HOW TO RENT AN APARTMENT

apartment
A soft apartment

Renting an apartment has never been an easy one. A lot of people don’t take renting an apartment as seriously as they should.

I don’t understand those people. While renting an apartment is not buying, the place will serve as your home and should be considered carefully.

Not only is your home a big part of the way you feel about yourself, it’s also a reflection of how others see you.

Billionaires, even those who rent their homes, take time when finding places to live, and so should you.

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In Lagos, Abuja and even in Port Harcourt City, a city I know quite well, people often feel lucky to find anything. There’s enormous demand, and sometimes hundreds of people will charge through the streets to look at expensive kitchennette called house.

Most of these people will be prepared, with quite an amount of money, and with a sense of competition that can be fierce.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO PLAY IN THIS APARTMENT MARKET?

To play in this apartment market, or any other real estate market, you have to do your homework. Have a clear idea of your financial needs and your living requirements.

Going blindly from apartment to apartment will be a waste of everyone’s time – particularly your own.

I feel strongly that an apartment should e rented with the help of a good broker (agent). It can be done without one, but to me, that’s like taking pills without consulting a doctor or filing a lawsuit without a lawyer. It’s possible but it’s stupid.

DO YOU REALLY NEED AN AGENT TO GET AN APATRTMENT

Brokers (Agent) know the neighborhoods and the specific markets in and out. They know the property values, the pros and cons of certain buildings, the rules and regulations of pricing and rents, and the ins and outs of the actual lease.

Most brokers (agents) are educated and licensed, and there’s good reason for that. They will prevent you from making mistakes that will cost you thousands, or even millions more than the fees that they charge. They will also save you time by filtering out apartments that do not meet your criteria.

SHOULD YOU REALLY BELIEVE AN AGENT WHEN GETTING AN APARTMENT?

No, you should never believe everything a broker (agent) tells you. The broker (agent) is, after all, only there for the commission, as concerned and accommodating as he or she may seem.

Study place in an apartment
Study place in an apartment

Also, when it comes to the commission, whether you’re selling, buying, or renting, always negotiate.

Sometimes, brokers do an amazing job and deserve a high commission, but when yo enter the relationship, always negotiate from the start. It’s much easier to negotiate the fee at the beginning of the relationship. Trying to change agreement with brokers (agent) midway through or at the end of a transaction is poor business form.

WHAT IF YOU DON’T WANT AN AGENT FOR YOUR APARTMENT?

If you cannot afford a broker (agent) or simply want to go it alone, look in the papers or on notice boards around the area. Ask around and walk around.

Some of the best stories I’ve heard are about finding apartments that simply came out of nowhere – kind of like those stories about easily getting a taxi in the evening hours of Christmas day.

WHETHER OR NOT YOU USE AN AGENT FOR YOUR APARTMENT….

Find somewhere you’ll be happy for a long time. Moving around every couple of years is disruptive and expensive. And most important, figure out what you can afford.

It may not be a concern for you, but I would advise you never spend more than twenty five percent of your salary on rent – no matter how fantastic an apartment you have found.

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Every kobo you pour into your rent is a kobo you could be using somewhere else — whether its for savings, for for utilities, or for enjoying the finer things in life.

HOW MUCH IS OKAY FOR YOUR APARTMENT?

It’s okay to stretch yourself slightly and anticipate that in a few years you may be making moremoney, but that is not a sure thing. Yes I know, God forbid! But it is not a sure thing.

Also, its safe to assume that your salary will increase at the same rate as your salary. Tenants that cannot pay rent will go nowhere fast – and certainly never get wealthy.

Ek’aale!

This blogpost was inspired by Donald Trump’s book “THINK LIKE A BILLIONAIRE”. Do well to also share helpful tips to other readers in the comment section.

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