How was the weekend? Mine was aight. I slept all through Saturday and after Church on Sunday, visited a couple of friends. Really lovely catching up with them.
A dear friend sent this to me. He thought to share his house hunting experience with people. Apparently, looking for apartments can be hellish! He has finally found a lovely place on the Island now and though I have not been there, I hear it’s amazing.
My name is Neddy. I am a Legal Practitioner and I work in a law firm on the Island. Before moving to my current office, I used to work in a law firm on the Mainland (Surulere). It was convenient therefore for me to live on the Mainland (Ikeja) at that time. Having changed location, it became imperative for me to change the location of my residence. Further thereto, in January of this year I took a decision to search for an apartment.
My initial preferred locations were Surulere and Gbagada. Before now, I have never had reason to look for accommodation in Lagos and so it was not surprising that I was at sea as to whom and where to start from. Suddenly, it occurred to me that I have several colleagues who, in addition to their law practice, are involved in the business of real estate. I contacted a few of them and they in turn referred me to several estate agents.
I contacted Mr. Akpan in Surulere and he sounded very helpful on the phone. We then agreed to meet.I visited his office and he insisted that I fill out a form and pay a consultation fee of N3, 000.00. I was initially shocked but he explained, to my satisfaction, that the money will enable him make necessary contacts of available properties in the area. He further explained that until I paid the money, he was not going to take me around for inspection of the available properties suitable to my needs. I paid the money and he, there and then, made a few calls after which we commenced inspection.
He took me to a property off Itire road:two blocks of 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom flats. However, the gentleman at the gate informed us that the all the apartments had been rented out. Another property around stadium area suffered the same fate. We were told that the property had been rented out. At this point, I sought to know whether Mr. Akpan was indeed up –to- date with his information on his property list as I did not understand why we had to visit properties only to be told that they had been rented out. I wondered if there was not a better way of getting to know whether or not a property was available for rent.
At another date, we inspected two properties, both in Surulere and we encountered the same experience.. He tried to explain to me that looking for a house in Lagos was not an easy task. Yes, I agree. But considering the time and energy I had expended to move around inspecting properties (believing that these were available for rent) only to be told that they had been rented out, I was clearly flustered.
My last experience with Mr. Akpan will remain evergreen. He took me to a decrepit building at Hogan Bassey Street. The surrounding environment was not only dirty but very noisy. So bad was the building that one had to bend downwards to enter the house. I was completely shocked. Mr. Akpan was well aware of my humble status in life and the need for me to live in a decent house. How on earth did he think that I was going to accept to live in that kind of apartment even for free! But I could not blame him. He was desperate to earn a fee (I understand it is 10% commission of the rent payable by the tenant).
I contacted another agent at Anthony Village. Mr. Larry was so inefficient. He was more interested in collecting money from me than looking for a house. All the properties he took me to except one, like my Surulere experience,were occupied. But one amazing thing about Mr. Larry was his insistence on my payment of “transport” fees each time we went for an inspection. “Transport fees’ for futile inspection exercises!
My experience regarding the one property that I was able to see was an interesting one. The Landlady asked me several questions including whether or not I had a girlfriend. She then requested that I submit my personal details so that she could seek guidance from above as to whether or not I was suitable to be her tenant. I am still waiting in joyful hope for her to revert to me on her consultations. This process continued for three months until I contacted an agent in Lekki. After one week of search I eventually secured an apartment at Igbo Egbo. That then is my story of my house search in Lagos.
I know someone who has been searching for a house for almost 3 months and apparently, he has been at it even longer. I really am grateful for my parents’ house and the fact that I’m a girl means it’s from Daddy’s house to husband’s house. I won’t have to live alone and be worrying about these things. I did all that back in school and it was sometimes a nightmare, not so much finding a place as the randomness of the bills. My friend lives alone somewhere in Oniru and has to be worrying about generator, NEPA etc.
Anyways, just thought to share.
Have a blessed week.
PS: I have a fringe/bangs on and I absolutely HATE it! *wailing loudly* The heat is unbearable!!! If not ’cause I never have time, I ‘d have had it taken out. Don’t do a fringe! Learn from my experience!