14 things you should consider before buying a residential property in a location.Oluwakemi Adeyemo
1. Does living in the location add to or reduce your stress level.
About 12 years ago, I was an intern in an organization located in Victoria Island, Lagos. It was my first time of living in Lagos beyond 1 week for anything serious. At that time I lived with an Uncle in Ipaja area of Lagos, Nigeria.
I always had to be at the bus pick up point latest by 5:00 am in the morning. The company closes at 4:00 pm. The lucky days are the few days I reached home between 6:45 – 7:30 pm. I was being forced by such an itinerary to eat junk and I could not drink water as much as I should. No driver will stop for anyone to take a leak on the 3rd Mainland Bridge or the very busy roads in Lagos. Since then I made some resolutions, worked at it and it has paid off.
2. Your age at the time of readiness to invest
There are varieties of house type and designs. If your age is between 20 – 40 years, any house type may be ideal. If you are above 40 years of age or you or a member of your family have a special need, you may need to give some thought into the house type you desire to build or buy.
3. Your age in 20 years from the time of readiness to invest
If you are 40 years old now and you are considering buying a flat on a 4th floor with no lift for personal use, it most likely won’t be a walk in the park climbing the stairs to your home at 65 years of age.
You might also not be able to buy a much suitable house before you retire.
4. The location of choice at the time of investment
You should find out the trend and history of a certain location you so much dream about to have a house in.
5. The possible outlook of that location in 20 years
Some 20 years ago, most parts of Victoria Island, Lagos were for residential purposes. Today, most parts have becomes commercial properties though empty. Imagine being the only residential occupant at night in 1004 flats or on the entire stretch of Ahmadu Bello way.
6. How useful will the house be after 20 years?
I have met a number of people who got tired of their property after some years and decided to sell off to move into a much more convenient house that makes living easy at their age.
7. The maintenance cost of keeping the property in shape
A certain old lady lamented how much of a burden it has become keeping her property maintained. She spends a certain amount monthly to power, guard, clean and keep the environment safe from harmful reptiles. Such expense can be a burden especially when you do not have an income to supplement your expenses.
8. The cost of living in that location in 10 years. Will your income sustain the lifestyle?
If it’s your first home and you are within a certain age bracket, you must factor in the cost of your lifestyle in years to come in your desired location. You should have a backup investment or income that make up for your lifestyle years to come.
9. The cost of your children’s education within that location or outside the location.
When making a decision to buy a house, you should research schools within your desired neighbourhood to ensure it is easy for your children to keep getting a quality education and social life.
10. The cost of the environmental hazard within your choice location
I was marketing a property in Ikeja sometime ago. I had an interested client. The reason he could not buy the house was that of the honking horn of passing cars from as early as 3:00 am in the morning on the major road beside the estate. You sure don’t want to expose yourself and family to health hazards that are avoidable and that can also cost you so much.
11. Quality of life in the location.
If you so much desire to buy a house in a location, can you and your family have a leisure walk in the neighbourhood when you so desire? Can your children ride their bicycles and play football safely? Can they be friends with other neighbours and you won’t cause to worry?
In years to come, when you advance in age, can you still live at the location and be glad you live in an environment that supports your phase of life? Think about these.
12. Family size at the time of investing and in 10 years from the time of investing.
I was recently speaking with a man who is in his fifties. At some point in our conversation, he said “There are two important rooms in my house now. My bedroom and the sitting room. Every other room is fast becoming unoccupied. The children now spend at most 2 weeks per holidays in the house”.
You should have a plan for what becomes of your house when you would have fewer occupants. Factor in such plan when you are deciding to buy a residential property.
13. Tenant occupancy and rental rate in your preferred location
If you would be buying a residential real estate in other to earn rental income, then you should not buy a location that is sparsely occupied. It is not cost-effective to buy a house and keep it under lock and key for years to come.
14. The time it takes to recover your capital when you rent your property
There are locations that fetch you back your invested capital in less than 15 – 20 years. While there are those locations that take forever before you recoup your investment.
It is only wise to choose a location that fetches you back your money within an appreciable time.