You begin with a search, as if a house is something you can find the same way you find lost jewellery in a messy room. Still, the search comes first. Always! You search your mind. Ask yourself: Why on earth am I house hunting? Is life not hard and complicated enough? Do I really need to add this layer of stress to my life? Can I not simply stay with my parents, in my car, or on the streets?!
These questions are strong enough to change the course of your life. But because the mind is terribly stubborn, you will proceed anyway.
You get others involved. You begin dropping hints with strangers in the banking hall, and with people in church who really just want to know where the restroom is. Of course, you tell your friends too, and tweet about it and almost put a notice in the office common area but the thought of HR frightens you.
Enter House Agents…
Because what are friends for? They will send you three numbers. And they will swear these are great agents. Then, They
will calm you down and promise your house search is over. And, trust me, half of the people you ask know agents. So, you may end up with contacts for 15 agents. 15 of the best agents in town (Why not qualify them?). Your anxieties will drop down a notch or two. Because, look at you with all those names and contacts.
Prepare to be Poor!
Nobody told you this. House agents need to be signed on. You need to pay their ‘showing you around fees’. Who cares if they subsequently take you to gutters located at the end of the world, smelly hovels disguised as studio apartments, or one-beds on water-logged streets. They are in business and they have not come to play. That your rent budget, slash it into three or four or five. One part of it is to settle house agents.
Remember that feeling from when you had to study for that four-unit legal course, but the cases and citations kept slipping out of mind? Prepare to feel that helpless again. Except, this time, your fate is not in your hands. No late-night candle-lit-frantic-studying can help you. It’s all up to the agents and their abrupt intrusions into your productive hours, telling you they have found a place.
But in the end…
It’s All A Scam!
I know, I know! I’m crying too. Who wouldn’t? When half the houses have flooding issues and the other half require blood money!! It’s all heartbreaking and stressful and sometimes even morally compromising, because…Landlords!
And Silly Requirements
Some house owners only lease to married folks. (Seeing as how all single women must be irresponsible). Others have no business with entrepreneurs. You better have a bank job or something. There are people who will tell you (with a straight face) that they don’t lease apartments to people from a certain tribe. #Wailsloudly
Now, You See
You should have stayed at your parents and managed their intrusions. Or stayed at your former apartment and managed the bickering and robberies and traffic and its silent slow killing of your dreams. But the good thing is, “when there is a will, there is a way”. Eventually, if you keep at it, you will find one. (We all do!) After all, this is Lagos. Almost everything is possible.