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Renting A House? Here Are 7 Things You Should Consider

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Most millennials want to have their apartments, either to be independent, live close to places of work or discover themselves (goals and capabilities) outside the influence of their families.

Before you decide to rent or move into an apartment, be ready to do the work. Do not be desperate. There are a lot of background checks to avoid financial or non-financial issues in the future – and you need to go through that process very carefully.

Do not leave the things that matter to you in the hands of your agent.

Here are some points to consider when trying to rent a house:

Research the Area

You have to explore the area before you move in.

Is it near the market? Is it near the hospital? Can you easily access the bus stop? Does it get flooded during the raining season? Is it safe? Is close enough to work? Is the environment conducive? Is dirt dumped close to the building? etc.

As I said earlier, it is up to you to do all the research you can before signing or making payments. You can speak to few individuals in the neighborhood to get more information on what you need.

You should start your apartment search way early to avoid making decisions in a haste.

It costs more than you think: Understand the Contract

Before accepting to pay any rental fee. You need to go through the contract to understand the exact amount you would pay in your first year of moving in and in subsequent years.

An agent might tell you a rent fee is $10,000 per annum, but then, you find yourself paying more than that in the first year. This might leave you financially down because it wasn’t planned for. Fees might include:

  • House Rent
  • Agency Fee
  • ”Omo onile” fee
  • Security fee
  • Waste fee
  • Legal fee
  • Administration fees etc.

Another thing you have to sort is the rent increase issue. Will there be subsequent increase in the rent? You have to get clarity on this from the agent or landlord.

In the event of justifiable rent increase, you have the right to know early enough to prepare for it.

Check the Price Guide for your Area

This is really important, to avoid being cheated on. Houses in specific areas have similar costs of rent, provided they are offering you the same services.

Beware of Hidden Cost

There may turn out to be some extra hidden costs that the landlords and letting agents will not inform you about. These costs are then passed onto you.

This happens a lot and it is very rampant when renting houses in Lagos. You find yourself having to pay accumulated electricity, water or waste fees that you knew nothing about.

Bills, Bills, Bills 

Renting a house or home comes with a lot of responsibilities. So it is not just about renting the house, but you have to understand how you can sustain yourself through out the rent period. Renting houses comes with a lot of monthly or quarterly bills you have to pay. You have to plan yourself financially to deal with bills events. You might be faced with:

  • Gas bills,
  • Electricity bills,
  • Water bills,
  • Fuel Bills e.g generator
  • Waste bills,
  • Security bills,
  • Miscellaneous bills e.g house repairs, electronics repairs etc.

Shared Apartment: Know your Room/House mates

If you decide to rent an apartment with someone else to save cost, that is absolutely fine. But it could either be a really wonderful experience or a total disaster. Knowing your roommates also entails talking to them before both of you decide to share costs. You must:

  • Talk about how to split the bills
  • Respect each others differences
  • Condone each others bad habits etc.

This article originally appeared on Piggybank.ng. Follow them on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram

Personal Finance

VIDEO: 3 Things You MUST Know About Your Credit Score

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We all know what a credit score is. Sort of. But what really goes into your credit score? In this video, Investopedia breaks it down. Here are the top 3 factors that affect your credit score — and what you can do about it.

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INTERVIEW: Kevin O’Leary On How To Survive A Market Downturn

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Market downturns are inevitable. Just as the boom drives home the big bucks, recession can plunge many into despair with low employment, weak wages and dwindling upbeat market sentiments.

In this video, Shark Tank host, Kevin O’Leary talks about how you can win during the market downturn.

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How To Invest Your Way To Your First $1M (In 8 Steps)

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While being a millionaire most certainly offers a sense of privilege and extravagance, it also provides comfort.

Despite the idea that many of life’s luxuries can cost you your bank (plus a large chunk of your future earnings), achieving comfortable wealth is possible—if you’ve got a solid investment plan you’ll follow religiously.

Here are eight investment strategies to work your way to your first million dollars.

1. Say No To Fees (Of Any Sort!)

Investing comes packed with hidden and some obvious fees – broker fees, distributor fees, exit and entry fees, maintenance fees, and a string of other service-based fees. If you can manage your own investments and money, you can save hundreds of thousands in fees over the lifetime of your investment.

2.  Don’t Try To Time The Market

This can be one of the biggest blunders one can make—simply because it’s impossible, speculative and you’re gambling with your savings. While there are indicators that show market trends, this does not promise that your investment will most certainly move up or down.

3. Think Long Term And Diversify

If you put all your investments into one asset class, your investment will tank the minute the asset class goes into free fall. How do you beat this? Plan and diversify your investment – it could be debt, treasury bills, equity, real estate, startups, business ideas – anything, as long as you think long-term. This can pay off in the long run.

4. Think Like An Owner

When you buy your stocks or make your investments, think and act like it’s yours – you’ll be doubly careful to make the right checks and invest smart. When you invest in solid, robust companies with this in mind, the returns would also be equally strong. Good companies can pay you high dividends that can up your total income.

5. Invest In Yourself First

Be it education or investing for your retirement, put yourself first and then try to budget for the other frills in life.

6. Borrow If You Can, Don’t Buy

With a growing shared economy, you now have plenty to choose from – co-working spaces, ride-hailing and ride-sharing services, shared rentals and accommodation, and the list goes on. Here’s where you can really cut costs – be it while running your business or as a regular looking to channel the savings elsewhere.

7. Set Goals (And Stick To Them)

Make sure you start saving as early as possible and invest it – even a dollar can compound over time. As time goes, set bigger goals and get excited about them! Once bonuses and income increases come your way, bump up your investments – it can soon touch a quarter of a million.

8. Max Out Early

Your 401K can be one of your biggest retirement funds and maxing out your annual contribution by the end of June can be a great way to boost your retirement savings. How does this help? It gives your money an additional six months to compound.

 

 

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