House hunting can be very stressful especially if you are not asking the right questions or worse if you are not asking any questions at all. Asking the right questions from your agent, potential landlord or the landlord’s agent will help you get your desired house and even make the house hunting process easy. The questions below are tailored to suit the real estate environment in Nigeria.
- 1 When was the house built?
- 2 Is the house owned by a family, company or an individual?
- 3 What is the average number of hours the neighbourhood enjoy electricity supply?
- 4 Are there strict policies about when the street gates are locked for the day?
- 5 Is the neighbourhood noisy or quiet?
- 6 Does the house use a prepaid or postpaid meter?
- 7 How does the drainage system cope during rainy season?
- 8 Is generator allowed in the neighbourhood?
- 9 Is there a problem with the house you should know about?
When was the house built?
The older the house, the higher the probability of wear, tear or damage.Older houses are often prone to mold, plumbing issues, structural issues, roof leakage, unsafe electrical systems, crack in the wall.
In contrast, newly built houses tend to have fewer or no issues since most of what has been used in the construction process of the house are all new materials.
Is the house owned by a family, company or an individual?
You need to find out if the property you are about to buy or rent is owned by an individual, company or a family. If the house is owned by a family, you are advised to tread carefully because when not well managed, houses owned by families are often plagued by conflicts born out of power struggle over mostly inherited property.
When the house you want to buy is owned by a company, individual or family, it is important to request for documents showing ownership of the property. It is better to be safe than sorry.
What is the average number of hours the neighbourhood enjoy electricity supply?
Electricity supply is a major challenge in Nigeria. The reality is that in Nigeria, some areas enjoy more hours of electricity supply as compared to others.
Are there strict policies about when the street gates are locked for the day?
Imagine you close by 9 pm, and you are stuck in traffic for an hour just for you to arrive at your area then realize the street gates are locked. Security is also a challenge in some areas in Nigeria, hence, the strict policy of closing the gate. This question is important so you are not caught on the wrong side of the law.
Is the neighbourhood noisy or quiet?
Some areas in Nigeria are predominantly noisy and this is common to neighbourhoods that have schools, loud generators, recreational centers, religious houses or grinding machines. In Nigeria, some religious houses often have public address systems mounted on their roofs. As expected, this volume of the public address system constitutes enough noise to make residents in the neighbourhood complain.
You should find out what types of properties are close to your house. Imagine buying a home built next to a factory with noisy machines and equipment.
Does the house use a prepaid or postpaid meter?
In Nigeria, there are two types of electricity meters used in properties, the pre-paid meter, and the post-paid meter. These meters are used for reading and determining the rate of electricity consumption by the user. For the post-paid meter, you pay for electricity consumption after usage while with the prepaid, payment is made before usage.
When buying or renting a house, you should be really interested in knowing which one the house has as it goes a long way in determining when you pay and how you pay for electricity use.
How does the drainage system cope during rainy season?
In Nigeria, there is the rainy and dry season. Some areas in Nigeria have a poor drainage system. You don’t want to find out about the poor drainage system during the rainy season especially after renting or buying the house. To avoid this issue, ask the property owner about the drainage system before buying or renting the house.
Is generator allowed in the neighbourhood?
In some areas in Nigeria, it is allowed to have a generator to make up for the insufficient power supply in the country. However, there are some neighbourhoods in Nigeria where the use of generators is not permitted.
Is there a problem with the house you should know about?
Ask whether there is any problem with the property that you should know about. If there is a problem with the house, it is left to you to decide whether it is a problem you can ignore or if you would rather walk away from the property.
Are there any other questions you would like to ask a seller or agent before you make an offer? Kindly drop your questions in the comment section below.