Goodbye Mom And Dad

Leaving Home: Part Two, Accommodation

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Getting a house. You go on the internet, browse a few sites and get the perfect home. You then live happily ever after….if only life worked that way. When leaving home for the first time, you will soon discover that looking for a house to stay in is not easy at all.

Walk. Things are rarely as they appear. When you go on Instagram do you find pictures of celebrities in their pyjamas without any makeup or filters? NO. The same applies to houses. Home owners do not post pictures of how the house actually looks like. They either copy and paste stock photos from the internet or they take photos from angles that make their houses appear like castles. The best way to find a good house is to actually walk. Go to the house. Open your eyes. Let your nose go to work. Make your eyes super sensitive to all the sounds you hear. Let me share a few tips.


Look at your surroundings. Are there many homes with tanks outside? Are there many water buckets or bottles inside the house? Is there any home with a very good portion of lawn outside the yard? How about inside the yard? You need to ask yourself all these questions. If there are water bottles or buckets then water may be a problem in the area.

Now look at the fences. Are there houses without fences? Are the fences low or pretty high? Are there glass doors on most houses? Do the windows have burglar bars? All these questions will help to give a rough idea of whether or not the area has a high crime rate or not.

Is there smoke everywhere? If the answer is yes, try looking where exactly it is coming from. If it is from dumps then pollution may be a problem. If it comes from cooking areas then the electricity supply may be a problem.

Now get inside the house. Look at the ceiling (if there is one). If there is a ceiling then check if there are any spots that indicate that the roof leaks. If there is no ceiling then look at the roof. If you can see a spot with bright light from the sun then it is highly likely that the roof leaks.


Those things were made for a reason. Listen to what the people passing by talk about. Just have a general idea of what the conversations are about. Maybe someone will be complaining that the mobile network coverage in the area has become poor again (which means this is a recurring problem). Maybe someone will complain about electricity, refuse (garbage) collection, water or even theft. Also get a general idea of what people do not talk about. If nobody talks about exercising or going to the gym then it probably means that there isn’t a gym nearby (that’s a rather weak example, but I think you get the idea).


Smell the air. Does it smell fresh? Is there a pungent smell? If so, then where is it coming from? This could help you detect any potential problems with your house e.g. sewer problems. This could also give you a rough idea about the lifestyle of your new landlord. In addition, you may be able to detect the presence of unpleasant creatures e.g. rats.

The Landlord/ Landlady

You are going to deal with this person for the entire duration of your stay at the home. You need to do a bit of research to find out whether the landlord is someone who is pleasant to be around or not. Moving is a really energy draining and uncomfortable process. It is best to avoid having to move to another home by simply ensuring that your landlord is someone who is quite hospitable.


Oh yes. You need money. I remember this song that would play on TV when I was a kid. It went something like this “Money money money money…moneeeeeeyyyyyy.” It sums up most of the stuff that happens in this world. You need to have cash set aside for the following:

  • Rent

You need to pay rent to your landlord, unless if you’re Bill Gates kid. If you are, then stop reading this article and send me a million : )

  • Water

I don’t think I need to explain this. And yes. Even if you don’t like bathing you still need to pay for this.

  • Electricity

Also self-explanatory unless if you plan on going totally off the grid.

  • Gas

If electricity is too expensive to use for cooking and heating.

  • Transport

Guess what?? You will need to move around. Yes. There is a thing called going to work. If you are leaving home for work for the first time, then it is highly likely that you will not get paid in the first month. Make sure you have enough money to last you for two months or so.

  • Food (this used to makeup up to 60 % of my expenses…and I don’t eat that much)

Food is really expensive. You need to make sure that you have enough money set aside for it otherwise you will grow to hate yourself.

  • Entertainment

You will need to entertain yourself. You need money for that. Pay for Netflix, or save money to buy data for streaming videos online. You can also use it for paying for tokens at local clubs to play pool.

Or ….you could just go outside and stare at rocks.

Where can you find good places to rent?

I dunno. Seriously. Googling is rather unreliable and you will get sites that give biased recommendations. To make you understand why googling “where to find good places to rent” try to think of that time when someone older than you (teacher, sibling, parent, etc) did something really foolish and then asked you “are you saying what I did was foolish?” Nobody would say no. The answer would be biased. The same applies to the websites that advertise places to rent. They are probably paid to promote such places and it would make little sense to tell the truth about heavily criticize the person paying you. The best thing to do is to think of the place you want to rent and find a few trusted people who live there. Call them and ask them for advice. Go there in person. This applies to all countries. 1st world, 2nd world and 3rd world countries.

In my last article in this series about leaving home for the first time, I’ll share a few crazy experiences I had as well as the foolish things I did. It will be awesome!

Please do share your experiences about finding your first house in the comments section. I would love to have to say (seriously. I’m not just saying this to get a few random comments.)