For young adults in Ghana, there comes the time when you finally get to move into a place of your own. Perhaps you are a year or two into your professional career now and have saved up enough to find an apartment to rent. You are likely very excited at the prospect of this very grown-up move but the pinch of paying rent marks the milestone as bittersweet. You’ll miss not paying any of your salary to a landlord, but you will love feeling independent, even if you find a house to rent together with a roommate or housemate.
Here are 5 ways you can get a better understanding of the housing scene and find the best rent deals in Ghana.
1. Broadcast Your Need
There are countless accommodation vacancies in Accra and beyond. If you are seriously looking, it is smart to let all of your friends and family know as someone within your circle may have an amazing rental deal just waiting for you. Are you on any email, WhatsApp or social media groups? Put your inquiry out and you’ll be surprised at how helpful random people and useful networks can be.
2. Look to the Leaders
If your own inner circles are moving quite slow, it is obviously smart to seek out the businesses that focus on helping home seekers like you. meqasa.com, Ghana’s leading online real estate marketplace, offers over 20,000 properties for rent and sale from across the country. A beautiful, user-friendly website interface that features a filter, means it is easy for you to narrow down to the specific type of property you seek under your parameters. For instance, you can search by neighbourhood, how many bedrooms, whether a house or apartment and create a budget bracket. Browse photos, review amenities and contact the managing real estate agent for all properties that appeal to you to schedule a viewing. The company also releases an awesome monthly Rental Deals under GHS 1,500 post to their blog. Here is the latest compilation.
3. House Hunting on Auto-Pilot
You’re young. You’re busy. Sometimes you are even…forgetful. You forgot to call back that person from the Facebook group who said they might have some property options. You’ve been meaning to check back on meQasa. Sigh. Everyday ends with that ‘coulda-shoulda-woulda’ feeling.
Why not use helpful tools like meqasa Property Alerts to set up customised searches to receive specific results straight to your email inbox? If you want a 2-bedroom house in Adenta for GHS 1,000, every time such a property becomes available you will be one of the first to know! It’s also a great idea to sign up to housing newsletters like meqasa’s DREAM HOMES e-newsletter to help find a place to rent. Did we mention you’re smart? Don’t overwork yourself.
4. Knowledge is Power
Everyone knows that buying property is an investment, but so is renting. You might luck out and find a place that allows monthly rent payments, but most likely you will be paying 12 to 24 months upfront. The point is, finding a place to call home requires your time, your money and some smart decision making. It’s a big deal, and as a young adult you may find that you have many unanswered questions on how this whole house hunting thing works. Do you need home insurance? Is it 5% or 10% commission to the agent for their help? Stress not. Industry experts have created tools like The Accra Housing Guide to help you navigate the property search journey.
5. Get the Most for the Least
This last tip is a 2-for-1! The goal is to find the perfect place for you, and pay the least possible; that’s a rent deal. You have other needs and wants so you don’t want to spend more than necessary. In about the second week of a committed accommodation search, you will have some great showings lined up.
Even if you find somewhere you think is “The One” try to quickly find another few to measure up against. It’s a balancing act, however, so don’t take too long as you may lose out on a good deal.
Your dad has probably said to you “There’s no harm in asking”. This is a great time to apply this wisdom! Sure the property listing said it goes for GHS 1,200 but let the landlord know you are very serious and can manage GHS 900 if he can be flexible with you. Feeling ballsy? Go lower, and perhaps you will land at a happy middle. It doesn’t hurt to negotiate your rent.
The biggest reason why people get a roommate, is to split rent costs. Don’t forget there will be other utility costs too, like electricity and water bills. From the start or as you get closer to finding a place, if it becomes apparent you will need someone to pay half the rent, consider finding a roommate or two. Roommates can be a joy as there is another person to come home to, chat with, share chores with and maybe even the possibility of a great friendship.
If you are looking for a rent deal on property to rent, heed these pointers and you are guaranteed to have a much smoother and efficient search experience that will land you in a home you will love to come back to at the end of each day.