Everything about living in Lagos is an extreme sport.

But if you think you’ve seen the worst of Lagos, I’m here to tell you that you haven’t if you’ve never gone house hunting in Lagos.

Asides finding a place that’s close to work, or has small light, we’ve figured out what the hardest things about house hunting in Lagos are and how to hack them.

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We’ve got you.

Everyone starts house hunting in Lagos with a ‘strict’ budget and lofty expectations.

At the end of the day, one must give way for the other.

So brace yourself. House hunting in Lagos doesn’t respect your pocket or feelings. If you’re still in the comfort of your parents’  house, now might be the time to reconsider this your move. If you have strong head, carry on.

First hack is to lower your expectations.

You might think if you are patient and thorough enough, you might find the place of your dreams. You won’t.

You’re only going to end up getting the least horrible of the thousand and one listings you’ll check out.

Any agent that wants to collect money from you per house you view is a scammer.

Find one or two reliable agents, preferably agents who come with a referral from someone you know and pay a one time fee.

Because all agents do is lie and waste your time, also look through property listing sites.

Pick out the least disgusting looking houses and set up viewings with the agents.

Remember I told you to lower your expectations? Oya take them even lower because those listings you found on tolet.ng and co are going to look nothing like the pictures you saw on the website.

If this house looks like this on the website…

…this is probably what it really looks like.

If you find a place that isn’t a hundred percent complete, please don’t drop any money.

You’d think this would go without saying but these Lagos landlords lie more than the devil himself and they’ll try and deceive you. Maybe they haven’t connected the light or they’ve been meaning to put a borehole or they haven’t painted. Once you pay, daizzit. Two months on and you’ll be there begging the landlord to put toilet in your bathroom.

You know the only other person on earth who lies more than landlords? Agents.

They’ll say whatever it takes to get you to pay for that house. If the road is bad, Ambode is coming to fix it next week.  No light in the area? They’ve already bought new transformer your agent saw it with his own two eyes.

Before you pay your rent, you should try and meet the landlord, especially if you’ve been dealing exclusively with the agent.

Don’t let anyone come and wake you up in the middle of the night with eviction notice, after you’ve supposedly paid rent.

Don’t move into a house without a borehole.

They’ll tell you that Lagos state supplies the house with water and its reliable. Don’t be deceived, you’ll only end up buying water from mallams until you leave that house.

Ask about the old tenants.

Nothing beats getting to rent a brand new house in Lagos but the odds are slim. So if you get a house that has been lived in, first thing to do is ask about the tenants who lived in the house before. If there is no prepaid meter, make sure they’ve not left NEPA bill gbese for you to pay.

If you survive house hunting in Lagos, you can survive it anywhere really. And also, what tips have we left out?



Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.