Renting a house or an apartment is such an important decision because the place you call home directly affects the quality of life that you live. As you might have heard many times, you are a product of your environment therefore you have to be very deliberate about choosing a place to live. If you want to know how a bad choice of where to live can ruin your life, keep reading.
Another reason to take this decision very seriously is because of the immense impact it has on your finances and journey to financial freedom. Most people aren’t able to save and invest because they spend up to 80% of their income on rent alone. Others even go as far as incurring huge debts in order to pay their rent .
To avoid regrets, here are 9 things to consider before you rent a home.
- Cost: It goes without saying that the first thing you need to consider is cost. House-hunting begins with first determining a budget. However, more often than not, you realize that you’re either not satisfied with the places that suit your budget or your realtor keeps showing you places which are better, but clearly above your budget. Before you decide to increase your budget, you need to properly do your maths to ensure that you’re able to afford your rent and subsequent renewals. Failure to do so will leave you stranded or in debt.
- Additional Expenses: Asides from your rent, there are additional costs that you should consider before making your decision. Costs like Agency, legal and caution fees can cause your budget to increase drastically. You might also be required to pay 2 years rent in some cases. The cost of electricity, water and other recurring services should also be a major consideration because they could cause a huge hole in your pocket eventually. Finally, when you’re inspecting the property, find out if there are any renovations to be done and how much it will cost.
- Proximity To Your Place Of Work: This is unarguably one of the most important factors to consider before renting a property. The closer you live to your place of work, the better for your productivity and overall well being. Many people do not get enough sleep because they have to wake up very early every morning and they still spend long hours in traffic. This type of lifestyle is responsible for many stress-induced illnesses that could lead to death.
- Proximity to your most visited places: It is important that your new home is not far from all the places you love to visit. If you live too far from your friends and family or your favourite spots, you’ll find yourself visiting those places less often. This could lead to loss of friendships and a feeling of disconnection from the world, causing depression in many cases.
- Condition In Different Seasons: This is applicable especially in Lagos. A lot of people are living in regret because they didn’t do proper investigation before renting their homes. You need to know the condition of your surroundings in different seasons. How’s the cross ventilation? Can you survive when it gets really hot? How’s the drainage system, do the streets get flooded when it rains?
- Basic Amenities: Be sure to find out about the quality of the water, frequency of electricity supply and availability of parking space. These things may seem trivial when you’re house-hunting but they could make you very uncomfortable when you eventually move in.
- Security: When searching for a home, you’re likely to have a list of the features you want. However, during the course of your hunting, other factors like budget and proximity might make you compromise on some of those features. Nevertheless, you should never compromise on safety and security. Do proper findings about the safety of the environs and confirm that it’s a secure area before you make payment.
- Read your Tenancy Agreement: Before you make payments, read the tenancy agreement carefully and be sure you understand all the terms and conditions. You may not agree with some of your landlord’s terms and this could cause conflict in the future.
- Tenant History: Make it a point of duty to find out why the former tenant left the property. If the previous tenant stayed for a long time and is moving into their own house or relocating to another country, then that’s a good sign. On the other hand, if there have been series of short-lets, it means the property might be inhabitable for some reason and you need to find out what it is.