5 Savvy Tips to Successful House-Hunting in Lagos
So, you’re prepared for house-hunting in Lagos. You’re not alone if you compare looking for a home to trying to obtain toilet paper during a pandemic. Don’t let that discourage you, though. According to most buyers, the hardest part of home-buying is locating the appropriate house. You’ll locate the house of your dreams if you buckle up and keep your eyes on the prize.
Knowing that most buyers visit nine properties and look for 10 weeks before finding the one they choose can help you stay calm during your home hunt.2 However, it can be easy to lose focus and forget what kind of home best suits your needs in the midst of all that. But with the help of our home-buying advice, you’ll be able to choose the perfect house for you!
Read: Reverse Mortgage For 62 and Older in Lagos, Nigeria
What should I do before looking for a home?
Make sure you cross these items off before hitting the streets with a few listings:
Be aware of your housing budget. While it’s crucial to sit down and list necessities for your new home (especially if you’re married), it’s a bad idea to start shopping for one before considering your finances. You risk falling in love with a home that may crush you in debts! Buy a home only if you can afford to pay cash or if your monthly mortgage payment, including private mortgage insurance, HOA dues, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance, equals no more than 25% of your gross income.
Spend less on a down payment. Your other financial objectives will be stifled if you don’t save enough to cover a down payment of at least 10 to 20 percent of the entire cost of the house. To avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) for the duration of the loan, we advise a down payment of 20%. Please enter the amount of your down payment into our mortgage calculator to compare different house prices within your pricing range.
Get a mortgage preapproval. Preapproval requires some upfront work, but it pays off once you find the home of your dreams. A preapproval letter demonstrates to the seller that you are a serious buyer and will help them sell their home more quickly.
Look for a real estate agent. An agent makes it easier for you to find a fantastic house and a great price by providing access to a multiple listing service (more on that later). You must get a top-notch real estate agent immediately!
Read: Buying the Smart Way: Should You Buy Off-Plan Property Or An On-Plan Property?
How House-Hunting in Nigeria Works
How do buyers find residences? The majority of them use a real estate agent or the internet. People, drive-by viewings are no longer acceptable. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, 50% of buyers—right, that’s 50% of all buyers—found the home they bought online, whereas 28% did it with the help of a real estate agent3.
Use a multiple listing service.
If the listings are inaccurate, house hunting may drive you insane. Did you locate the ideal residence? Whoops! Last week it was sold. Find a cost that is within your means? Sorry! That cost increased. Not quite a good time, does it? You’ll hear the term “multiple listing service” (a fancy real estate term) a lot during your home search, which is why you should go house searching with access to one.
Real estate professionals develop and administer a private database of available houses for sale called an MLS for accuracy and up-to-date status information. To be a part of an MLS, agents must pay a fee since it increases the exposure of their listings to customers like you. It also gives them access to a bigger selection of homes to show their buyers.
You see, an MLS is only accessible to licensed real estate agents. So when you go house-hunting with a real estate agent, you always have the most up-to-date information about the properties you see and get an insider’s look at the newest listings (often even before they hit the market).
Your realtor will also help you set reasonable expectations and narrow your search to neighborhoods you can afford if you share your list of must-haves with them, including your maximum price range. To ensure you obtain the greatest deal with no surprises, they can also help you navigate the home-buying process.
Search the web for inspiration
Since anybody can publish a listing on many real estate apps and websites, including Zillow and Trulia, some of the listings might include inaccurate or out-of-date information. However, these internet resources are now so well-liked by homebuyers that many MLS brokers make deals to have their properties added. So, search for software and online resources that significantly rely on MLS data.
What Are the Best Websites and Apps for House-Hunting in Lagos?
The most up-to-date information will always be available from your realtor, but if you want to look at homes online to get a feel for the neighborhood, check out the house shopping applications and websites that are currently available to buyers. Some of the best are as follows:
Zillow: It has all the tools you’d expect a housing search app to have, plus the exclusive “Zestimate” function that calculates the market worth of each property. It’s not an appraisal, but it could let you know whether the asking price is wholly inflated.
Trulia: If you enjoy maps and statistics, you’ll enjoy using Trulia. Its property listings feature heat maps with information on crime rates, commuting times, demographics, and interactive maps highlighting neighboring schools and shopping areas.
Imagine falling in love with a home on Realtor.com only to find out it had already been sold and the listing had never been updated. That’s annoying. Realtor.com says that its listings are updated at least once every 15 minutes on average. You won’t accidentally throw your phone across the room if you do that.
Redfin Real Estate: Unlike the other home-hunting apps we discussed, a real estate agency created this one. You can click the question mark in each listing to get additional information about the property. You can click to schedule a tour after viewing the future open houses according to date.
After having fun exploring the options, get in touch with your real estate agent to focus your search on the house that best suits your needs and your budget.
Pro House-Hunting Advice in Lagos
You are prepared to start looking for a home now that you have some resources and a real estate agent on your side. Follow this advice to steer clear of common house-hunting blunders and land the residence of your dreams:
Tip #1: Keep looking until you find what you can afford.
Each housing market is unique. There is such a wide range of house prices in the nation that one outrageous price can make you stop. But don’t let one figure fool you into thinking it will be impossible to find a house that suits your budget.
Never give up! And follow your agent’s advice—they’re seasoned pros. One of your biggest investments will be a house. Calculate how much housing you can afford, then stay within that range!
Tip #2: Consider the setting and design.
Dislike the ornaments? Offended by the paint’s hues? Rise above it. Later, you can fix those. But you cannot control a bad neighborhood, floor plan, or a 20-minute drive to the nearest grocery store. So don’t cut those corners. Find a neighborhood and a design that suits your lifestyle. Also, keep an open mind about the kitchen tile if you want a decent offer.
Tip #3 Take into account the size.
What kind of room does your family require? Remember that the number of homes you buy should ultimately depend on your budget. But to indicate what individuals are purchasing, recent data reveals that most buyers bought 1,850 square foot homes with three bedrooms and two bathrooms4.
Tip #4: Assess the educational districts.
The quality of the nearby school districts is undoubtedly a significant issue that is already on your attention if you have children. However, even if you don’t have children, living close to an excellent school may boost the value of your house when it comes time to sell.
Tip #5: Consider home value increase.
Don’t just settle for a cool porch or a large yard. Find a house that will appreciate over time. Do some research into the area’s commercial and real estate histories. Do homes have rising values? Is there a rise in the number of businesses? They’re encouraging signs!
Additionally, try to locate a house in the greatest community you can afford. Avoid trying to market a $300,000 house to prospective buyers who are looking in a $200,000 neighborhood.
Tip #6: Ask inquiries as you tour the home
When you visit the house, make sure it’s your ideal home by asking many questions. You can also get assistance with this from your real estate agent. When seeing a house, consider asking the sellers these questions:
- What is offered for sale? (Does the cost include items like lighting fixtures or appliances?)
- When were the systems and appliances last updated? (Check the washer and dryer, HVAC, plumbing, septic tank, refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher.)
- What is the roof’s age?
- What kind of people lives nearby?
- Has there ever been an infestation of pests?
- How are the wet and dry seasons there?
- What about the house do you love the most?
- Which issues have you had with the house?
Go House-hunting with PlistHub Now!
Whew! It’s a lot to ask of you. But if you stick to this advice for house hunting, you’ll succeed. You’ll find the home of your dreams and stay away from a bad decisions. Connect with a PlistHub agent if you want to feel assured about your search. Finding effective real estate agents who share your beliefs is easier, so you can concentrate on your home search!
Start looking for your ideal property after finding the top realtors in your neighborhood!