Renting a home is a big decision. You must ensure that the home is suitable for your needs and that everything is in working order. Before you go on your next property viewing, keep an eye out for these key elements and any red flags to help you make the best decision possible.
The musty odor, mildew on the walls, peeling wallpaper, blistering paint, dark patches, discoloration, and mold are all signs of dampness. It is created by wet air condensing on the walls and is a sign of the building’s structure and ventilation. Damp can cause health problems, woodworm, and fungal rot, and it’s difficult to eradicate.
Check which direction your home faces. The most desirable rear gardens are those that face south and receive the greatest sunlight during the summer. You also want as much light as possible to enter your home, so consider how much sunlight enters each room. Because the sun is hidden by the house as it rises and sets, the north-facing rear gardens receive minimal sunlight.
3. Room Size
Make sure that each room is a good size. Make sure your furniture will fit in the room; you could even use a tape measure to double-check. Landlords can be funny with sizes, especially in Lagos. So, watch carefully.
One crucial point to remember when purchasing a home is that location is everything; you can change the house but not the location. Is there a strong school system, good transportation, and plenty of parks and green space? Restaurants, shops, and, of course, a decent bar come to mind. Is there a strong sense of community in the region, or are crime rates high and the neighbors loud? Are there any upcoming developments that will affect the neighborhood? Try to figure it out during your visit, or drive around the neighborhood to get a sense of it. You wouldn’t want to live in a good place but a bad environment.
Run a finger down the window. Is there condensation? Are the window frames cracked and rotting? Do the windows have locks? They’ll need to change them and show that the house isn’t very well kept.
Make sure that the plumbing is in good working order. Check water pressure by flushing toilets and running taps. Make sure the pipes aren’t made of iron and are properly insulated. Make sure that under-sink cupboards are dry and that showers are warm.
Make sure the building’s structure is sturdy. If not, you may need a surveyor to assess this for you. Any big cracks across walls and joints signal that the building may be falling apart and may not be structurally safe. With the recent building collapse news in the country, you might really want to get help in checking this.
Check that all electricals work by flicking light switches and plug sockets on and off. Check that the oven, fridge, and stove work. Ask about electricity bills or any warranties on electrical items. Are any electric wires exposed or broken? If so, this could be very dangerous, so check their condition. It can cost a lot to restore and change electric circuits and a big task in partaking in any electrical work.
Whilst looking around the property, take out your mobile phone and check your data connection and signal. In this modern age, even things like mobile signal matter when buying a house, in fact, nearly half of 18-35-year-olds rank mobile as a key consideration when renting a new property.
Access the general condition of the house. Look out for cracks in walls, how fresh the paint looks, how worn carpets or floorboards are, and how creaky doors are. Understand how much the property needs, and figure out how much you’re willing to put into it.
Look out for any missing or displaced tiles or leaky gutters, which are particularly common in old or aging roofs. These tiles and gutters will need to be replaced, and maybe even the whole roof, which can be an expensive job. Flat roofs are particularly a problem, as have been constructed with cheaper materials. If you notice any standing water or cracks in this roof, warning bells should start going off. You can always get a roof survey to make sure.
Also, ask the agent. Ask how much commission is, how long the property has been on the market, and how quickly properties rent out in the area. How many viewings and offers have been made? This will enable you to figure out any moves to make next.
Find out how much living costs will be, as you’ll need to know how many extra costs you’ll need to pay once living there. How much are gas, water, and electric bills? How about TV and broadband costs?
Look for sufficient drainage in the area, and check whether the property is prone to flooding. Are drains accessible, of the correct level, and draining properly and quickly? Make sure drains do not block easily. Look out for overflowing water, build-up of leaves and debris, or residue around the affected area.
Assess how secure the property is. Make sure walls do not contain footholds for climbing and the front area is open and seen by passersby. Plants and shrubbery can also be kept to less than 1m in height. Ensure there is security lighting and windows and doors are fitted with five lever mortice locks so that burglars cannot break entry. An intruder alarm and fire alarm are also essential to maintain safety.
Simply listen while viewing houses. Is it possible to hear your next-door neighbors creating a racket, especially if the property is a terrace? How well is the structure soundproofed? Is it possible to hear cars or trains, and if so, how close is the property to the road or railway? Noise levels may not be a top priority when inspecting a home, but they can quickly become an issue once you move in.
What is the property’s energy efficiency? You need to know this since it can help you save money on your energy costs (whilst saving the planet at the same time of course). Make certain to note how frequently they have electricity.
Finally, and perhaps most crucially, you must examine yourself on the property. Do you have a positive impression of it? Do you think you could live here? Is it possible to see all of your furnishings in each area, as well as cook in the kitchen, watch TV in the living room, and sleep in the bedroom? Are you willing to put in the effort required to make it your own? Do you feel comfortable in this area? If so, you may have discovered the ideal home for you.
Keep these crucial things in mind the next time you go to check a place. This will guarantee that you have a good grasp of the house and all of its nooks and crannies, as well as whether it is the correct fit for you.
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