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Lagos is home to some of the most expensive living spaces in Nigeria. But it’s not just the sleek mansions and glitzy apartments that are priced out of the reach of regular people. Even abodes that property developers have built for the middle and lower classes are often too costly for their supposed target market.

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There’s a lot that can be said about the causes of this status quo. But we’re not going to discuss them here. Instead, we’ll be sharing a few steps you can take to find affordable housing in Lagos. And yes, they exist, even in an era of red-hot inflation. Here’s how to discover them:

Have A Budget

This is the first thing you should do. If you begin searching without a budget, you’ll wind up confused at the choices that property owners and agents present to you. In that unsettledness of mind, you may make a choice that you’ll regret later on.

Your budget doesn’t have to be rigid. You could adjust it as you gain a better idea of the prevailing market prices. Consider running your proposed budget by contacts that are somewhat knowledgeable about real estate, just to be sure that your estimate is fair.

Ask Within Your Network

Next, ask your friends, family, acquaintances and other contacts whether they know any decent homes for rent, or locations with houses that your budget can secure. The people you ask should have some experience with real estate in Lagos, either as property owners, agents, or residents.

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Even if your contacts don’t have the information you need, they may know someone who does. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a living space that ticks all your boxes through them.

Get Online

Don’t just settle with what your people say. Take the hunt online, to property listing websites. Some of these sites have thousands of rooms, flats, and houses for rent posted on them. They’ll typically come with pictures of the space, so you’ll get a view of what they’re like.

If you don’t know where to begin this search, you can start with Connect Nigeria’s Real Estate listings. It has a large and growing number of houses up for rent posted by landlords and agents from all over Lagos.

Filter Your Search

One thing that property listing sites allow you to do is to filter your search by location and type of house. So if you’re looking for a flat in a particular district, you can set the search parameters to display results from that area. You may also do the same with the type of residence you want—whether that’s a self-contained room, flat, duplex, or other habitations.

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If you have contacts in the real estate business, you could ask them to look within specific neighbourhoods for your preferred type of housing. You can do this if you’ve already decided t narrow down your hunt to one or a few districts.

Contact Agents

Whether you’re conducting your search online or offline (or both, ideally), you’ll want to find one or a few properties that meet (or come close to) your specifications. If you find them, you should get the contact details of the agents responsible for them. Often—especially if you’re searching offline –you’ll come in contact with an agent who acts on behalf of property owners within an area.

The agent should take you on a tour of the space(s) in the area(s) you’d like to live in. While you’re hoping for an abode that won’t cost you much, you’ll still want to be sure that the house you’re inspecting is in good condition.

Negotiate Your Rent

There will probably be room for negotiating the rent and other fees with the agent or owner of the property you’re considering settling for. It’s also a good idea to have multiple options to weigh and compare. If you’re wondering how to go about negotiating rent, you can read our article, How to Negotiate Your Rent in Nigeria for tips.

Hopefully, you and the property owner will agree to a deal that you’ll be fine with.

Final Words

Finding a home in Lagos that’s within your budget may be tough. But it’s not impossible. In the midst of the sky-high rates that landlords demand, there are decent living areas that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You just need to take the right steps to discover them.

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This article was first published on 12th July 2022


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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