Real estate generally feels like a good investment but after seeing the movie “The Money Pit”, I realised not all property deals are good. The major lesson from the movie is before you buy any type of property, you should do your homework.
Buying land in Lagos Nigeria might be one of the most complex real estate transaction as some even feel it is more complicated than buying a house. There are plenty of reasons to buy this real estate, you could choose to build your own house, use the property as a long-term investment or even to start up a business.
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With different types of land documents in Nigeria, you need to know the real estate document details and the land receipt format so you won’t be duped.
Before you make an offer on a property there are many questions that need answers before you make an offer, so don’t be shy to ask the real estate agent as many questions possible so you don’t get burned.
Here are 7 things you need to know before investing in land.
1. How is the location?
Location is one of the oldest real estate adage and also the most basic concern in land purchasing. No matter what property you are purchasing or why you are buying it, nothing is more important than location. Land is an investment and you shouldn’t buy one with no resale value. If you are starting a business, don’t buy real estate completely isolated from potential customers and if you are planning to build a house, don’t buy a parcel of land you can’t build on.
Before you shop for real estate in Nigeria, you should have a general idea of the areas suitable for your purchase including the social amenities the area provides.
Shopping for a piece of land also means shopping for the community at the same time. When you’ve scored a win in both categories — community and land — you’ll know you’ve made a good choice.
2. How much is the total cost involved?
Real estate generally cost money and time. Before you go into buying a piece of land, you need to prepare and ask questions so you can spend your money wisely. Cost of land in Nigeria varies as it is determined by the size of the property, the area and other factors.
In Nigeria, highly commercialized areas like Lagos face the issue of land grabbers (Omo Onile) and it will be nice to make enquires about this people so you won’t overspend. Asking questions like What kind of expenses can you expect to incur when buying a vacant lot? will help you plan your purchase well.
3. Will utilities be assessed?
If you are looking to invest in property and just leave it the way it is, you might have no use for utilities. Utilities like power, water and light might be an issue if you buy land in a very deserted undeveloped area. If you’re close enough to local resources to run in some or all of your utilities don’t pay for it yet, consider the next question.
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4. Is it easy to access the main roads?
Road access might seem a no-brainer but if you live in Nigeria, you’ll realise it’s surprisingly a complex issue. In most of the major parts of Lagos state, access to major roads is rarely a problem as you can access the roads without issues. In rural areas, land for sale could potentially be cut off from a major road and be available only via private access.
5. Is the land surveyed?
To be sure you are getting exactly what you paid for, a certified surveyor can tell you and show you the exact boundaries of the land you are considering, so you can purchase with confidence.
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6. Is any zoning restriction on the land?
It’s essential to know neighbourhood zoning limitations. In case you’re intending to erect a structure, you would prefer not to discover that your plans disregard neighbourhood rules after you’ve begun, or even after you’ve purchased the property. Discover in advance what you can and can’t legitimately do on the land and ensure this fits in with your requirements previously purchasing.