10 Things To Check Before Buying Land In Nigeria.
Buying land in Nigeria especially in Lagos can be a very difficult decision to make. But in this post I will highlight the 10 things you must check that will help you to make better decision.
As a Real Estate Consultant in Lagos, who has helped a lot of people buy and sell their land here in Lagos. I have come to really understand that before buying Land that there are some things you need to carefully consider.
The FAQ question my clients always ask me first and I know you are also asking that question too is:
*What Title does the Land have?
I know a man who bought land from the owners all papers was complete and he went ahead to build and moved into it, only for him to receive a letter from the Government saying he should vacate the house as his house has been marked for demolition.
He couldn’t believe his ears, according to the letter he was building what is not allowed in that area.
The government had already marked that area as an industrial area. So building a residential home was not accepted.
So most times it is not always about the land documents alone that you need to check before buying land there are a lot more and that is what I will be revealing to you in this article.
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Table Of Contents
Number #1: Location.
Location is the number one thing to consider when buying land in Nigeria. This is the foundation to other things you need to check.
The location will determine what value the land will be in the future because a land in a developed area will cost more than a land in developing area.
Another reason to consider location when buying land, is that you need to consider if the location of the land is fast attracting development.
No one will like to buy land that the location is slow in developing.
My advice when trying to consider location:
- If you’re making an investment, don’t buy land with no resale value.
- If you’re aiming on starting up a business, don’t buy land completely isolated from potential customers.
- If you’re looking to build a house, don’t buy land you can’t build on.
Number #2: Neighborhood and Landmarks
Yes you need to check who are going to be your Neighbors before buying land in Nigeria.
A lot of people make this mistake before buying land. The landmarks in that neighborhood are the key to how fast an area will develop and the value the land will appreciate to.
You should try and look 5 – 10 years into that Neighborhood and see what that area will become before buying land there.
Check to see if there any notable Government or Private project going on or already started to operate as this will tell you if the area will develop fast.
Any Neighborhood you can find up to 5 World Class Landmarks weather in operation or still under construction then you are good to go.
For example if the government or an individual decides to build a notable landmark like factory or university beside your land, the value of that land will automatically go up.
That’s why you need to take this into serious consideration before you buying land.
Another thing why you need to put this into consideration is to also help you check if at all you can cope with the development in the area when it finally comes for those who need to buy and build a residential home but if you are buying to resell then the development is going to be a big plus.
For example some people might not be able to come with a plane always flying above their head why others love it.
Number #3: Environment.
Checking the environment will help to know the land you want to use for housing purpose is safe to live around, as you don’t want to live in a polluted environment.
You need to consider the environment where the land is located and know how it is currently affecting those living there presently in order to guaranty your safety while living there.
Make sure there are no toxic substances in the area, like refuge disposals, poisonous smell from farms etc.
Also make sure that the area you are considering buying land from does not experience seasonal flooding.
Number #4: Accessibility.
You might be saying that this is not important, but you will know how important to check if the land you bought is not accessible and you now have to beg your neighbor before you can access your land.
Always make sure that the area has god road network is accessible before buying land.
Number #5: Security.
You need to know how secure the area you are planning on buying land into before buying land there.
Look to see if government has provided adequate security for that area. Also check to see if the community itself has a way of tackling security challenges.
You can also ask people leaving around there to know if the area is peaceful and does not get harassment from rubbers and hoodlums.
Security is a vital issue and must be considered when buying land.
Number #6: Zoning Restrictions.
It is important to know the zoning permits of the area you are trying to buy land from as this will help you to know what government plan for that area is.
You will not be allowed to build a factory where government has already marked for residential building. You need to know this so you do not have issues with the government in the future.
Even if the area is for residential building, know the kind of building the government permits for the area.
Building a sky scraper in an area where government says build bungalow is going to make you have issues with the government.
Number #7: Soil Quality and Composition.
Soil quality and composition will determine how you will build your new house or your new factory.
It will tell you the kind of additional money you will spend on the land when the time comes. It will tell you if you will need to do any land filling.
When it comes to building, soil composition can impact:
- Cost of building foundations
- Amount of earthworks required
- Stability and land retention
Number #8: Size of the Land.
You need to also check to know if the size of the land corresponds with what the owner says it is.
The only way to do this is to get a surveyor who will come and survey the land and get the actual measurement.
Do not just assume because the owner says it one plot that it is one plot make sure you confirm.
Even though it will cost you money but it is better you did and be sure of what you are buying.
That is why I recommend buying land from an estate this will cut away a lot of things and also make sure you are free from any Omonile Wahala (problem).
Number #9: Legal Documents.
After you have checked the above list, the next thing to check is the Legal documents that the land has, by this I also mean the Title of the Land.
When buying land you must check to be very sure that the land you are planning to buy is genuinely registered.
A lot of people think that the best document to check for is the C of O (Certificate of Occupancy). but the is not good because any land with C of O in Nigeria only has 100 years to be used before the land comes back to the Government.
So imagine that the land you are planning to buy has already been used for 30 years before now, that means you only have 70 years to use that land.
The main documents to check for is the Survey Plan, Deed of Assignment, Excision and Gazette.
This will help you to know if the land is under government acquisition or Free, you will also know what the land can be used for with the help of these documents.
Notwithstanding, you can still buy a land and register it yourself but make sure you are buying it from a genuine owner.
More information on Land Document.
Number #10: Price Of Land.
I decided to leave this till you have checked to confirm other things I listed above first as they will determine what the price of the land should be.
For example Land without any title can never be priced the same as Land with C of O.
Because each of this titles cost money to get, therefore the owner will definitely add these expenses to the cost of the land.
Also the location and of the land has a lot to say about how the land will be priced.
So with this information you can check to know if the owner is over pricing the land or not.
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