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Will You Buy a House with a Maid’s Room?

A maid’s room? No no, and for others, it’s a big yes. A maid’s room is a room built for the purpose of housing a live-in help or a nanny. It’s commonly found in luxury apartments in Nigeria. It’s usually separated from the other rooms in the house.

The idea of having a live-in help sounds scary to some. Especially those who have heard the scary tales of a house helps. These stories are usually based on Myths, Facts, and Fiction. It may be based on an abstract story or experiences from family and friends. In Nigeria, stories of live-in house help range from spiritual to physical. While some people in Nigeria believe that house helps have spiritual problems like witchcraft, marine spirit or ogbanje spirit, others believe that they are; thieves; unfaithful, and can corrupt children. It’s so bad that some Nigerians make their house helps sleep under the staircase or an unworthy place in the house. Wealthy people take good care of their house helps. This is what shows that they are wealthy. I will neither approve or disapprove any of this claims, maybe this topic will be discussed in future write-ups.

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In time past, the idea of a maid’s room may conjure images of cell-like spaces tucked away behind the kitchen. It was uncommon and partially recognised by the rich and the elites who travel out of the country from time to time. Nowadays, spaces for the help are leaving behind the claustrophobic feel of the early 20th century and making a comeback. Several new developments have incorporated maid’s rooms into their larger apartments, and while the rooms are separate from family sleeping areas, they are generously sized and have standard en-suite bathrooms. The latest iteration of servant quarters has a distinctly 21st-century feel.

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Having a maid’s room may denote luxury in Nigeria. Because only luxury apartments come with maid’s room. It may mean that you are so rich that you don’t have to keep your maid in the family quarters. This may be a feather in your cap or an update of status among your friends. It may even be an idea borrowed from a friend or a family friend. The 21st-century real estate developers add maid rooms to their building plans and, of course, this makes the house more expensive, either for sale or to lease. While some people abhor the idea of a live-in maid, it’s paradise on earth for others. Having a servant at your beck and call can be a big deal. This may also be required for working class mums who have no option but to employ the services of a house help. Thus, the need may be borne out of compulsion.

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The idea of a maid’s room is somewhat uncommon in Nigeria. It is only a language that can be understood by the creme de la creme of the society. Many Nigerians feel it’s appropriate to just allocate a room to your maid out of your three bedroom flat or four bedroom duplex. Not bad, But the term luxury may mean all round comfort. You would not want to be disturbed by arguments between your maid and the gateman or the driver.

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Despite the recession in Nigeria, there is still strong demand for live-in help. There are requests for hundreds of nannies and housekeepers annually in the Nigeria. In most cases, families in Nigeria are looking for live-in maids rather than just a housekeeper.

With the new developments in real estate, and with the bias of a good number of people about live-in maid’s, Is a maid’s room a bad invention, or an invention that denotes class?

I kept pondering on this question. Will you rather buy a house with a maid’s room or buy a house without one. Your opinion is very important to me. Please send in your comments.

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