I have had to take up a rental in such a hurry; i was no doubt swayed by the space (a three bedroom bungalow with a front porch and a parking lot big enough to accommodate about three cars even though i had no car then, what a dream!) but played down on important stuffs. Fast forward to few months, I did not only have to contend with the distance to work, the edginess of the neighborhood to lack of power supply which also affected water supply, the dust-prone environment to the tiny wardrobes/closets, cabinetry and bathrooms. Thank goodness the rental agreement was just for one year!
- Decide on a realistic budget: And stick to it! Do not let those agents talk you into looking at houses above your budget. From the word go, decide on what you are able and willing to put down for a home and let your agent(s) know that. Horn your negotiation skills too. Did i forget that? No, i didn’t. At times you will come across houses that meets your requirement but the price will be more than your budget, do not shy away from bargaining, you never can tell, you maybe be saving some good bucks for yourself
- Prioritize your search: It is no secret that today’s lifestyles are more hectic than ever before and to reduce the stress of looking at a bunch of houses that don’t meet your search criteria, it is advisable to narrow down your search by choosing where you want to live, the type of apartment and key concerns like proximity to your work, ease of access to church, shopping, schools, parks and public transportation. Do you want a new house that will require little or no furnishing or an old house with a reduced price but with lots of remodeling to do. The choice is yours but let your Agent or Realtor know this from the onset!
- Basic Supplies: If there is anything you need to check out in a prospective home, it’s constant supply of air, power and water. By air, i mean an uninterrupted flow of fresh natural air and ventilation systems which is vital to your family’s health and comfort. It helps your home rid itself of moisture, smoke, cooking odours, and indoor pollutants. It’s no news that power supply is a “big issue” in this part of the world where citizens rely majorly on generators and inverters to produce electricity, you will do yourself some good by considering areas with constant supply of power and nobody can trade the usefulness of water supply in any home.
- Proper Storage and Organization: A perfect home is one with proper storage solutions. In your search for your dream home, look out for houses with drawers, cupboards and closets enough to accommodate your clothing, crafts, kitchen and bathroom supplies. Besides, you can always create storage solutions so, be sure that your preferred home provides enough space to add storage solutions of your choice. I have noticed that older homes tend to have little or no closets and not a lot of storage space while newer homes tend to have big closets and lots of storage but you will have to make do with smaller room spaces.
- Envision your new home: Does the layout of the house fit into the picture of your dream home? Does the current staging of the house provide you with the creativity to turn the house into the home you envisioned. So walk around the house with the eye of an inspector not a potential buyer; see how each element connects and can function for you and your family, soak yourself in the home and see how things including the decor pieces that you currently have (like furniture, lighting, accessories etc) can be re-used and arranged to meet the need of each and every member of the house.This is also the time to point out some defects that will need to be fixed either by the landlord/owner or yourself depending on the agreement.
- Consider the neighborhood: You can do away with any imperfection in your home by way of remodeling but you can’t do away with your neighborhood or noise from neighbors and co-tenants. Before you take up any prospective property, it’s advisable to drive through or visit on different times of the day to watch the mood/atmosphere of the neighborhood, ask passersby or neighbors for their opinion about the particular house, tenants or even the landlord, see if the apartment or neighborhood is safe enough for people to walk, run and play around. Is it the type of neighborhood you will be comfortable to let your kids grow up in without mixing up with miscreants. How is the attitude of the neighborhood towards cleanliness, neighborliness and security.
- Take photos: After the inspection, it may be hard to keep a mental picture of all the houses you have seen and narrow down your decision. It’s advisable to take some photos or possibly video during the inspection with the permission of the Agent/Realtor but hey! do not publish on social media platforms yet, at least not until the house becomes yours!
- Let’s be real: Do you really need that 3 bedroom apartment when you live alone? Will you be able to sustain a 2Million per annul apartment with all the accompanying bills? You will have to spend a lot of money to decorate and buy large furniture for a big house so, think about sustainability and also the need to keep up with the lifestyle in the neighborhood you eventually choose.
Let’s learn together! Share more house hunting tips with me
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Nkem Offonabo is a Banker, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian and Lead Editor, Crown Musings. She is passionate about Decor, Personal Development and Wealth Creation. She believes that every individual is unique and has potential for greatness if properly nurtured. She hopes to use her blog community to Inspire, Motivate, Empower, Transform and ultimately help people be the best version of themselves.