I read an article recently where a man in China pawned his entire sneaker collection – over $160,000 worth of Jordans – to raise the down payment for a property so he could own the home he was to move into with his new bride.
According to Nextshark, he had a serious Jordans passion and had amassed more than 280 pairs of the sneakers over the course of twenty years when he decided to pawn them all off – some of them in mint condition – to put a roof over their heads and prepare for his future. Apparently, the pawn shop owner quite happily collected the haul as, although he handed over 1 million yuan (roughly $160,000) for 283 shoes, they were actually valued at 1.8m yuan, almost twice what he paid for them.
Everyone wins – the man gets a homeowner’s deposit that he may otherwise have had to work two jobs for ten years or more to raise, the new wife will undoubtedly be happy that she doesn’t have to konk him for making them sleep under the bridge, and the pawn shop owner has a stash of merchandise he can sell at a tidy profit.
This news also brings me to mind an episode of Sex And The City that I found puzzling and annoying to watch. Carrie Bradshaw(played by she of the horse face – Sarah Jessica Parker) needed to buy her partner out of his half of a shared property and she was surprised that despite earning a good wage for years and owning dozens of Manolo Blahniks. Blissfully oblivious of the true implication of her stupidity, she instead picked a fight with her friend Charlotte, talmbout shebi Charlotte husband left her a big divorce settlement, why didn’t she offer to help her, Carrie, buy out her ex? Iranu. Abasha.
The reason why I bring these up is this: I know a lot of Nigerians in this our UK who have a Range Rover parked out front, the sharpest threads and the sweetest shoes…and don’t own the roofs over their heads. They’re at every party, own aso-ebi in every colour of the rainbow and some not even in the spectrum, and have shoe and bag to match each outfit, but literally do not have a pot to piss in. No savings, no assets, no bonds, not so much as a poxy ISA. If breeze should blow and fowl yansh should open, they cannot exist for more than two months without breaking serious sweat.
As long as you’re living and you’re not some weirdo hippie type person, you will always need a roof over your head. It is important to own your own home in this country if you can.
Firstly, landlord cannot shakara you out of the house. Even if you hit a rough patch, mortgage lenders are slow to go for repossession – they will bend over backwards to arrange payment plans. They’re not estate agents and would much rather get that money along with the interest rate you initially signed up for.
Secondly, property appreciates. As opposed to that white Range Rover that you thought was cool in 2012 but now has a dodgy carburettor. If kasala bust, you sell up, you take your equity and you start again. There is more money in owning a property for just one year than there is in a savings account for 10 years.
Finally, the effect of being a home-owner on your credit rating is phenomenal. All of a sudden, you IS somebody! Just ticking that box on an application form is leverage and gives you immense borrowing power. And your worth in this country isn’t based on what you own but what you can borrow. So if you can walk into a bank and get the manager to sit down and seriously discuss lending you £1 million, then you’re worth £1 million. A Jew told me this, so it must be true 😛
My point? We need to stop being reactive and spending money on instant gratification. We need to think about the long term, the ultimate goal, the bigger picture. Treat yourself, sure. But only do so when you’ve covered the basics or are at least working seriously towards them.
I guarantee you, nobody will help you towards this goal or make it easier for you. You have to do it yourself.
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