What to look out for when house hunting in Lagos

What to look out for when house hunting in Lagos

House hunting in Lagos can be quite tasking especially if one is seeking a very suitable a habitable apartment which can be like looking for a pin in

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House hunting in Lagos can be quite tasking especially if one is seeking a very suitable a habitable apartment which can be like looking for a pin in a haystack. No matter how prepared you are for the drama, there will always be something that blindsides you, even if you are an old hand at it.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the uncomfortable paths during house hunting in Lagos.

  • If you are about to check out a flat and you see a lot of Mai Ruwas (Hausas selling water) around the area, just know that there is a water problem there.
  • Don’t just take estate and landlord’s word for it. If you hear “Government go soon fix the road”, just know that is a lie. The state government at any given time may likely have has other things to do than to worry about your road. Stay only if you are ok with managing the bad road (e.g. if most of your movement will be on okada)
  • Try house hunting during the rainy season.
  • Whether your house hunting is during rainy season or not, look for signs of where the walls/ fences in the area look discoloured at the bottom or covered in moss. That is where water reaches when it rains.
  • If you are looking for an apartment on the topmost floor, look at the internal walls for lines which are tell tale signs of a leaking roof. If the apartment has just been repainted this is hard. Either way get assurances on who bears external damage (like roof leakage repairs)
  • If you see signs on the walls saying “stop the violence”, “lets live in peace”, cultism thrives in that area. If you ignore the signs and still take the house, be ready to bear the brunt of it.
  • If the agent and landlord tells you that “na just to complete am na”, better get it in writing or avoid if you have options.
  • In low end housing areas, the rule of thumb is one modest septic tank (soakaway). So at least look for a block of four flats. You have been warned. This is especially important in very swampy areas.
  • An estate agent will likely introduce you to several other agents who will also introduce to others. If they disturb you for money, give them recharge card. But try to avoid a situation where you have three or more estate agents showing you one house.
  • If parking space is important to you, better be careful with accepting “don’t worry we dey park outside”. They don’t need to steal your whole car, just the brainbox or something else.
  • Always ask for the NEPA bill, before you start paying for ‘national debt.’