In simple terms, a mortgage is a bank loan taken to buy a house, or a piece of land. It is mostly aimed at those with secure jobs, but who are unable to save up huge cash amounts to buy property. In most cases, the house you are buying serves as collateral for the loan/mortgage. In Nigeria, you are usually required to possess additional collateral property or land to meet the eligibility requirements of most banks, and both these and the mortgaged property would be taken from you if you do not meet up the monthly payments. Thus, even though this is an effective way to get up the property ladder, the stakes are very high in the event of a sudden job loss, or a change in circumstances. This is probably why most Nigerians find it preferable to buy land, and build at their own pace rather than buying land, putting it up as a collateral for a posh house, and then losing both the posh house and the land if the volatile job environment strikes.