Homes and Property
How I built my home :They bought a shell house in Namugongo
Posted Wednesday, March 6 2013 at 02:00
Here is a family that took a mortgage and bought a shell house in Namugongo before it became a middle class residential hub.
My name is Anthony Wasagala. I am an employee at the Uganda Revenue Authority and a father of three children. I am a happily married man and my house is in Namugongo. It is normal for every couple to think of having a house, a place to call home, therefore my story is not that complicated.
I started by renting a house along Mawanda Road in Kamwokya. Together with my wife we decided that we would buy a house rather than buying a plot of land and then build the house.
By that time in the early 2000s, Property Masters was the word on many people’s mouths and billed for offering affordable and suitable housing so we employed this agency to find for us a house. They indeed did not disappoint. They found for us a house in Nabweru, Kawempe.
It wasn’t the kind of location we wanted
We paid them Shs1m for the service but the problem was this land had a lot of things attached to it; issues like no immediate land title and on the other hand it was leasehold. Apart from the area being too crowded, we had also got a loan from the bank to give a boost to this development that was going to take place in our lives. Not only was the bank uncomfortable with us getting land on lease but also, it was not being the best of choices.
My breakthrough came when someone told me about a shell house being sold in Namugongo and its land title was ready. I bought the house around November 2000. Property Masters refunded the money in installments at least before the agency got problems which I believe you heard about.
I moved into the house late December that year. This place was all bushy, no piped water and electricity except for my opposite neighbour who has a huge plot of land and he got electricity from the further side of his land. We ushered into 2001 in our own house. This marked progress for my house because all the money I used on paying rent, I would invest it in completing the house. That year, I only had a son who was quite young and had started nursery school.
It is everyone’s dream to put up a structure better than the one he grew up in and in a comfortable setting. For example, my father had a house with a cemented floor. I had to go a step ahead and put a tiles floor. So, we started a gradual progress, first by getting an approved plan for the building because the plan we found was just a draft.
We got an experienced engineer who spearheaded the project. We commenced with plastering the wall both internal and external. We also cemented the floor to get rid of the dust. Other things like the ceiling were worked upon as years went by. We took this approach because there were necessities like food in the house, school fees that came up and were priorities while the house project is one which goes on no matter how long it takes.
Now we had the challenge of water and electricity. We had a few neighbours by then, but one of them joined hands with us and brought the electricity to our area. This involved buying the poles and getting the Umeme authorisation to connect us on the grid. We did the same for water. Soon the population grew and the bushes turned into houses. All those who connected using our pole and pipe paid some amount of money which compensated for the initial costs we incurred.
We also worked on the compound, planted a few trees, and grass to add to the green. The most interesting thing about owning a house is that adjustments keep coming especially as time goes on and new ideas come up. We transformed our house from a cement floor to a tiled one.
Our kitchen is being developed from the old setting and when we get the money, we will adjust to anything as long as we are comfortable. Now we are looking forward to a better setting like putting up the perimetre wall and many other thingsas time goes on.
As told to Joash Yose