LifeXtra: Who should choose the family house?
Getting a house may be an exciting experience for many families, but who, in a family, should have more influence when the time comes?
Ahouse is more than just four squared edges and rooms. It is a building where people live. Dictionary.com defines it as ‘a residence for human beings.’ A family also described as a group of people affiliated either by recognized birth, affinity (by marriage or other relationship), or co-residence or some combination of these.
A lot of people today prefer living in their own houses rather than renting. But due to circumstances beyond their control, they end up renting. When they finally decide to acquire their own home, a lot of issues arise, such as who would select the location, design, building materials and so on. This prompted LifeXtra to seek the views of others to know what they have to say about it.
Bello ‘ebello’ Emma, a legal practitioner said “I have always believed that the location of the house where any family should build their home should be determined by the way they intend to live as a family. In a house where the father and mother work on the island, it might be okay if they agree to a location closer to the work place of the wife who will still bear the burden of building and directing the domestic affairs of the family.
“Also the environment you want your children to grow up in is very important. I would allow my wife make the decision of where to stay if we are both working but when it is time to build our family house, my wife and I and our finances will determine where we’ll settle.”
Also speaking to LifeXtra, Abhay Desai, a top management executive said “A family house is for the family, and if it’s for the family then the family must choose it, wife, kids and finally the man. The man can make a commercial decision based on the emotional decision made by the wife and kids, not saying that wives don’t understand finance but they are programmed to think about factors like ‘how far is the house from the best school, how far the best medical facility is, where fresh vegetables and meat are available, and things that a male is just not capable of thinking about.”
Oye Machara, a real estate agent, opined that the primary consideration will be financial, also “proximity to school(s), workplace or worship centres. These choices are not in the strict purview of the husband or wife. It’s a collective decision to make.”
Muhammad Bello Sada, a lecturer, said “Under a more traditional setting, the husband/ groom normally decides or chooses where the family house will be. The society expects the man to provide for the family and assume leadership, and as such, the man will decide based on his financial capacity.
“But couples nowadays are becoming more liberal, shying away from the patriarchal dominance. I personally believe that decision pertaining family should not be shouldered by one person. Marriage is a union, one arm supports the other. Couples should embrace the concept of mutual understanding and compromise before taking any decision about the family,” he concluded.
Dadson Ibrahim, a graduate, had a different view. He said “In the Holy Bible, it says husbands are the head of the house. In the African setting, husbands are the known decision-makers but some women are key decision-makers in their homes. Couples may share doing laundry but the same cannot be said for financial decisions. Instead of focusing on their careers and see their husbands as the bread winners, most women are increasingly taking charge of the traditional male household decisions such as choosing the family car, which pension provider or utility firms to choose and where to go on holidays.
“Not only that, but they also have to contend with modern husbands, who are much more likely to fritter money away rather than save it, according to a study by the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP). So, for me, men are to choose.