretty impressed this time. “Where was I all this time?” I kept asking myself.

Your guess is right – I was able to pick the model that was convenient for me and today I understand what it truly feels to be a first-time home owner. The misconception that people have about house mortgages is misleading because it’s an investment into the future – not for now. Whether you have a house to your name or not, you will have to pay rent either way, so how about you get into a mortgage plan – the mortgage payments will be your regular rent expenditure. The only difference is that the house now belongs to YOU.

Buttermilk pancakes are great, but owning a house is an even greater deal. The point is the Kshs. 2,000 you spend on the regular weekend brunch can go towards a house deposit or your mortgage plan. I will be joining you at the #HomesForAll themed event at KICC Nairobi from 27-30th October 2016. It’s all about #AffordableHousing for every budget from as low as Kes. 50,000 per month. What’s your excuse?


Cheers

Anne Wakhungu
Copywriter

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