For many young adults in Ghana, there comes a time when you finally get to move into a place of your own. Perhaps you are a year or two into your professional career, and you’ve saved up enough to rent an apartment. You’re probably very excited at the prospect of this very grown-up move, but the pinch of paying rent makes it bittersweet. Yes, you might dislike paying some of your hard-earned salary to your landlord, but you will love feeling independent, even if you find a house to rent together with a roommate or housemate.
Here are a few ways you can get a better understanding of the housing scene and find the best rent deals in Ghana.
Broadcast Your Need: There are many accommodation vacancies in Accra and beyond! If you are seriously looking, it’s smart to let all of your friends and family know. 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 there and you’ll be surprised at how helpful random people and useful networks can be.
Look to the Leaders: If your own inner circles are moving quite slowly, it’s obviously smart to seek out the businesses that focus on helping home seekers like you. meQasa.com offers over 20,000 properties for rent and sale from across the country. Our website features a filter that makes it is easy for you to narrow down to the specific type of property you’re looking for. For instance, you can search by neighbourhood, how many bedrooms, and house or apartment. You can browse photos, review amenities and contact the managing real estate agent for all properties that appeal to you to schedule a viewing. We also release a monthly “Rental Deals Under GHS 1,500” post to our blog. Here is the March compilation.
House Hunt 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 ‘shoulda-woulda-coulda’ feeling. Try using tools like meQasa Property Alerts to set up customized searches to receive specific results straight to your email inbox so that 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 DREAM HOMES to help find a place to rent.
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 you will most likely 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? Do you give 5% commission or 10% commission to the agent for their help? Don’t stress! Industry experts have created tools like The Accra Housing Guide to help you navigate the property search journey.
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 amount of rent possible. You have other needs and wants, so you don’t want to spend more than necessary. By the second week of a committed accommodation search, you will probably have some great showings lined up. Even if you find the place you think is “The One” try to quickly find another few options to measure it up against. It’s a balancing act, however, so don’t take too long as you may lose out on a good deal.
Negotiate! Your parents have 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 a month, but if you let the landlord know you are very serious and can manage GHS 900 a month, he might be flexible with you. Feeling ballsy? Go even lower, and perhaps you will land at a happy middle ground.
Splitsville: The main 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 property to rent, take our advice we can guarantee a much smoother and efficient search experience that will land you in the home you will love to come back to at the end of each day!
By Awoyaa Mensah, Head of Marketing & Communications, meQasa
meQasa is a start-up founded in 2013 by Kelvin Nyame (CEO), Kofi Amuasi and Rashad Seini. meQasa.com is Ghana’s leading online real estate marketplace featuring residential and commercial properties in Accra and beyond. It is the easiest way to rent, buy and sell property in Ghana. As of April 2016, meQasa.com offers about 20,000 property listings for seekers and will soon lend real estate professionals (agents and developers) the opportunity to further reach home seekers with their properties and products.