In a country like Nigeria, a lot of people will love to be homeowners and as exciting as that is, a lot still has to be learnt before proceeding. Buying your first home is a major commitment not just financially but also psychologically. Investing in the Nigerian real estate market can be a bit overwhelming especially when you have no clue about the market.
As one of the biggest purchase of your life, the entire process can be nerve-racking but it’s supposed to be exciting and fun and it can be. While having the “first-time buyer” jitters is normal, I mean when you do some time for the first time it can be scary, here are a few home buying tips and tricks that can give you peace of mind while getting your dream home in Nigeria.
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1. Assess your financial situation
You need money to buy a house, and so before you proceed you need to have an idea of your financial situation. You need to save ahead of time so you can have enough and also have an idea of what type of house you can afford and how long you need to save to be able to build your dream house.
2. Create must-have list
One of the tips for first-time homeowners is having a must-have list. Just as with any aspiration, you need to have a target of what you are looking for. A checklist of what you are looking for, which neighbourhood or location are you aiming for? What features do you want in your home? Without a good grip on the end goal, there can be some straying from the path of finding your first home.
Creating a checklist of what you will be looking for as you start your house hunt will allow you to turn to logic when faced with the emotions of deciding between different listings. Something you can try is creating 3 columns on your checklist
Must-have items (priorities)
Additional amenities and features that would be helpful to have.
Be sure to share your list with your realtor. Also, it’s beneficial for you to take copies of the list to every house inspection or showing you attend.
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3. Hire an agent
Hiring a real estate professional to help you with the buying process will not only save you time but also stress. It might seem logical to look for houses alone but a buyer’s agent will help protect your interest and also guide you through the maze of being a homeowner in Nigeria. An agent can send you listings directly that fit your parameters, and you won’t waste time looking at houses you have no business with. Agents often know of new listings coming up that are not yet on the market. An agent can generally spot overpriced listings and advise you accordingly. A realtor will also help you negotiate, just because it is the first-time you have bought a home doesn’t mean you should go in unaware of what is too much for an asking price.
4. Think long-term
When you want to buy a property in Nigeria, you should always think long term. You should hire an inspector that will be able to find problems that you won’t notice. Also, consider these questions Are you planning to have kids? Will you be taking care of elderly relatives? You might be planning to live in your first home for only a few years. In that case, who is your target audience when it comes time to sell the house? These questions will also help you decide which home is right for you.
5. Research other sources of funding
Only a few Nigerians know they don’t have to bear the burden of having to own a home all by himself. With so many financial institutions in the country all offering some kind of home funding. If you pass the mortgage requirements in Nigeria you can apply from any of the mortgage institutions in Nigeria.
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6. Read the contract before signing
It is imperative you read any contract before you sign it, the same goes when you buy a house. A house is probably the largest purchase you will ever make in your life, so make sure you understand the terms of your contract. If you don’t understand any of the terms, ask a professional either your realtor, agent or mortgage broker. If they won’t explain the terms clearly to you, fire them; there are enough people who will be more than happy to help you and work for your business.