CategoriesMarketing Real Estate

Tips for Protecting your Property from Power Surges

Power surge is one of the major factors responsible for property damage in Nigeria today. Properties worth millions of naira are lost yearly to power surges in different parts of the country. Power surges occurs when there is a sudden increase in the amount of power in the electrical system. They are spikes in voltage and vary in duration and magnitude, from hundred to thousand volts.
Many buildings use electrical power which ranges from 220-240 volts, single phase, and alternating current. As a result of the unreliable and erratic supply of power, voltage is not delivered constantly at 220 volts. With alternating current, the voltage fluctuates from 0 to a peak voltage of over 280.
During a power surge, the voltage rises above the peak voltage. A spike in voltage can be damaging to appliances and electrical devices. An increase in voltage above an appliance’s operating voltage can lead to an arc of electrical current in the appliance. The heat produced in the arc affects the electronic circuit boards and other electrical components. Recurrent power surges can shorten the life of appliances and electronics and equally damage them.

  • Unplug Unused Devices

The first step towards preventing power surge is to unplug devices that are not in use. It is advised not to leave household appliances plugged in especially when there is a storm because lighting strike is another major cause of power surges. Unplugging unused devices also helps to conserve energy.

  • Fix Poor Wiring

If the wiring of the building is outdated, it could be a potential cause of power surge. Most electrical systems in houses built round the 80s’ were not designed for large-capacity appliances. Some signs of poor wiring are blown fuses, frequent tripping of circuit breakers, buzzing sound or burning smells from power outlets. These signs indicate that something is wrong, and it could lead to power surge. Damaged or exposed wires offer little resistance and can interrupt the flow of current. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of a surge, especially to the specific outlet they lead to.

  • Repair Overloaded Circuits

If two or more large appliances are drawing power from the same power outlet, it could lead to an overloaded circuit thereby causing a potential power surge.

CategoriesMarketing Real Estate

Renting Furnished Apartments in Nigeria

A furnished apartment is a space that has been fitted with furniture and equipped with certain amenities. The living room should have at least a couch, table and maybe a coffee table or bookshelf while the bedroom should have a bed, nightstand with lamp, and a dresser. Typically, the furnished apartment will cost more compared to residential spaces that are unfurnished. Furnished apartments vary depending on the landlord and whether other amenities such as kitchen appliances and bathroom accessories are also included.
Pros of Renting Furnished Apartments

  • Renting a furnished apartment eliminates the hassles of moving furniture. Also, if you still need to buy additional furniture and accessories, it will be lesser compared to an unfurnished apartment.
  • Renting a furnished apartment offers flexible leasing option, especially if you travel often and just the space for a short period of time.
  • Renting a furnished apartment saves you from spending a major part of your budget on new furniture especially when it is a short lease and you have limited time to stay at the apartment.

Cons of Renting Furnished Apartments

  • There are more unfurnished apartments than furnished spaces which reduces the pool you have to choose from. Maintaining a furnished apartment requires a lot of work by the landlord, so it’s not as common.
  • Most furnished apartments tend to offer only the basics, which include a couch, kitchen table, and a bed. You might still end up bringing your own furniture to fill the gaps in the apartment.
  • Little or no control over the décor of the apartment. If you don’t like the colour of the couch in your furnished apartment, there is little or nothing you can do about. Also, you won’t have complete control over the look of your apartment. The look of the apartment is mostly determined by the landlord, if you care a lot about interior design, this is probably not the right option for you.
  • Furnished apartment is more expensive than unfurnished spaces because you may be required to pay repair and replacement cost which often makes the rent higher. It helps the landlord to cover the cost of replacing or repairing damaged furniture.
CategoriesBusiness Marketing Real Estate

Five Building Collapse Warning Signs

Building collapse has become a common occurrence in different parts of the country leading to loss of lives and properties worth millions. According to a Lagos state inquiry, there were at least 135 cases of collapsed buildings between 2007 and 2013. It has also been observed that most of the buildings that collapse are multi-storey structures. Building don’t just collapse, there are always warning signs; however most property owners and tenants tend to ignore these signs.
Large Cracks on the Wall – Thermal movement is one of the major causes of cracks that are seen on the walls of buildings. If overlooked, it could eventually lead to the collapse of the building. Cracks on the wall of a building is a natural sign that shows the structure cannot sustain the movement or load it is subjected to. When cracks appear in the walls of a building, it is either a structural crack or a non-structural crack.
Creaking Sounds – Creaking sounds occur when the metal parts of the building contracts more than the wooden parts, as a result both parts rubs against each other. Creaking sound is an indicator that parts of the building are failing and when it becomes loud and repetitive, that is a sign to evacuate the building.
Collapsing Ceilings/Mould and Water stains on the Wall – Moulds and water stains are caused by moisture penetration, when water reaches a part of the house that should not be wet. A damp occurs when excess of moisture is trapped within the structure of a house. Moisture has a natural tendency to spread out from wet areas of a house to the dry parts.
Weak Supporting Structures – Weak supporting structures can result from several factors such as substandard building materials, tears and fissures in foundation structures. A building is likely to collapse when a primary structural element fails, leading to the failure of other structural elements, which finally culminates in the collapse of the building. Also deformed siding can lead to building collapse because it is the siding that protects your building from the moisture and other elements.
Moving House – This one of the most hazardous warnings of an impending building collapse. Over a period of time, certain parts of the house start shifting from their original position due to foundation problems. When the foundation of the building shifts, it creates a ripple effects of events throughout the house, which causes the house to move.

CategoriesConstruction Marketing Real Estate

Five Ways to Keep your House Cool without Air-conditioning

Purchasing an air conditioner may not be what you can tick off your To-Do list right now, but if you find your house uncomfortable as a result of the heat, there are creative ways to make it even more conducive without air conditioning.
Buy a Box Fan – Box fans are often placed in or near the windows, it helps to draw in cool air from outside or pull warm air out of a room depending on how they are placed. If the blades face the window screen, the fan helps pull hot air out of the room, flipped the other way, it draws in air from outdoors. It saves energy and is also an affordable alternative to air conditioning. For your kitchen and/or bathroom, fix an exhaust fan that will pull the hot air that rises after you cook or in your bathroom to draw out steam after showering.
Close your Curtains and Blinds – Heat finds its way into the house through windows, to lower the indoor temperature, close your curtains and blinds. It is advised to use dark curtains and blinds, and this will help to reduce the flow of sunlight into the house. When the sun is down, you can open up all curtains and blinds to allow fresh air in.
Stay Hydrated and Take a Cold Shower – To keep your house cool, you have to feel relaxed within. Drinking water regularly is the first step, and it makes your body hydrated and replenishes body moisture lost to heat. Taking a cold shower or bath also helps to cool the body by lowering its temperature.
Disconnect Unnecessary Heat Sources – One of the major causes of heat are unplugged heat sources which include your chargers plug, TV and other electrical appliances that draw in additional heat through the socket. To lower the temperature in your house, always unplug chargers and other appliances that are not in use. Also, consider using more energy-efficient and LED bulbs, it saves energy, money and heat felt in the house.
Declutter your House – Sometimes the heat you complain about can be caused by all the unnecessary load in the house. When your home is congested, there is little or no room for air to move freely. Clearing out the house will enable proper ventilation and allow air to circulate freely. Also, if there is a room no one is using, close it off to keep the cool air in only occupied areas of the house.

CategoriesConstruction Marketing Real Estate

Top Mortgage Banks in Nigeria

A mortgage institution is a bank that specializes in mortgage loans, it offers loans to people for the purchase of real estate properties. Most times individuals may not be able to buy houses with their monthly salaries. Also, it may take a long time to save up to buy or build a house. Mortgage banks help by giving real estate investment capital as loans, then collects the payments back installmentally.
Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is the oldest mortgage institution in Nigeria, it was established in 1956, known then as the Nigerian Building Society (NBS), a joint venture of the Commonwealth Development Corporation and the Federal and Eastern Governments of Nigeria. The Bank operates as an effective vehicle for increasing the mobilization of long-term funds, lending volume and expansion of mortgage lending services to all segments of the Nigerian population.
FBN Mortgages Limited is a leading Primary Mortgage Bank (PMB) with focus on delivering the best mortgage banking services and products that typify the dominance of its parent– First Bank in the financial services industry. As a dedicated provider of a wide range of mortgage and real estate financing solution, FBN Mortgages is in a unique position to help customers make those critical steps towards seamless homeownership and real estate development.
Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc is the premier, largest and most profitable, non-aligned Primary Mortgage Bank in Nigeria. It is one of the seven national Primary Mortgage Banks (PMB) licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). It is also an accredited primary mortgage bank (PMB) for the National Housing Funding (NHF) on-lending facilities. The bank offers different mortgage and investment products, and advisory services to corporate organizations and individuals to empower them to access housing finance. It also facilitates the provision of mortgage and real estate related services to respond to their needs.
Platinum Mortgage Bank Limited was incorporated in 1992 with the Corporate Affairs Commission to provide savings, loans and homes ownership services. It was licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria under the CBN Decree 24 of 1991 and FMBN Decree No. 53 of 1989 respectively to provide Mortgage Banking Services in Nigeria. Hitherto known as Platinum Home Investment and Mortgage Limited, PMB Limited was recapitalized into a formidable Primary Mortgage Institution backed by innovative products, services, and requisite professional management.

CategoriesUncategorized

Why Rainy Season is the Best time House-hunting in Lagos

There is a saying, ‘when it rains, it pours’, this saying aptly capture the city of aquatic splendor, Lagos. When it rains in Lagos, roads and drainages in different parts of city become flooded, vehicles get stuck, and traffic builds up. Poor drainage in one of the major reasons rain has become a constant menace in Lagos, due to the fact that it is a low-lying area surrounded by a sea of water.
A report by UN-HABITAT’s report, ‘The State of African Cities 2010: Governance, Inequality and Urban Land Markets’, revealed that more than 25 per cent of Africa’s population, of about one billion people, who live within 100 km from the coast will be at risk from sea level rise and coastal flooding over the coming decades due to climate change. Areas such as Lekki, Ajah, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, and Lagos Island are more vulnerable to flooding because they are really close to the Atlantic Ocean.
Real estate agents have also confirmed that rainy season is the best time for house hunting or purchase because it reveals the flaws of the property. It is also important to inspect the area to determine if it becomes flooded during the rainy season or not. It will also help you to know the level of flooding in the area where you plan to live.
• House hunting during the rainy season helps you to find out if the roof of house is leaking or if there are defects in the ceiling. It also helps you to know if quality construction materials used in building the property.
• House hunting during the rainy season helps you as a tenant or investor to know if there is usually power outage whenever it rains. It is a common scenario for lights out to occur whenever it is raining but if the power outage lasts for up to 24 hours then that is a red flag to consider.
• House hunting during the rainy season enables you to find out if the environment is safe and conducive. Flooding often leads to blocked drainages and gutters in some areas which can result in the breeding of mosquitos and other insects within your vicinity. Foul odours can also create a nuisance which will be unhealthy for occupants of the building.
It is advised to always engage a competent professional, preferably a realtor or building surveyor to check out the property for clues and other defects before making any commitment on price.

CategoriesMarketing Real Estate

Why Property Insurance is Important for You

Collapsed building is a common phenomenon in different parts of the country and many people have embraced it as part of the environmental hazards we have to live with. In fact, Lagos ranks as the state with highest number of collapsed buildings in Nigeria. Unfortunately, over 90% of these collapsed buildings were neither insured nor were the properties covered by any form of insurance policy.
Property insurance provides financial reimbursement to the owner of a structure and its contents in case there is damage or theft and also to a person other than the owner if that person is injured on the property. Property insurance may include these policies, such as homeowners insurance, renters insurance, flood insurance, amongst others.
The insurance company offers you a contract known as an insurance policy. The insurance policy is a document that contains all the terms and conditions agreed upon in the insurance contract. While insurance premium is a monthly payment is made by an individual or business to service this contract.
Types of Property Insurance Coverage
Replacement Cost covers the cost of repairing or replacing property at the same or equal value. The coverage is based on replacement cost values rather than the cash value of items.
Actual Cash Value Coverage pays the owner the replacement cost minus depreciation. If the destroyed item is 10 years old, you get the value of a 10-year-old item, not a new one.
Extended Replacement Costs will pay more than the coverage limit if the costs for construction have gone up; however, this often won’t exceed 25% of the limit.
Benefits of Property Insurance
Sense of Security – Having a property insurance protection against the uncertain risks of loss such as fire, natural disaster, theft, gives you a peace of mind and confidence as the owner of the assets. And if these risks occur and you suffer loss, the insurance company will surely give the appropriate compensation.
Compensation for Damage or Loss of Property – Property insurance offers compensation for any damage or loss of your property. The term for compensation is that the loss is not caused by your own negligence.
When choosing an insurance policy, there are different factors to bear in mind, such as the amount of insurance coverage that you are getting from a particular policy on your property. Secondly, the amount of yearly premium that the insurance requires you to pay. Also the time taken and the ease with which you can claim the homeowner insurance and settle the procedure. Lastly and most importantly, you have to go through the list of events that the insurance will cover.

CategoriesUncategorized

Ways to Make Money Investing in Real Estate

Investing is one of the most profitable business ventures that is bound to garner long term wealth. But it is important to note that investing in real estate is not a get-rich-quick scheme, rather, it is a long term venture. The real estate industry in Nigeria is highly profitable with different ways of earning money –
Real Estate Appreciation – This is one of the ways you can make profit on your real estate investment. This often occurs when there’s a change in the real estate market which leads to an increase in the value of your property. For example, owning a property and selling it five years later. There is a probability that you would be selling for a price higher than you bought it because of the change in the market value. The likelihood of the environment developing over the years will also increase the value of your property.
Cash Flow Income – This type of real estate investment is popular, it involves buying real estate property, such as an apartment or building, and having it up for rent. It ensures there is inflow of income through the rents paid by the tenants for a specific amount of time. Cash flow incomes are also generated from office buildings, apartment buildings, rental houses etc.
Real Estate Related Income – This is type of investments is often undertaken by ‘specialists’ in the real estate industry, such as brokers who make money through commissions from buying and selling of properties. Also, real estate management companies get a percentage of the rent in exchange for managing the daily operations of a property. For instance, a hotel management company earns a particular percentage of the hotel’s sales for taking care of the daily operations including facilities management such as hiring utility staff, laundry, security services amongst others.
Overall, becoming a real estate investor involves having a plan to help you manage your goals and expectations in the real estate industry. Knowing your maths as a real estate investor is crucial, one of the pitfalls in the business is assuming. Real estate is a numbers’ game, and the fastest way to fail is not knowing it. It will also requires a lot of patience, a real estate venture is not something to do on a whim. Most real estate investments are life-long pursuit to help you take control of your financial future.

CategoriesUncategorized

Knowing your Rights as a Tenant

The rift between tenants and landlords often boils down to the two parties not being aware of their rights. Knowing your rights as a tenant is crucial because it is the first step towards protecting yourself and ensuring you don’t fall victim to frivolous demands from landlords. According to the Tenancy Law in Nigeria, below are some laws you should be aware of as a tenant –
Right to a Written Agreement
Every tenant has the right to an agreement. Agreements, on the other hand, can be oral or written. However, it is advised that agreements between both parties should be written, hence, any altercations would be easily dealt with, and it comes in handy as references. The tenant is expected to go through the agreements thoroughly before signing.
Tenancy agreements are to contain in details the names of a landlord and his tenant; as parties to the Agreement. The duration of the tenancy, the rent payable and the date at which such rent would become payable should be stated. Before signing any agreement, a prospective tenant is advised to seek the service of a solicitor to break down any unclear terms in the Tenancy Agreement.
Right to Issuance of Receipt of Payment
The receipt of payment is an acknowledgment from a Landlord or an Agent that a rent payment has been made by a tenant. It must have the name of the landlord and the tenant, including the amount paid and the date of such payment. The receipt should clearly state the duration that such payment will cover and the signature of the receiver must also be on the receipt. It is an actionable offense to refuse to issue a receipt for rent paid and received. It is your right as a tenant to be issued a receipt upon payment of rent.
Right to a Valid Quit Notice
A tenant cannot be thrown out of his apartment unless there is a strict compliance by the landlord with relevant Recovery of Premises Law. Recovery of Premises Law states that a valid “quit notice” of a landlord’s intention to terminate/quit the tenancy of the tenant must be written and served to the tenant. The amount of time given to the tenant, whether weekly, monthly, yearly, depends on his rent. A valid “Quit Notice” must have the name of the landlord, the name of the tenant, the address of the property occupied by the tenant, the duration given to the tenant included.

×