Buying a house requires discipline, diligence and patience. One cannot generally tell how much a house will cost because prices of houses vary depending on factors such as  location, size, architectural design and others. Before asking yourself how much you need to buy a house, answer these questions:

In which location do you want to buy

Location is key to understand the price of a house. Houses that are located close to the city, main road or in neighborhoods that are considered prestigious can be costly houses. This is because of their convenience in terms of access to the city center, security and prestigious reputation. However, even though location contributes much to the price of a house, it does not entirely dictate it. Some houses in these areas can be more affordable than houses in neighborhoods that are considered less convenient.

What type of houses are you interested in

If you are looking to buy a semi-detached house in a gated community, you must be willing to pay for it. Houses are usually more expensive because these stand on a larger plot of land, are more spacious and require more resources to maintain. Apartments on the other hand are more affordable because they are smaller.

How urgently do you want the house

When looking for a property to buy, it is important to be as patient as possible so as to get exactly what you would like. Rushing to buy properties without thinking through and seeing what else is available on the market can lead you to make impulsive purchases that you might end up regretting in the future. It is therefore important to start searching for properties early enough and to explore all kinds of property advertising such as brokers, online portals, and social media. This presents you with a variety of prices, house designs and locations to pick from and introduces you to new property agencies that may have better offers for you than your usual contacts.

Other important aspects to consider when buying a house include your future aspirations for the house. For example, if you plan on renovating and redesigning the house in future, then it is wiser to spend less in the initial purchase because you will need to spend more later on works. Also, if you plan on turning the house into a commercial property later then it would be better to purchase a house which is in a lucrative location for business for example close to the central business district and closer to other commercial establishments

The amount of money you will need to buy a home also depends on your payment plan. If you plan on paying the entire amount at once, you will need a lot of money. However, if you purchase the house through a mortgage loan or any other partial payment agreement with the seller, you are able to dedicate a percentage of your income on a regular basis for your purchase.

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.

Guest Post By: Nancy Ewurum (Jumia House Ghana)

A lease is an agreement between an owner of a property and a tenant. The idea of leasing is appealing and advantageous to many property-hunters because it does not require a massive upfront payment. In a leasing contract, a tenant is given the authority to operate their business on the property while compensating the owner a fee over a long period of time. Lease types vary and these include full service leases, gross and net leases depending on the needs of the client. Jumia House shares some of the ways property owners can lease their property;

Make use of real estate agents

One of the key ways to get your property leased is by getting a real estate agent to market your property for you. Agents are usually well connected and have knowledge about the market including the most suitable tenants for your type of property. They are able to guide you on how to market your property, the legal implications, contract information and so on. You may not have knowledge about the details of leasing out your property and that is where middlemen come in.

Online advertising

Online advertising is quickly gaining popularity and is one of the most efficient means of advertising real estate. Clients overtime are becoming less willing to move long distances to visit properties and usually search for them online. Online advertising does not limit you to only offline clients but it also increases your visibility online. As a property owner, you should be willing to advertise your property on Internet portals to expand your market. When listing your property online, always ensure that the information is backed up by photographs with correct lighting so that interested clients know exactly what the property looks like when they contact you.

Set a target market

Concentrate on a particular market to lease your property. This way, you are able to identify marketing strategies that are appealing to that particular niche. You can seek advice from a real estate expert about what the most suitable target for your property is and entice them to rent your property.

Make your property attractive

Ensure that your property fits the standard of people you are trying to appeal to. For example, make sure it is painted well, the lawn is well mowed and maintained, the interior is attractive enough and all details are well considered.

Use signposts on the property

Another method you may incorporate to get your property leased is by putting a large, visible sign post at the entrance of the property. This will let everyone know that your property is available.

Buying or building your own house is a huge financial investment and many people usually have reserved feelings before embarking on building one. Let’s start from ground up, finding the perfect site, the process of purchasing that piece of land.

Buying the materials, hiring the best contractors are not exactly a walk in the park, neither is offsetting that mortgage loan for that dream house you saw on a newspaper, but come to think of it, the merits of owning a property will make these drawbacks seem like minor inconveniences.

Here are the perks of being the master of your own home.

Understanding the financial implications is  vital.

For those who secure a mortgage, the majority of monthly payments go toward paying the interest. Over time, an increasing amount goes toward reducing the mortgage balance. As you make payments, you reduce the principal and increase your share or “equity” in your home’s value.

When your house appreciates, it then increases in value over time. Building equity or savings in your home is important as it lets them plan for retirement which entails planning for the future goals.

House ownership makes costs more predictable and more stable than renting because they are based on a fixed-rate mortgage. The interest and property tax portion of your mortgage payment is a tax deduction. The more you pay, the lesser the expenses and in no time you will have cleared the loan and the house is yours. What tax will you pay now? Very little

Land generally appreciates with time. The value of your land today will not be the same tomorrow. So if you decide to sell your home after some years, you will be reaping major profits from that sale.

You can also increase the value of your property by changing or adding something on it for example constructing a Servants´ Quarter or repainting it. It’s that easy your property is no longer worth what is was last year just by adding a fresh coat of paint!

Personal benefits include

Security and peace of mind is something else that comes with property ownership, you no longer have to worry about the looming rental bill, or the towering image of your landlord banging on your door, or trespassing on your formidable neighbor’s land. The home is yours and so is the lush green grass in your compound you don’t share it with anyone.

You are your own Landlord. When there’s peace of mind comes the freedom to do anything you want, you can redecorate or remodel your property according to your own taste. If you want to paint the all the walls black you can do so without worrying about the next door neighbor who repeatedly said black is not his color. There are no rules and regulations made by the landlord that you have to abide by, you make your own rules.

Last but not least house ownership comes with that great sense of pride and self-satisfaction. Having a place that you call your own is truly priceless, it ceases to be just any exquisite property located at a serene environment but it becomes a Home and a Home is the most valuable asset a man can ever possess.

What are you still waiting for? Go out and turn that dream house into a home.

By Joyce Mbaire

A nice smelling home is just the cherry on top of a beautifully designed home. That’s why the simple aspect of a nice smelling home should never be overlooked. The way your home looks says a lot about you, but even more is the way your home smells. Always leave a lasting impression on your guests by using these 5 simple tricks to get your home to always smell amazing.

Cook Vanilla Extract

This is a great and inexpensive way of getting your home smelling delicious. Put  1 or 2 table spoons of vanilla extract in an oven safe bowl in the oven for a few minutes. In no time your house will smell heavenly for little or no cost. Keep doing this twice a week and your home will eventually smell like this permanently.

House Oils

You can also invest in house oils. These usually come in different flavors and usually last from 2 to 4 months leaving an amazing scent even when done. These ails are more expensive than the usual house scents and this is because they last longer and are safer to use.

Stove Top Scents

Another quick way to get the whole house smelling lush also comes from the kitchen. Mix a homemade potpourri on the stove and the sweet smell will travel to the rest of your home in no time. 

Fabric Softener 

Did you know your fabric softener is pretty much a super hero? All you need is a diluted drop of your favourite fabric softener on a clean cloth, and use it to wipe on your AC vents or furniture. This way, once the AC is turned on the scent of your fabric softener will fill the air and also when the furniture drys it will smell like fabric softener. Alternatively, you could also mix a tiny amount of fabric softener in a spritz bottle with water and use it as a homemade air freshener.

Scented Candles

Scented candles are cool and all but we like to do things a little different around here. Want to take scented candles up a notch? Here’s how. Place vanilla scented candles in a bowl of coffee beans. The heat from the candles will activate the coffee beans and your home will begin to smell like a french vanilla coffee haven.

Make an essential oil room spray

Essential oils are another great way to get your home smelling amazing. Find your favourite scent and decant it into a spritz bottle which you can use as an air freshener for your convenience.

 

Do you have any interesting tips for getting your home smelling amazing? Let us know!

Credit: Onichabor Ogochukwu

Do you remember the last time you had a good nights sleep? We’re talking no tossing and turning from the Kigali heat. A peaceful good night’s sleep, with no interruptions from noise, mosquitoes or an uncomfortable bed. Maybe it was the last time you were on vacation and got to relax on a deliciously luxurious hotel bed? Well if that’s the case, then we have some good news for you. No need to camp out at the nearest five star hotel for the best sleep ever. Just follow these seven easy tips and you can start sleeping better tonight.

White noise

White noise that is. Some people are too sensitive to sound, meaning, they wake up at the drop of a pin. While at the other extreme end of the spectrum are those who are sensitive to the silence. If you are one of these people, then try putting on your fan about an hour or thirty minutes before you’re ready to sleep. The natural back and forth pattern made by an oscillating fan is similar to your breathing pattern and should relax and sooth you into a deep sleep. Bonus, the white noise should also drown out all the other tiny sounds you may hear during the silence.

Drown out the noise

So we’ve talked about people who need a little white noise to put them to sleep. Now let’s discuss those who need graveyard silence for a good night’s sleep. A simple solution to this are ear plugs. Any and all noise will be drowned out during your sleep. The only downside? You may not hear your alarm in the morning! Not such a bad thing right?

Lights out

For anyone who has difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep through the night, you are probably also extremely sensitive to light. It could come from various sources such as the TV light, sunlight, computer light, light from an alarm clock, or corridor lights. If you want a more natural way to wake up like what you experience in hotels, consider investing in blackout curtains to block out the sunlight. A cheaper solution could also be to cover all the potential sources of light before you sleep.

Pillow talk

Let’s talk about your pillows. Do you ever wake up with a stiff neck? This could be as a result of the amount of support you are getting from your pillow. Be sure to choose your pillows carefully and possibly invest in pillow protectors for that decadent hotel feel.

Mattress matters

Did you know your mattress has a shelf life? If you’ve had your mattress for more than ten years, it’s safe to say you need a new one. And if you can’t remember how long it’s been, again we say, you need a new one. And if you can’t afford a new mattress, then consider either a mattress topper or flipping your mattress over and rotating your mattress every three months.

Three time’s the charm

For the ultimate hotel feel and the best sleep, try doing it like the hoteliers do it. Dress your bed with three sheets, one fitted sheet, and two flat sheets. For the ultimate experience, invest in Egyptian cotton sheets with at least three hundred thread count.

Nature’s solution

 

These six tips are all great and easy to incorporate but if all else fails and you need a little help along the way, consider using a natural sleep aid.

Do you have any tips and tricks you use to sleep better at night? We’d love to hear about them!