check

One of the biggest purchases you may make is buying a house. It’s a decision that should not be rushed into. Don’t go buying the first home you see. You need to explore and consider the pros and cons. Here are four things to check when viewing property to help you make a final informed decision:

  1. Do your homework
    1. Search for information about the property you want to get and also information about your preferred area. Jumia House website is one of many property portals and the Jumia House Journal has quality resources about everything home related.
    2. If the property you are viewing has been lived in before, find out why the previous tenants moved out.
    3. If you have children, be sure to do research on the schools closest to you.
    4. When you use Jumia House for your property search, do not only rely on our mortgage calculator. Be sure to contact Ghana Home Loans or the bank for their terms are.
  2. Area check
    1. Visit the area you want to live in at different times of the day and also on weekends to see what it is like.
    2. Find out about essential amenities like hospitals, schools or supermarkets to get an understanding of how convenient it would be for you to live in the area.
  3. Be critical when viewing the property
    1. Is the plot flat or steep? This would give you an idea of what living there during the raining season would be like.
    2. Is the property on a busy road? That means there would most likely be noise. Is the road to the property tarred or untarred and how important is that for you?
    3. Do you need to spend money getting the property to look good? Make sure not to underestimate the cost.
    4. Does the home have access to water?
  4. Quiz the agent
    1. Ask how long the property has been on the market?
    2. How many offers are there? This will tell you how long till you have to give the agent a decision on if you will rent or buy the property.
    3. Have people declined to rent or buy the property and why? This would help you make an informed decision

Good luck and Happy property hunting!

investing

Investing in property is the best way of acquiring wealth and you are interested in expanding your investment portfolio but your investment banker is throwing words and figures around that are making your head spin. Take a deep breath and let’s break it down for you.

First of all, you must start by doing your homework. You must first look at what kind of investment property you want to buy, how much you can afford to pay, what kind of neighborhood you want to invest in and finally what kind of return on investment you’re trying to make. These questions will help pinpoint what exact property you’re looking to invest in. By answering these questions and researching on these, it would give you an inkling on which direction to go in and what exactly to invest in. After doing your homework, make a plan. A plan keeps you grounded and helps you not to get distracted by several other designs on a house that you are not planning to buy.

The next step is to arrange your finances. This is the most important step in investing in property. Before shopping for your new rental property, be sure to talk with a bank about how much you can afford to buy. Most people make the mistake of getting into the market for a property before they check how much they can actually spend. This then comes with the disappointment of having to discard the dream house because they cannot afford it. You can also speak to your bankers about payment plans if you do not have available cash for investment. Your bankers can then help you secure a loan if you have high interest in the property. As long as you have a stable and reasonably good paying job with solid employment history and a solid payment plan by your bankers, you shouldn’t have a problem getting a loan.

Now comes the exciting part, FINDING YOUR PROPERTY! You’ve got a plan, you have the finances, and it’s now time to match a property to your wallet. Using an agent is normally the quickest and most secure way of finding a property to invest in. It’s often helpful to find an agent who specializes in working with investors as they are more aware of what makes a good rental property.

Be sure to share your plans with your agent. This will give them an idea of what property to look for and allow your agent to help you find the best properties that meet your qualifications. Before you enter into any negotiations, find out possible information like tenancy rate and arrange for building and pest inspections (for old properties). Insurance is the main consideration when you are buying an investment property. Make sure you to protect yourself in case of an emergency

After following these steps, you are on the right path to investing in property that is sure to get your bank account smiling.

clutter

Last time we spoke about how to sort out the clutter in your closet. Today, we will be addressing decorating your home as you declutter your home. Storage can be fun.

  1. Keep it in a box: Keep control of your remote controls and know where they are always by storing them in a cute box. No more searching around for where which remote was last seen or clutter of remotes on your table
  2. Be inconspicuous: Hide some of your clutter behind fake or boring books. Be sure to choose boring titles. You don’t want house guest picking books from your shelf and finding your stash.
  3. Dumping basket: Turn unused baskets into a dumping place for your clutter. Spice things up by decorating the basket and finding a nice corner for your dump basket.
  4. Bed storage: Do all your clothes fit in your wardrobe? No? Invest in an under bed storage that can slide easily under your bed. Your stuff is not in a nice cozy box under your bed, giving your room an illusion of having more space.
  5. Supplies: Do you keep certain supplies on shelves you would rather not have guests see? Get a mini curtain and hide your supplies behind it. The curtain is a nice addition to your shelf and in the right color and pattern can do a lot for your room.
spiders

Most species of spiders are harmless, but that does not stop them from being unwelcome in our homes. If neglected, these little guys can build mansions in hidden areas around the house, which can go undetected for months. It gets worse if you have a baby in the house and have to resort to cleaning all the time. If that is the case or you simply want to get rid of them and keep them from your home, here are a few items around the house you can use.

  1. Garlic: Vampires are not the only ones who hate garlic. Spiders do too. It contains a natural sulfur compound called allicin which is very irritating to spiders. Put a clove of garlic whole or crushed into a spray bottle filled with water and spray around corners, under tables, dark areas and every other place where a spider might be.
  2. Citrus: Citrus is a great repellant, be it orange, grape, lime, or lemon especially lemon. You can rub lemon peels on door posts, windowsills or any surface where the spiders hang out. You can also use lemon juice and water as spider-repellent.
  3. Vinegar: Repelling spiders is one of the many uses of vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and water and spray on areas where spiders are most likely to be.
  4. Peppermint oil: Though you may be fond of peppermint, the smell of mint drives spiders crazy. Simply put a few drops in a spray bottle of water and spray on areas where you know they gather.
  5. Tobacco: You may not be a smoker but it is worth knowing that the pungent smell of tobacco wards off your uninvited little guests. Boil some tobacco in water and when cool, spray around dark corners and places you suspect they may be hiding.
flies

Flies are a menace! Especially the lazy ones that just won’t move no matter how many times you wave your hands to make them go away. Jumia House has for you four ways to get rid of those pesky insects. These methods are perfect for the ones who hate to use chemicals.

  1. Cloves and Lemon: Flies are known to hate the smell of cloves. When you combine cloves with lemon, the smell is more potent and a good natural repellent. Get one lemon, cut it in half and stick the clove in the pulp of the lemon. Place the lemon on a table in your kitchen and voila! No more flies.
  2. Fly Trap: This is a DIY trap. You will need apple cider vinegar as well as liquid dish soap. Mix the apple cider vinegar and the liquid dish soap in a small bowl. The soap breaks the surface tension thereby sinking and trapping flies who come to eat.
  3. Fly Repellant Spray: You will need, two tablespoons of liquid dish soap, ten drops of peppermint essential oil, ten drops of lemongrass essential oil, a spray, and one cup of water. Mix the water and the liquid dish soap in the spray bottle, then add your essential oils. Shake the bottle to mix solution, once done, spray it all over your house. Spray your home every two weeks.
  4. Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender is also a potent fly repellent. You will need lavender essential oil, sponge, and a mason jar or any jar with a lid. Apply several drops of lavender oil on the sponge and put into the jar. Leave the jar closed till the next morning, then, you can open the jar and place in the part of the house where you need it. Bye Bye pesky flies!
buyers

Property buyers are most often not sure of the properties to go for. One of the mistakes agents make is spending their valuable time pursuing low quality leads not factoring the fact that, an unqualified prospect barely tends to commit to buying a property. A smart solution to this is to first qualify each prospect that comes your way, before scheduling an appointment with them and further spending valuable time on them. That one item you would want to qualify is their true motivation or ability to buy. Below are few questions to ask to determine this, especially when screening them on phone.

What is your reason for buying?

It is important to gain valuable insight into why they want to buy, in order to help you tailor your services to suit their condition. It will also give you an early indication of the person being a client or a slug. Are they thinking of buying because they are retiring, relocating, investment reasons, job change, among other reasons? In the process of finding this out, also look for a ‘common intermediary’ and a specific need and let them know that you understand their needs. By doing this, you are building a relationship with the prospect and also identifying a bridge to your unique services, that is finding a solution to their need or problem. If you are convinced the lead is a motivated buyer after subsequent conversations, you can go-ahead to make an appointment with them.

How long have you been searching?

By asking this question you will be able to tell if the prospect is just beginning the search and is just window shopping or he has been searching for a very long time. If he has been looking for some time, this gives you an upper hand to really probe into why he still hasn’t settled on any home yet and if he has made any offers. Ask about the houses the prospect has seen to know what they liked and didn’t like about them. This gives you an insight into the types of houses that interest them and better understand their motivation to buy. Finally, the information given during this conversation will either help you meet their needs or make you realize that your property isn’t what they are looking for.

Are you currently working with a real estate agent?

It is important to ask this question so as to know your status. If you should even continue with the conversation. If he is working with an agent, this will let you know if he has signed an agreement with the agent and if he has, why are you in the picture? By having this chat, you will also know if you have to pay a commission to the buyer’s agent if they end up purchasing your home. If he is not working with another agent, then bingo! Continue to the next question.

What type of property are you looking for?

This question helps you better understand the prospects taste and preference.

This question details the buyer’s motivation for buying at the first place. Depending on the type of property the buyer wants, you can zoom into where to look specifically in your market area and how long it might take to get the property. You will also know if you have that type of property available or not.

How soon do you want to be in your new property?

If this doesn’t come up in any of the earlier conversations, ask this qualifying question to determine the potential buyer’s time frame. If the answer is within the next couple of months, then he is motivated. If he is not certain, then he is definitely not motivated and not worth your precious time. He might be still window shopping. If he is ‘hoping’ to get a property in the next six months or so, don’t get your hopes up. Do not waste your time meeting with him in person. Move to your next prospect but keep in touch.

 

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