If you think it’s time to get your first apartment or you know someone who’s about to get their first apartment, I think you should read this first.
Even if you’ve had an apartment and you just want to change apartment ehn, still spare some time to read this.
Let me first state that I am not a housing expert or real estate agent but since I’ve decided to share my personal experiences with y’all via this Medium, I believe there are one or two things you can learn from my house-hunting experiences.
FYI, I rented my first apartment in 2018 and I’ve seen and experienced things. You’ve just got to believe me when I say so cause omo, ko easy!
Firstly, permit me to say a large percentage of house agents are mad! Haa! The type of ment worrying those people is brewed in a different planet because mehnn! Come and see ment with irritating confidence.
Before you say “not all agents are mad” you’d better be grateful to your village people that were on vacation the day you jammed that person that’s making you put up the defense because if you’re like me that Ogun state people used to follow at some point, you’d know that kini yin deep mehn.
Ermmm, what happened to me that has not happened to anybody before? Well, it’s not like it has not happened to anybody before tori I know a lot of people that can relate to my experiences.
That’s why I thought to help you newbies avoid stories that touch. Yeah, I’m nice like that! You can say thank you by leaving a clap on this post.
So, I have made a list of things to look out for/avoid when house hunting and as I address them, I’d be sharing my perspectives on each touchpoint.
Let’s do this!
1. Start House Hunting Early — I personally feel that aside from funds, one of the reasons people end up with apartments that belong in the trash is as a result of the belief that “houses shouldn’t be hard to get” especially if your rent is ready.
Oh boy! House yapa but if you don’t start searching early, you’re going to be rudely shocked at how long it might take to find an apartment you actually like. And, if you have specifications like me, the best thing to do is carry your list and start hunting way before you need to move in so you can properly dot your I’s and cross your T’s and not have to ‘settle’ for what you could never have imagined.
This may be different for people living in Lagos sha tori what are those tiny spaces they are renting out in Lagos sef? LEEEMAAAOOOO!!!
2. Don’t Pay for a Room That’s About to be Vacant — If you’ve ever heard that someone paid for an apartment that was at the time of payment occupied, I know you must have been wondering what sort of jazz was used but don’t blame us.
E shock you?!! You’re surprised I said us uhn? Well, nasso we see am o.
This was one of the first house-hunting mistakes I ever made. Of course, it wasn’t like I didn’t know it was a bad idea to go ahead and pay but no one told me to expect such a gimmick, and trust me, I fell for it yakata.
Basically, the occupant that was supposed to move out locked up the place without moving and we had to do an “ultimate search” for her cause the agent and house owner were not willing to refund my money.
I legit ended up squatting with friends for five months before I could eventually move into the apartment. Haa! On top of my money!! Wo! My mental health was on a pendulum those times and you don’t deserve to go through the same stress.
NB: This happens mostly when desperation has set it. Agents can see and hear the things you’re not saying and all they care about is your money. The lies they’d sell to you will make sense temporarily but my friend, run (insert TikTok sound)!
3. Don’t Pay for an Apartment That’s Under Construction — This is another fast way to shed premium tears. Again, I know you want to ask why any sane person would pay for an uncompleted building? LEEMAOOO. It isn’t always an incomplete building per se.
Just pray that you don’t find yourself in that situation cause when they start vocalizing the layout of the apartment to you and you start to picture yourself opening imaginary wardrobes and turning off invisible bathroom heaters etc, omooo you’d drop the money o.
Whatever happens after the money gets to their akant is absolutely up to them.
Trust me, you don’t need to undergo undue stress, so when you find yourself in that situation, do what? Japa!
4. Don’t Compromise Your Standards — This is very basic because normal normal, you shouldn’t compromise your standards in this life so, apply the same rule to house hunting. Don’t let any agent sell you an offer you’d end up regretting while you countdown to moving out.
Personally, I have a list of important things I like to check out when house hunting, and I don’t care how many things on that list a potential apartment has to offer, if some equally important things are missing, it a NO for me.
I can’t be lamenting for about errm 12 months over something I knew I was clearly uncomfortable with from the start. Who does that?
Biko, maintain the standard abeg!
Remember, once the agent has been paid, O.Y.O lo wa o.
5. Consider Your Lifestyle — E shock you?! It shouldn’t, really.
Why would you even get an apartment without prioritizing the kind of life you’d be living in it.
The layout of the house, the environment, every damn thing should suit your lifestyle!
For context, I am a nightcrawler and there’s no way on earth that I’d take an apartment far from the road because what should happen to me when I’m coming home at almost midnight??? Uhn?? Okay, I know the country is not safe and there’s kidnapping ear and dear but I hope you sha understand.
Another example, imagine being a plant mum or dog daddy and there’s no space for your beloveds? Would you go ahead and take an apartment that will visibly affect your lifestyle? Uhn?
That’s on periodt!
6. Check for Good Internet — Oh boy! Put internet above power supply biko.
You know you can buy a generator or install a solar panel or take your gadgets out to charge etc. With electricity, you have a handful of options but you see this internet kini, haa!
Wo, may you not pay for an apartment with bad reception (I don’t wish it on my enemy) because what will you even do?
Is it the masquerade dances and the freezing moments I’ve had in this apartment all in the name of looking for network? Or the times guests have had to leave because they entered my apartment and their networks disappeared?
See ehn, how I’m getting by is just the grace of God because this child of God will sha not eat grass.
On a good day, mobile networks in Nigeria are entirely trash, tueh! But if you combine what you’re supposed to be managing with a house that just doesn’t have signal, my friend, you will furtate!
So, as you’re going house hunting, carry all your sim cards and Mi-Fi’s and survey the apartments you’re checking out for internet connection. I’m serious o…
This is the 21st-century fam, data is life!
7. Survey the Environment for Noise — See ehn, even if you don’t work from home like me, I don’t think you’d like to be disturbed by seven churches on your street holding vigils at the same time every week, or a bar next door playing loud music into the night.
And, if you work from home, living next to a school might be a terrible choice for your thought process or would you be going on break when the students start howling at midday?
What with nearby stores grinding pepper and pounding yam when you should be on a Zoom meeting? LEEMAOO
I know you can’t know everything in one visit but fam, shine your eyes as you dey go -make mental notes of things you may not like so that if the apartment ticks all your boxes, you can easily think of coping mechanisms.
Las las, not everybody is getting an apartment in some tush Estate so you better be taking notes now.
8. Be Sure that Things Are Working — One of the easiest ways to “see crazy” in a rented apartment is to finish payment and realize that bird is not crying like bird and dog is not barking like dog. LEEMAOO
Imagine paying for an apartment and discovering that the pipes and water tanks around the house na disguise cause there’s no pumping machine. Madt abi? Well, I’ve been there. Even the taps were broken! Oh boy!
Biko, ensure that things are working. How? Soro soke! Ask to see stuff working, don’t buy the “when you pay we will fix it” lie.
Confirm that there’s a functional trash collection system as well. You don’t want to be caught dead dropping trash in the middle of the road or on PROHIBITED lands.
May we not sleep in cell o.
9. Scrutinize Agreement Papers & Inspect Receipts — Obviously, you shouldn’t append your signature to anything you don’t understand but this house palava ehn, E.B Things!
Desperation will make you sign anything while sighing that you finally got a place but my dear, be careful.
Don’t enter “one chance” because of grammar. Please, read every document thoroughly and ask for clarity where needed. If there’s a need to withhold your signature, please do till you’re certain that all is well. May we not be unfortunate.
You see that receipt ehn, before you fold it into your wallet or bag, check it out. Be sure that your receipt states exactly what you paid for, when you did, and the duration of your tenancy.
Again, may we not be unfortunate o.
Fam, I cannot imagine myself living in a green or orange apartment, so I’d definitely have conversations about changing house coating to my preferred color — of course, purple.
If there are any neighbors, I’d advise you to find time to go back to see them for personal inquiries.
Ask about the security of the environment, agents will not tell you the truth o.
Make inquiries about sanitation, laundry space, house rules (so that you’d know what you’re getting into), also ensure you there’s space for stuff like your generator, car, etc.
Also, most times, living with house owners can be problematic so, I’d advise you to opt for an apartment without the landlord/landlady.
Lastly, visualize the setup of your space as you check out the apartment and ensure you find it comfortable to live in before you make any serious moves.
There you have it, my list of things you should know before getting an apartment. I really hope that this was helpful.
If you’ve learned something, leave as many claps as you can and if you have any additional tips, by all means, leave a comment, I’d love to see.
See you next month!