A program manager for a tech company by day, Houston PadSplit member Azubuike could only pursue his passion of being an artist when he had time — and money. As a visual artist who predominantly creates through welding, Azubuike’s pieces are intricate and meaningful, but the supplies can also be pricey.
When the lease on his apartment in downtown Houston ended, Azubuike, 31, decided to try PadSplit for a few months because of the flexibility. With PadSplit, he wasn’t locked into a long-term lease so he could figure out his plans. He was also saving considerable money each month, enabling him to invest into materials for his art.
As a result of the extra investment into his designs, Azubuike has his first show in a gallery. He’ll be presenting his collection, called Pieces of Being, at the Bisong Gallery on Dec. 16th.
Communal living with accountability
Originally from Ohio, and a graduate of “The Ohio State University,” Azubuike has lived in Houston for about a year. The city is massive, he says, so he’s still learning about the various neighborhoods.
Because he works from home, Azubuike was able to move further out from the city, so PadSplit gave him an opportunity to check out another part of town without committing.
He ended up liking the area and is in his second PadSplit. All members receive one complimentary no-cost transfer, and Azubuike took advantage of this when he saw a house and room come open that he liked even better.
As a frequent traveler and student of life, Azubuike appreciates the concept of communal living.
“Everyone in a PadSplit is here with good intentions,” he says. “People are coming from all walks of life, just trying to put their heads down and work toward their goals. I have respect for all of my roommates, and I appreciate that there are checks and balances to ensure accountability for everyone.”
“This has been a great learning experience for me, and a reminder that we all have to be more gentle with one another,” he adds.
From member to prospective host
Azubuike has made the most of his PadSplit stay. He takes advantage of the amenities included in his weekly fees — use of the kitchen and laundry room, the wifi and utilities.
The flexibility affords him the opportunity to determine his next step, and his intent is to move into a new apartment with his brother, who is moving to Houston in 2023. And as mentioned, he has put a quarter of his savings through PadSplit toward his passion of visual art.
Another unexpected benefit is that Azubuike is now seriously interested in becoming a PadSplit investor. He’s attending the next prospective host meeting, with plans to purchase a home and convert the available rooms into a PadSplit.
“It’s easy to see how PadSplit is beneficial for everyone,” he says. “The model provides affordable housing and flexibility in an economy where it’s badly needed, and allows a solid investment opportunity for hosts at the same time. It’s rare to find an opportunity like this one, so I’m looking forward to becoming a host myself in the future.”
“PadSplit has been a great experience for me in every way.”