Luxury apartments or houses anywhere in the world usually attract premium. But somewhere in Nigeria, specifically, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, luxury houses are being sold for the price of regular ones.
This is rather incredible and unusual for the FCT, which has the reputation for high cost of run-of –the-mill kind of houses and where luxury houses are no-go areas.
Located behind Shoprite (Grand Towers Mall) in the Apo District of Abuja, the housing development by Brains and Hammers exudes the kind of opulence found in apartments in any highbrow area in major cities of the world, yet within the reach of middle-income earners.
Brains and Hammers has introduced affordable luxury apartments called Brains and Hammers, Apo, very close to Garki- right in the heart of the city- with aim of making middle-income earners have a feel of what luxury apartments are all about in Abuja .Brains and Hammers, which is an indigenous construction company with special focus on estate development and infrastructure, is therefore in the process of completing 104 units of luxurious four-bedroom, five-bedroom and six bedroom detached houses.
Specifically, 85 of the 104 units have been completed, and the remaining 19 units are expected to be delivered by the end of the year.
According to the company, all the units have been sold out and the company is proceeding to the new site in Life Camp in Kafi District of the FCT, for the construction another 300 units of houses. The site is situated within the vicinity of the official residence of the FCT minister.
In line with the company’s plans, the 300-unit housing project in Life Camp called Brains and Hammers Life Camp, will ground-breaking done on September 1, 2012 and is divided into 100 units of 5 and 6-bedroom detached duplex houses and 200 units 5 and 6-bedroom terrace houses.
Making a terse description of the apartments, Executive Chairman, Brains and Hammers Mr. Debola Sheidu, told THISDAY that: “They are very functional houses, luxurious, but affordable because we put a lot of details into the architectural design.”
Giving an idea of how affordable the houses are, Sheidu said, when the project started last year, a unit was being sold at about N27 million, enthusing that “we want to build ourselves into an affordable luxury brand.”
He explained: “The whole essence was that, we sold our first set of houses at a discounted rate so that people who come into our project early can see their return on investment within one year.”
Essentially, Sheidu noted that Brains and Hammers wanted to position itself as an estate development firm that guarantees 100 per cent return on investment for early subscribers to its projects.
“This is what happened with our last project. People who bought at N27 million are now selling at N55 million, for the same houses they bought 12 months earlier,” he added.
He further explained: “So the whole idea is when we commence a project, as it goes, the price keeps going higher, that is the whole essence of selling at a discount. So that early comers would have over 100 per cent returns on investments.”
To make it more affordable for prospective homeowners, Brains and Hammers has made the payment plan very flexible. “Basically, we walk around individuals and how much cash-flow they have. So when you come to us as an individual, we just discuss how the payment would be structured, according to what is convenient for you. But it has to be within 12 months,” said the executive chairman.
While Brains and Hammers projects to construct 1000 units of houses in the next five years, it intends to eventually go into mass housing.
However, Sheidu has some words for the government.
He advised the government to use monies in the pension funds, to set up real estate investment trust company, with view to helping people that cannot afford to buy houses to do so.
“Government can work some private real estate development companies to form this company so that we can have a continuous plan on housing. The ripple effect that would have on the economy would be enormous. Government should come out with a master plan to probably build about 10,000 houses continuously in every state of the federation. That will have a ripple effect on education, engineering, architecture, quantity surveyors and labourers. And this can be funded with the idle pension fund.”
Besides, Sheidu frowned on too many bureaucracy associated with land policy. According to him, “there are too many middle men.
There are many people in government who were allocated land for mass housing and eventually allocated it to developers. There is no direct contact between government and the developers and this factor contributes to costs that are eventually passed to the buyers.”
Brains and Hammers is a company established in 2005, as a fast-growing, full-scale Nigerian real estate development and management company, aiming squarely at the mid to high-end luxury market.
Its primary business is to acquire suitable land, design unique, beautiful yet highly functional buildings. The company constructs these houses with the utmost attention to detail, creating buildings and communities that become reference points in the industry - both for individual homeowners and industry at large.
It aims to be a benchmark for the entire residential construction industry.