As someone who has been living on my own for over three years, I can confidently tell you that nothing beats the thrill and sense of independence that comes with having complete authority over your own personal space. Although adulting has to be the most unfavourable concept ever invented (like why are bills?), a great part of it is that you get a chance to do exactly what you want and a great part of that is choosing where and how you want to live.
Also as someone who lives in Nigeria’s busiest city, Lagos, I can confidently say that getting a house in Lagos as a first-time renter is an experience that could go as far south as south can go if you don’t know what you are doing. You see, in a city where 15.4 million people are hustling to fit into the few, extremely expensive houses available on the market, there are endless factors and principalities you have to fight against while house hunting. There are greedy agents whose only concern is to take your money and show you to the ugliest homes, so you can keep using their services. There are the homes themselves, badly built, pinched kitchens and shabbily constructed bathrooms that make you wonder if the developers ran out of building materials. The interesting fact is that this doesn’t apply to the boisterous city of Lagos. You’ll run into similar problems renting in Abuja or in Ibadan. So how does someone who is just about to rent their first home go about it? What are some of the important ways tips and tricks that can help you avoid spending months and months and months and months looking for homes that continue to fall below your needs and standards?
Well, I come bearing answers. I have compiled a list of hacks and processes that can help you find homes faster and better without the hassle of stressful viewings, and unhelpful agents while getting you closer to the home of your dreams. I was also lost while house hunting for the first time, and these tips are drawn from my own expeirenve as well as the lessons I’ve picked up from other people.
- Speak To People
So you are ready to start living on your own or sharing a space with someone else. Whichever the case, the point is that you are house hunting and the first thing you should do is talk to people. Trying to find a place all by yourself is a major 50/50 situation that can go in unpredictable directions, and as a first-time house hunter, that is the last thing you need. To better your chances, make sure you are speaking to people you trust to guide you through the process. And while they are at it, ask them how their experiences with these agents went. Speaking to people, especially those who live in areas you would like to live in, can also open your eyes to what it’s like to live in those places, cutting down interaction with agents.
- Use Spleet
This is a no-brainer for a first-time house hunter. With Spleet, you can search for, find the home you are looking for, book a viewing and make payment all in less than two days. Spleet also allows you to make payments monthly, making it easy for a first-time renter with a lower financial capacity, to rent with ease. As a first-time house hunter, you need as much stress-free experience with renting as you can get, and this is exactly what Spleet offers you.
- Diversify Your Search
As a first-time house hunter, you need to keep an open mind. Yes, you have an ideal aesthetic in mind, but in a perfect world, where your budget is enough and everything goes exactly as you wanted, this would be possible. But this is not that world, so to avoid constant disappointment, you must keep an open mind while house hunting. Of course, it is key to consider things like proximity to your workplace, amenities and infrastructure, but those should be the most important considerations especially if you are house hunting on a budget. You may not always get the apartment of your dreams, but you can make it exactly so.