Many reasons can make you consider changing your residence: change of job, marriage, expiration of rent, quit notice, new experience, new societal and financial status, e.tc. Every change like moving into a new apartment comes with its inherent challenges. Unfortunately, most times we are reluctant and inadequately prepared for it. Finding a good apartment in most cities in Nigeria is difficult and very exhausting. But, with the assistance of a reliable and genuine house agent, your problem could be half solved. This is important because many people posing around these days as house agents but there are fraudsters or scammers in disguise. To avoid falling into the wrong hands, search for the house by yourself or use a trusted and tested agent (preferably a legal practitioner).
Whichever option you prefer, ensure you visit the proposed property before you make payment (don’t rely on pictures) and in addition, look out for the following:
Renting a building under dispute in the lawcourt could spare doom if the landlord you made payment to loses the case. Any house under dispute is a red flag, avoid it. There are instances of such where occupants of these buildings were forcefully ejected by the new landlord with or without prior notice. Certainly, you would want this experience for your family.
In addition, ask questions and investigate thoroughly about the owner of the apartment. Moreover, payment should be made through the bank and a receipt issued to you with all the terms, conditions, and duration stated therein. If you are paying in cash let there be witnesses from both parties for transparency and authentication of the transaction.
Is the place secured? Are the constant and fervent cases of arm robbery, cult clash and other vices? Security should be one of your top priorities when moving into a new apartment. The security of yourself, family and belongings are very important and can not be overemphasized. Ensure there are adequate security systems in the place such as street lights, vigilante groups, security gates, CCTV cameras, and proper neighbourhood watch. In all, remember only you can provide the best security for yourself and your family.
There should be easy entry and exit to your residence. A motorable road network will eliminate or reduce traffic congestion and this will make movement quite easy. If you don’t own a means of transport like a car, they should be an existing transport system like “okada” riders within and around the place. However, ensure that this neighborhood is very habitable and people are living in the place already.
Water is a basic necessity of life. Renting an apartment in some residential areas could be cheap but the cost of water will be so exorbitant and scarce. Ensure there is a constant water supply in the building or a nearby borehole. In addition, there should be water supply services like “meruwa” for areas and buildings which do not have water.
The Power Holding Company of Nigeria is not known to supply uninterrupted or adequate power. But, in some cities in Nigeria, it is a known fact that some neighborhoods enjoy more power supply than others. There are some places where electricity from the national grid comes only twice a month, beginning and then end of the month. Ask questions, especially if you do not have an alternative power source. However, it is advisable you make alternative arrangements for electricity such as generator and solar system. The latter is cheaper in the long run with little or no maintenance. Equally, this building should have a prepaid meter to avoid exorbitant bills from the Power Holding Company. This also will remove the possibility of paying for the unpaid bills of the former occupant of the building.
Food is certainly one thing you can not do without. You will inevitably need groceries, toiletries, and many other household necessities. There is no point in travelling miles to buy some of these basic items. Ensure there is a close-by market, shops, or mall where these items can be bought at a good rate. Although the absence of such could be a good business opportunity that you can take advantage of.
Depending on your kind of person, there may be few facilities that you may do without. Many people are perfectly okay with just the basic infrastructures of life. But, if there are facilities that you can not live without, such as a bar, gym center, cybercafé, recreation center, restaurant, worship center, and viewing center, ensure there is one of such within your neighborhood.
Ensure that the neighborhood of the new residence that you are moving into has a good drainage system and that it is far from any water body that could threaten habitation during raining season. Some places are prone to erosion, flood and they get submerged in water during raining season. You do not want to wake up one night, to find out your apartment has been flooded. Ask questions and observe the terrain of the neighborhood there are always visible signs of this problem.
Carry out due diligence before moving into a new residence. You do not want to pay for an apartment and start regretting it. Do not act in a haste, take your time to get an apartment that meets your taste and finance. Remember you cannot be productive, raise and enjoy a good home in a hostile environment. I hope these tips help you make the right choice for yourself and your family. Feel free to comment in the comment section on other helpful tips, also if you need assistance to rent or buy real estate property you can reach out to me.