A BeyHive of Property Owners

By on October 1, 2019

When the world was struggling through the Global Financial Crisis in 2007/8 teenagers at the time were more interested in the phenomenon that was Beyonce. At the start of the crisis, in 2007, Beyoncé embarked on The Beyoncé Experience, her first worldwide concert tour, performing in 97 venues and grossing in excess of $24 million. A year later when the crisis was at its peak our Queen married Jay-Z in what turned out to be one of the most iconic marriages of modern history. 

A lot has happened since then.

The world has since said hello to Beyoncé’s alter ego Sasha Fierce, the woman has embarked on a prominent acting career, she’s won tons of awards and become a mother – thrice. And that is not all; our friends who were teenagers at the time have become fully grown adults now swamped with responsibilities and having less time to put their bodies on the line for the BeyHive. (The BeyHive is really just a legion of uncompromising and unquestioning fans who worship Beyonce and will gladly fight anyone who thinks Beyonce is not God’s flesh and blood.)

Today, some of the issues that these fresh grown-ups deal with include Global warming, siring and looking after kids, keeping up appearances on social media, struggling between nine to five jobs & self-employment; and the biggest of them all – acquiring a property. When it comes to acquiring property, there is a general misconception that one must be extremely rich and fairly old before they can even consider property acquisition. The assumption is that all young people can manage is to buy some Beyonce merchandise and then starve for the rest of their lives. But this could not be further from the truth. Young people are capable of this and more. Sadly, due to the well propagated ugly misconception, many young people have decided to remain aloof and unbothered about what is happening in the property acquisition world and yes – they are focussing on growing the BeyHive – for now.

And this apparent disinterest in property acquisition by young people, of course, we can not blame on Beyonce – she is a goddess without blemish. (Yes, I also like her, very much actually.) We can only blame this on the custodians of such vital information – those who are in the know.

By the time the average Ugandan inches towards their mid-20s, there is a conversation around ownership of property that begins to become predominant. Words like Mortgage and Loan increasingly start to pop up in their conversations and begin to become actual realities. However, this conversation seems restricted to older and more ‘accomplished’ adults and not young people. The truth is that anyone who earns a salary or has some kind of income from a business should have every reason to pay attention to the discussion about mortgages – age notwithstanding.

One of the greatest undoings in our era is the false assumption that to acquire substantial property one requires huge sums of money and some strands of grey hair to qualify. Of course, this is a school of thought championed by those who aren’t interested in having many people enjoy the benefits of property ownership. It is a harsh world after all and each human must look out for himself. 

Towards the end of last week, I paid a visit to three local banks in an attempt to try and understand how and why young people are not clear on the benefits of property ownership. One of the people I spoke to, Barbara Asiimwe from dfcu, mentioned in a very candid manner that most young people are preoccupied with their current lives, oblivious and unbothered about the future. Uganda has a very huge young population but not many of these are actually thinking of the day they will cease to be young people – which sadly for them isn’t so far off.

Barbara and I had a very long conversation that spanned nearly two hours. In the two hours, I learned a lot about mortgages, took two bottles of mineral water, paced the room in deep thought and decided that it was time to rally some young people to pick interest in property ownership.

For the young person new to the word mortgage, a mortgage isn’t anything to be afraid of. It is simply a type of loan in which property or real estate is used as the collateral. The process is quite simple actually – the borrower enters into an agreement with the lender (a financial institution in most cases) and in this agreement the borrower receives cash upfront to make a payment for a certain property and then they pay the lender back over a period of time; anything from a few months to twenty years.

If you walk into any bank to inquire about a mortgage, be prepared to answer a bunch of questions to ascertain how able you are to pay back the loan and how willing you are to commit to whatever period has been set before you.

One of the fears that young people have, regarding mortgages, is the fact that one spends a fair share of their early life dealing with the mortgage. However, this is immediately countered by the fact that once you’ve gotten into the relationship with the bank and all the paperwork is done, the property becomes yours and the documents are transferred into your names. The bank will only hold onto this documentation for purposes of ensuring that you don’t get silly ideas and make off into the wilderness before completing the payment. So essentially, you become a property owner before you even complete your payments to the bank!

One very important benefit of this mortgage is that as a young property owner you can right away start to use the property to get back whatever funds you have borrowed from the bank. For instance, after the bank has helped you acquire property in the form of land and buildings, you can then proceed to use the buildings to make you money, part of which will go towards ensuring that your loan is covered. It is likely that after a while, your income will increase, in which case the bank will gladly suggest that you increase your monthly instalment payments so that you can finish off the payments on your mortgage sooner than planned. 

Banks have very competitive mortgage opportunities, for instance, dfcu offers up to 100% financing with a rather friendly interest rate of 16.8% p.a. The bank is always on its toes regarding mortgages, so much that they give you a response time of no more than 72 hours.

At no point in all this must you ever feel like the ground should swallow you because the payment on your mortgage is suffocating you. The bank is interested in getting back their money but will always make sure your monthly instalment payments are manageable – a win-win situation for you and the bank.

Any Ugandan earning as little as UGX 1M per month can be able to acquire a mortgage that they can slowly and promptly pay off while they enjoy the benefits of being a property owner at a young age. 

A very dangerous assumption that many people have is that acquiring a mortgage means getting a property that is worth hundreds of millions or billions of shillings. There are several affordable property options that one can acquire to take them to the next level of their financial journey. It is important for young people today to walk into banking halls to find out how they can acquire property and step out of the proverbial cycle of poverty.

My conversation with Barbara of dfcu brought two important issues to light; first of all, you must always think big and have big plans, no matter how little you earn. Secondly, as Beyonce is making it big Globally, she might not offer you much help when it comes to acquiring property and so you have to do it on your own albeit while listening to her music. Luckily when you walk into dfcu towers on plot ‎26 Kyaddondo Road, you find several folks ready and willing to have the discussion about the different mortgage opportunities for you. You could as well just Contact them on 0800 22200 or simply write them an email address via CustomerCare@dfcugroup.com

Catching up with the BeyHive is so much fun but it is even more refreshing when you do it from the safe confines of a property that is in your names. Only then will you be able to sing along to Single Ladies, If I Were A Boy, Diva, Ego, Videophone or Smash Into You fully aware that Beyonce has a great husband, wonderful kids, and a fat bank balance and you have a property in your name. Who knows, you could even curve the name Beyonce on the front door, bathroom window and garage door because the house belongs to you!

“When in the Land of Property think like a propertarian. Dress like one, eat like one, act like one, be one.”― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
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Beewol - The Talkative Rocker