Buying a home can be quite an arduous process. However, when you have the right guide, you can dramatically reduce the time and stress involved. Here’s a smart list you can count on for this precious time of your life.

Start early

Start quite on time to search out properties from online property centres. Nigeria Property Centre, Property Pro, and Property 24 are among the popular ones in the Nigerian real estate industry at the moment. Instagram could also be your property plug: more and more real estate agents are building their abode online, and you can find a fine variety of listings on these accounts.

Determine your budget for a home

So what’s your budget? There are three major ways houses are paid for in Nigeria: in full, in installments, and via mortgage. The mortgage industry in Nigeria is not at its best just yet, so most homes are paid for either in full or via installments.

If you would like to pay in full, how much can you really afford, bearing in mind all the side fees, the fixtures that would follow, and furnishing if you are not buying an already furnished home? If you would like to pay via installment, how much can you afford as initial deposit? Can your annual income pay for the remaining installments?

Knowing what you can actually afford will give you a good idea of the price range of houses to choose from. Without determining what your budget is, you might end up buying on impulse and spending way more than what you can afford.

Find a realtor you can trust

Goes without saying. And this is really important because your real estate agent will be in a better position to know the nitty gritties of the neighborhood in his ‘jurisdiction’ and the homes in it. What’s more, you don’t have to pay him as he is entitled to a healthy commission from the seller of the home.

Read also 4 Common Mistakes Made By Homebuyers

Schedule inspections with your realtor

When shopping for your home look out for minute details. Test the taps to see that the water actually runs, close and open the windows and doors to be sure that they are not damaged, switch the light bulbs on and off. 

Also look at the neighborhood. Is the home close to necessities such as shopping malls, schools, etc. Are the neighbouring homes well maintained? Does it flood when it rains? If it does, how badly?

These details will help you weigh your pros and cons so you don’t buy what you’ll regret.

Negotiate an offer

Now you’ve found the home you want, make an offer. What do you have? Whether you’re paying in full, paying in installments or buying via mortgage, you want to be buying at the best price. Your realtor can help you with negotiations.

Fix a date for structural inspection 

This is not the same as the superficial inspection you do on a home you like. At this stage you’ll need a professional home inspector to check the home for any structural deficiencies like a problem with the foundation. This will let you know if you want to renegotiate price terms with the seller based on new discoveries. Your seller may decide to fund any needed repairs, or he may reduce the price of the home if you are doing it yourself. It will also let you know if you want to back out at this point.

Verify title documents

This is critically important as it will save you from fraud and protect you from any issues with government in the future. If you are buying a house in Lagos for example, the Bureau of Lands of Lagos state will know if the property is registered as a government acquired property and if there are pending litigation or issues on the property.

And finally, close the sale

Yeah, the part where you finally take a deep breathe. Here you only have to put finishing touches to your paperwork, and move into your new home.

These steps should help you do fine. So here’s to a great home buying experience, cheers!

Read also 6 Easy Steps To Follow When Buying A Property

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