How Igbos Can Make Money With Their Houses In The Village
1. Renting it out
One of the major reasons Igbos in the cities would rather leave their village houses unoccupied is because they don’t trust village tenants to take care of them as they desire. They don’t want their fresh wall paints soiled by muddy hands. They don’t want their glazed windows shattered by children of their tenants playing football in the compound.
However, they eventually still fail to keep the freshness and functionality of these houses for long as their emptiness gives way for rats, spiders and bats to wreck more havoc to them, aesthetically and functionally than any dirty, careless village tenant.
To solve this, Igbos with houses in the village should set rules and regulations guiding the usage of their properties for their prospective tenants, and should be ready to involve law enforcement agents towards making sure that those rules are enforced.
2. Taking development to it
Taking development to your house in the village should not only mean linking it to nearby city with a dual carriage way or building a university adjacent to it, you can start by erecting shops that hairdressers, barbers, mechanics and chemists can rent. This might mean that they will also have to rent your main building, but even if they don’t, the fact that there is some economic activities going on in front your house can boost its value and its liquidity — should you ever decide to turn it into cash.
3. Converting that swimming pool that nobody uses into a fish pond producing fishes that village people will gladly queue up to buy
It’s not uncommon for an Igbo man to incur all costs to build in his village a very hot mansion with swimming pool that automatically becomes the talk of the town.
One constant with such cases is that the swimming pool laid useless less than a month after their launch as the owner and his family returned to Lagos.
In other words, these swimming pools usually transformed into a dance hall for toads and frogs, whose silence during the day and loquacity at night easily convinces the villagers that the mansion is haunted as it is a product of ọgwụ ego.
You that already have such mansion with swimming pool in the village, instead of watching the frogs in it torment your village people with their cacophonous croaks, you should convert it into a fish pond.
Fishes are a very pricey product in Igboland, and your village people will gladly queue up at your gate to buy it cheaply.
4. Building it close to where people will need to pay to live in it
One way to meet both the cultural and economic needs of a village house is to build it closer to where others might find a need to pay you to live in it.
To start with, building a house in the village became a norm for all Igbo men because of the turbulent times in Nigeria politics that in time past severally forced Igbos to return to their homeland. So when you build your village house in your state capital — which is in Igbo land of course, it will still serve the same purpose.
It could be near your local government headquarters, the nearby university town, or anywhere there is some sort of economic activities. Your village house should be able to make you a lot of money, aside from being your perfect escape at Easter, Christmas, New Yam or at turbulent times.
5. Hiring someone to take care of it
Igbos in the cities who in the past opened up for rent their houses in the village mostly dropped the idea because they realized they weren’t making a kobo from it.
The tenants, who usually are from the same ụmụnna will always claim that their ailing child has drained their purse whenever it’s time to pay rent. Some others might even employ your own mother to beg you to allow them stay for five more months so they could work harder and raise your rent. And the really ungrateful ones might even go around the village telling everybody that care to listen that you should be thanking them for not allowing weed and snakes take over your compound rather than asking them for rent.
One way to tackle this problem is to put someone in charge of your property. This your employer should be in charge of collecting the rent and making sure that the rules and regulations guiding the property are adhered to.
This will undoubtedly save you the expenses from dealing with unruly tenants who might even try to use their mouths and ruin your chances of being considered for your village’s most important titles.