Houses are no doubt one of the basic necessities of life, just like food and clothing. One who has gotten a house to stay put and cover over his or her head, has succeeded in fighting homelessness.
Everyone needs a home, whether on rentage for years or for days, or even as owner, as a lifetime property.
A home is a shelter, an habitat where everyone dwells at one point or the other, and because of movement and migration of people from one place to another, for businesses, ceremony, Education etc, renting has become one service that almost every one will always subscribe to.
So, if you are considering, renting a home possibly because you just moved to a new city for work, businesses or education, here are five key things you should consider before agreeing to pay for that rent.
1. Environmental Needs : A popular environmental quote says “If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money.” — Guy McPherson, School of Natural Resources, University of Arizona.
The above clearly shows that as much as the economy is important, friendly environment that satisfies your personal needs is more important, especially when they affect your total wellbeing, business or life generally.
While growing up, our neighborhood was always lively, with constant electricity but there is one big problem, noise. There were sawmills around that almost working round the clock and ended up giving people sleepless nights, so in the end, they made every available good sides almost irrelevant for many, so people started relocating to a new area, especially when there were sudden rise in their population.
As small as noise may be, some hate it like mad, especially when you have gone for days, hoping to get home and sleep, only to be welcomed by noises from religious centres, clubs, and factories generators. It can be excruciatingly annoying.
Apart from noise being a disturbance for your sound sleep, it can also cause distraction for studying.
There are also many other environmental needs, that one should seriously consider when deciding to rent a house.
As a one time facility manager, I was showing a guy a spacious nice self contain room one day, telling him, how he will enjoy the tiled floor, the kitchen, the toilet facilities and constant electricity.
Then I noticed he was just pressing phone, moving to every corner of the house.
It later occurred to me that he was only actually looking for Internet networks or services to see if the room has one.
After watching him for like 2minutes, he raised his head up and smiled.
He said, Egbon I like the room, it has all internet services. I do most of my stuff online and I can cope with everything else including erratic power supply because I have a generator but without internet, It will be hell of a home for me.
Then we both smiled.. I understand.
This is an example of personal special need that is important for different individual. Don’t just assume..
I have lived in a house during my masters day, that I had to go out every time to access internet. As a student, you can imagine how unbearable that would be for anyone.
That the landlord or Agent feels a house is just perfect or manageable, because someone like you just used and enjoyed the home may not be same experience for you..
Some people hate heat, and they only got to know that there is no single fresh air from anywhere to get into their room, once electricity is off, because buildings are almost everywhere, yet they didn’t think of that from onset.
So when next you want to rent that house, consider your personal needs that the environment has to offer.
2. Basic Facilities: A friend rented a room in a town, only to discover that there are thousands of naira of unpaid electricity bills from the last occupant and for months, he was incessantly being harassed by NEPA staff until he placed pressure on the landlord to clear the bill.
The truth is that there are many things you may not know about your new house on inspection. But, to avert this, do your due diligence, either by asking tenants around the area. They may have useful information that can tell you if you are getting a good service for your rent.
Many people are often desperate to get a place as soon as possible, because of time constraints from main engagement probably due to busy work schedule or academic rigour that leaves little or no time to pay attention to details, hence they jump up as soon they see house for rent or vacant room available.
Be sure the rent has facilities you need before paying, it’s important.
3. Mobility & Proximity: My experience while leaving in Lagos has revealed that more than an anything else, proximity to workplace, school, personal business shop or office, market and place of worship are far more important when considering a rent than the actual rent cost.
If your work place is at Sabo Yaba and your Church is at Adekunle, paying for house rent around Unilag side, Onike-Iwaya, Ebute-Metta is lot sense-making , even with higher cost than going to get a cheap place at Oworonshoki or Oshodi, because of obvious traffic problems that is now part of Lagos life.
Again, how close the house is to the main road or easy of movement is also part of proximity that one should consider.
I have seen a house that is located far-far inside an area that it will take you 10 mins to get to a major junction on bike. And if you will have to trek, it will take you far more – like 30mins. So, it doesn’t make sense if ease of mobility is a problem and you have to rent a house where you labor hard to move around. This should seriously be considered.
4. Financial Stability: Affordability of the cost of rent, shouldn’t just be based on your present financial capabilities, rather on abilities to continue to pay such fee.
Research has shown that many people often have problems to pay the next rent after first, because of little financial strength.
When they want to rent a new place, and they say the rent is 300k for example, they would run here and there, but once the time of renewal comes, problem arises.
Before you take that new home, be double sure that it isn’t out of your means.
One good useful approach that it is generally advised and which many principled salary earners apply is that your 2-3months salaries in a year should be able to pay your rent comfortably. Going beyond that is overkilling.
If you are earning N100,000 in Lagos, your annual rent shouldn’t be more than N300,000 (3months salary). Look before you reap, especially if your finance is not stable and ofcourse because of unforseen circumstances that may eat your savings. It happens. Be wise.
5. Security: One last very important factor to consider when deciding a rent of choice is security.
A house should give you protection and be safe to live in.
Getting an unsecured apartment is like careless exposure of lives and properties to danger.
A student once unknowingly rented a newly built self-contain apartment in choice place in a town because she’s looking for comfort only to discover that her most of co-tenants are Internet scammers disguising as students, and they commit lots of atrocities like forcing to sleep with innocent girls, smoking Indian hemp heavily and stealing of other people’s items when they are broke.
Then SARS officials started parading the house. Friends were scared of visiting her because the house as they say in street slang has been “casted” or bookmarked.
She ended forfeiting her paid rent for peace and security, by looking for a new place, conducive for learning.
When you want to rent a place, be bothered about who you want to be living with. It matters a lot. Be security conscious.
I hope you learn something here?
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