HOUSE HUNTING TIPS - LOCATION
When looking for a house, room or apartment to rent anywhere in Nigeria, the overall look and feel of the interior space can be very important however, there are a few other things worth considering before putting pen to paper.
Location, location, location this could make or break your rental experience. Are you willing to sit for hours in traffic in your commute to work or school? How far away are friends, family or relatives, that is if you are the kind of person that wants family nearby. If you have school-aged children, how far is the nearest school? How far is the market? All these questions are very important in deciding where next you want to live. Here are some things that I will consider.
If you don’t have your own car, commuting in Nigeria can be a really painful thing to do every day as Public Transport in most Nigerian cities and towns are almost non-existence. Okada, Going (motorcyclist), keke-Napep, or whatever its called where you live, would be your best bet to get from your house to the nearest bus stop. Ideally I’ll rather walk so I’ll advice you look for places of walkable distance from the bus stop but I know that this is not always possible as houses could be far out and cyclist are really important. Factor all of this into your decision; do you mind hopping on an Okada or Going every morning? Or would you rather walk? If you would rather walk, how far can you walk? If you were an Okada or Going person, that too has a limit, how long would you want to ride for?
When I say “your people” I mean your friends, family and relatives. Moving to a new city or area can be stressful especially if you don’t have easy access to people you know. If you have friends already living in and loving an area, do some research and check it out! It will be good if you don’t have to drive to the other side of the city just to grab dinner and drinks with some friends. It’s also important not to forget your family. If you’re moving to an area where you have family members, it helps to be close and have them easily accessible for a visit or just in case of an emergency.
Every neighbourhood or “Area’’ as it is called in Nigeria has its own character good or bad, always interwoven with middle and lower class living side by side. The great news is, where to shop for quick essentials are always around the corner and most often quite accessible. However, major markets and other shopping areas where you can grab a real bargain can be far away. Do your research and find out where the nearest one is. If you are into the nightlife and love to catch up with friends for a beer or two after work, living close to trendy bars and clubs could also be a real advantage.