I figured out making this post is really important as it will help guide prospective or already National Youth Service Corp Members avoid going through the hassle of finding accommodation in their new state of deployment for the scheme. These are tips that have worked for me and I recommend you try them as I went through quite a lot looking for accommodation in Oyo State which was where I was deployed to for the one-year mandatory service. Also, thanks a lot guys for suggesting i make this post in the previous blog post i shared my Camp experience in Oyo State.
This will also reduce the chances of your money being overspent by some House Agents on Inspection Fees.
Nevertheless, if you feel very comfortable staying in religious family houses for corp members or can’t afford a new accommodation, by all means, suit yourself. Please do what makes you happy and don’t kill yourself. I personally didn’t last two days in a family house i wanted to stay in while looking for accommodation mainly because, i felt their rules were too much and unnecessary especially as an adult.
Also, if you have any relation in your state of deployment and you are comfortable staying with them, please go ahead.
PS: NYSC is the acronym for National Youth Service Corps, a one-year program set up by the Nigerian Government to involve the country’s graduates in the development of the country. We go through three weeks orientation in camp and spend the rest of the year serving the country in whatever assigned institution (schools, hospitals, ministries and so on.)
1. Know What You Want & Does It Match Your Budget?
The most important thing to note before setting out to look for accommodation is to know the type of housing you want. Do you prefer a self contained or a two or three bedroom flat? Then make sure you have two or three people to share the other rooms with. I initially desired to get a self contained but the rent was way past my budget, so i resorted to the nearest option which was looking for a two bedroom flat with a fellow corp member who is a friend with the same budget range as mine. This helped reduce the cost for us as we split the bills into two and hey! I love the fact i’m not staying alone as that can be boring most times.
Please note that location matters a lot when looking for an accommodation. For instance, if you want your place to be in the most bubbling parts of the city, you should be ready to pay more.
2. Don’t Forget Agents’ Inspection Fees
I almost made the mistake of spending the money i set aside for house rent on inspection fees. Basically, inspection fees are fees house agents collect when they take you to see a property. The price varies which is dependent on the agency. So, i suggest while saving or budgeting for a house, you should set aside a small amount for inspection fees and oh yeah! Did i just almost forget to add you’ll also pay for the agent’s transport fare to the location? Phew! Just make provisions for that my dear!
3. Be Patient
When it comes to house hunting, patience should be your surname. Never rush into any decision and never put any money down before you’ve seen a place or if it’s not on a verified platform. Sadly, there are a few people out there who take advantage, so be vigilant and trust your gut.
4. Proximity To Your Place Of Primary Assignment (PPA)
This is very important. Please make sure that wherever you decide to settle is close to your PPA to avoid unnecessary high transportation costs. When pricing out accommodations and deciding on your budget, consider the time and expense daily travel will take, whether you’ll be commuting, running errands, or sightseeing. Some cities have expensive or inefficient transit, so be sure to factor in the value of your time, as well as the cost of a transit pass or a bike. You might be able to justify a place that’s a bit more expensive, but a whole lot closer to your PPA.
5. Be Careful Of Who You Choose To Stay With – (Flatmate or Roommate)
Don’t be so much in a hurry to agree to stay with a friend. It is one whole year and that is not small especially if you want to base in the state you served after service. If you get a problematic one, you are in for it. At least the person should be someone you can rapport with and have a level of understanding to avoid stories that touch the heart.
6. Don’t Keep It To Yourself
Remember you are in a new city and chances are, you know no one there. You can post on your WhatsApp Status or your other active social media platforms on anybody to help link you up with an agent. It works. Please also be careful so you don’t fall into deadly traps. Also google it! I did that when i was looking for one and it was super helpful as some of these agents post accommodations on accredited websites with their contact details. This will also give you a glimpse of the price range of the type of space you are looking for in the state. Pick the number, call and make inquiries. Trust me, there are Facebook Groups for anything you’d be surprised. You can simply use the search icon on Facebook to find groups where people can get accommodation in your state of deployment.
Never accept the first offer! Often landlords/house agents ask for a higher price than they are willing to accept because they expect you to haggle. Always try to get a better price
8. Check These Things…
Before you finally decide to settle for one, please make sure you check there are no damages or faults in the house. If there are and it is something that can be fixed and you’re okay with, make sure the house agent responsible for that property fixes them before you move in. Where will he get the money to fix it? It is included in the agent fee specifically the ‘caution fee’ you are to pay. Also, be sure there is good security in your area.
If you are moving into where someone has lived before, please make sure the previous occupant did not incur expenses like electricity bills before moving out. If you don’t look out for this, you’ll end up paying for what you know nothing about.
9. Don’t Be Afraid To Check Out New Houses
Brand new building in your area? Don’t assume you can’t afford to live there just because it’s shiny and new!
Most new properties offer move-in deals like a free month of rent to new tenants. Some offer additional perks too.
Depending on your budget, these perks could make up a large enough cut to make that sparkly accommodation perfectly affordable for you.
10. When You Find A Great Place, Jump On It!
Most people don’t realize that rent prices often change daily. If you find a place you love and the price works for you, act quick. Let the leasing agent know you’re serious and fill out your application right on the spot!
If you know you’ve found an apartment that’s the right fit, don’t sleep on it. Hesitating may result in the rent price going up or the unit being given to another applicant. Take the leap!
Yeah! These are the things you should have in mind while looking for an accommodation in my opinion. Feel free to add yours in the comment section and please don’t forget to share. You never can tell what life you’re saving. Till next post. peace!