In 2000, I was only 19 when I made my first major break in Real Estate and earned a commission of 1 Million Franc (about 200,000 Euros today). I was still living in a 1 Bedroom Apartment in LA Madeline, Nicé, France.
Sekou, a friend and partner from Mali got 600,000 Franc and bought a BMW. I couldn’t drive but I was thinking ‘MONEY GENERATING ASSET’, so I contacted my Mum. I sent half of the money to her, and asked her to buy me a land and start building a house.
My Mum went to Lekki and saw a land around Admiralty road, 1 plot for 5 Million Naira but she didn’t buy it because she saw that it was a swampy land and it might cost more to develop. She didn’t consult a professional, but she went to her Surveyor friend, who got her 3 plots in Egbeda for 3.5 Million Naira. What a bargain!!! To her, she has done a deal of a life time.
Iyalakanmi, a shrewd Ijebu woman thought I was crazy. What will I do with a house? She built 11 flats (that will generate rental income) and a small 1bedroom apartment BQ. She said to me.
“Suji, you are never in Nigeria, but any time you visit, instead of spending money in hotels, you will sleep at the 1bed BQ”???.
By 2001, I was 20 years old and my first property was ready! Just last week, my Egbeda caretaker called me and said, “The rent is ready sir”. He transferred the rental income into my account, which helped a great deal in taking care of some urgent staff salaries as well as other little expenses.
Although today, the land in Lekki is worth 150 Million Naira and my 11 flats plus the land is worth 100 Million Naira, but this money came at a time when I least expected and needed it the most.
16 years after, and this experience reaffirms my conviction that REAL ESTATE is still the best and most dependable asset to invest in.