Everyone wants to own and acquire their own piece of land or home but there are a great number of things to look out for and keep in mind when buying a new home or land property especially in a place like Lagos Nigeria.
The following 7 steps are crucial and will serve as guideline while you make that investment in property in Nigeria.
1. Budget, Location, Size
Before you even start searching for land to acquire, you must be sure what your budget is. This is directly tied to your decision of how much land you can possibly buy. After deciding on your budget then the location comes next you don’t expect to buy a duplex in ikoyi the same price you would buy in Ikorodu. You might have come across various terms such as plots, acres, hectares etc. and probably don’t know the difference. They are different land sizes and also play vital roles in the prices of a land. It is very important to take notes of these variations in measurements.
2. Purpose of the Property
Before you buy land in Nigeria, ensure you clarify the purpose. The purpose will help you know where and when to buy a piece of land and will also ensure that you do not run into trouble with the authorities for using such land for prohibited activities in such a location. There are two purposes for buying land: commercial and residential.
- Commercial: Here, the land is for commercial purposes, you are buying the land for investment purposes like rentals or to re-sell after some time.
- Residential: Everyone should aspire to become homeowners eventually and those who solely buy to build their homes fall in this category. It saves one the trouble of renting an apartment.
3. Understand the Nature of the Property
Investors want to get the best value for their money. And this often translates to the best return on their investment. With this in mind, you want to evaluate the potential growth in investment in a particular area before you throw your hard earned money at it.
Another thing to be considered when choosing the location of the land is the potential growth of the area. You would want to ask yourself what the growth of the particular area would be like in ten to twenty years’ time. In as much as land does not depreciate, having a strategic location would increase your chances of making more value on future sales.
4. Research Who is Selling
Always carry out a thorough Investigation on the Land it is very important to avoid acquisition of landed property that is fake or under dispute. There is nothing frustrating than buying land in Nigeria only to discover at the point of development or erecting a structure that the said land has been under Court Order, or that the transfer was not from the original owner.
Verifying the true owner before you buy a plot of land or a completed building, be sure to conduct what is called a “search” on the property. This is the process of verifying from the state government if the property in question is within government acquired properties or not and whether there are any pending litigation or other issues on the property. The bureau of lands of each is responsible for all land related.
5. Inspection of the Land
Always ensure to inspecting the land yourself several times. Avoid delegating the inspection of the land that you intend to buy to someone else. Don’t rely on a third party to do this for you no matter how much you trust this person.
The only exception to this is when you are going to inspect the land in the company of a real estate expert. A growing number of people have been swindled just because they were too busy to carry out a thorough inspection of the land before making payment. Pictures sent to you by the landowner is good but going for an inspection of the land is much better.
6. The Payment Plan
Buying a home in Nigeria requires a significant amount. Only a few people can afford to pay the price upfront. Discuss with your bank and the Seller if they have a reliable repayment plan.
A reliable financial partner who will hold your hands throughout the process will definitely be helpful. When you want to choose a financial partner, you should consider factors such as; how affordable their mortgages and loans are and their loan repayment period.
7. Get the Right Documentation
This is one of the common mistakes or traps people tend to fall into from fraudsters or land grabbers. Buying a land without getting the necessary documents is a recipe for disaster. Before you make payment for any land in any location in Nigeria, you should ask for the following documents:
- The Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)
- The Survey Plan
- The Tax Clearance Certificate
- The Deed of Assignment
- The Purchase Receipt
- The Contract of Sales
- The Building Plan (if it’s a completed house)
- Originals of other relevant documents in possession of the previous owner
Never make payment for land or house without the provision of these vital documents. Don’t take anything for granted because this is one-way fraudulent individuals exploit unsuspecting land buyers. Many have fallen victim to this scam and several others have found themselves in court contesting ownership of land that they paid for without following due process.
It doesn’t matter if you are buying the land from a friend or a close relative whom you trust. Buying land in Nigeria is a financial transaction and should be treated as such. Always insist on seeing the original copies of the aforementioned documents before buying land in Nigeria. Don’t make yourself an easy target for a scam.
Note: be ready to settle any additional cost like survey plan, legal fee, agency fee, cost of signing documents, cost of securing your documents.
Remember to File the Documentation for Your New Purchase with the State Government, It’s important to do this step because it legally makes you the new owner in the eyes of the law. If the property already has a C of O (Certificate of Occupancy), you’ve got Governor’s consent of Engage the Services of a Lawyer.
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