We know how anxious this pandemic has made many people feel since it started. It’s looking like something we have to learn to live with, meaning life has to go on. With the number of job cuts and people being put on forced leave, you might find yourself in a situation where you have to downsize and move out of your current home to find an affordable option.
We advise you to look at property online first to avoid house hunting physically. Most businesses have been forced to move their operations and products online to ensure business continuity during the pandemic. But if you really must leave the house, your health and safety come first. Here are a set of guidelines for you to follow when you decide to leave the house.
Start looking online
Before you start physically house hunting, you can start by visiting online platforms such as Facebook or property platforms like BuyRentKenya. You can see houses in different locations, within different price ranges and from different agents all from the convenience of your home. This will save you from unnecessary footwork, save you time and money. You will also avoid making trips to different locations which could expose you to potential harm.
If you must look for houses on the ground
It is very normal to feel anxious and concerned about being outside mingling with other people. If you are feeling unwell in any way, stay at home until you get better. If you find a house you love online and you are working with an agent, ask the agent as many questions as possible before you view the house physically. Before you leave your house, remember to carry a pocket sanitizer.
Travelling to view houses
Moving to a new house is exciting. And finding the right one is key. We want to keep your mind at ease when you are going to view a house so that you can pick the right house without feeling the stress of whether or not you are safe in terms of the virus.
Always wear a mask when you leave the house. If possible, use private means when going to view the house. If you must use public transportation, avoid standing in crowded bus stops and getting onto matatus not following the guidelines. Remember to sanitize your hands when you board and alight from the matatu. Read more hygiene tips here when using public means.
When you get to the house
Always wear your mask properly. Don’t let it hang on your chin. You are going to be touching door handles and opening cupboards. You might be tempted to put on the mask again after you have touched different surfaces. That is why it is good to leave it on from the get-go.
Some apartments have washing stations right at the entrance. You wash your hands when you reach and when leaving. You can also wear disposable gloves if you feel like you don’t want to touch surfaces with your bare hands. But remember not to touch your phone when you have the gloves on. You will transfer germs to your phone. If you want to take photos, do so then wipe down your phone when you get back to your house.
After you are done viewing
Once you are done viewing a house, you might want to speak to the agent who was taking you around or the caretaker. Talk at an open space so that you have enough room for social distancing. If you find a house that you love, dispose of the gloves, wash your hands at the washing station or sanitize, then save the contacts of the caretaker so that you can follow up and discuss further with regards to the house.
These are trying times but we must not let it control how we live our lives. The country is slowly opening up and things are getting back to normal. Business is not as usual. Fewer people are looking to move right now. But if you must, you should follow the guidelines to stay safe while house hunting. All the best, and remember… “If we continue to behave normally, this disease will treat us abnormally” – CS Health, Mutahi Kagwe.