How To Buy Land in Nigeria
How To Buy Land in Nigeria
Buying a Land in Nigeria – Investing in a land for sale is one of the best ways to invest your money in this country. Real estate has become one of the fastest rising industries in Nigeria and there are so many people who want to buy a plot of land and invest their money to but they can’t.
There are several reasons why people don’t buy though and some of them range from not having enough money to not knowing the type of land or even how to buy the plot of land in question. So for those who don’t really know how to buy a piece or plot of land, this is especially for you.
In Nigeria today, land properties have somehow become one of the natural resources that always appreciates regardless of the time, season and location of the property. Nevertheless, it is important that you learn how to buy a piece of land especially if you hope to invest in real estate in the future.
Don’t worry, in as much as there’s quite a lot of technicalities to this, it’s not rocket science. The thing is, we know that lands appreciate but some appreciate faster than others, some have less conflicted ownership issues and some others are just vast plots of stress, conflict and problems on the soil, waiting to be invited for manifestation. Don’t go close to those.
So to save you from the above impending stress and to explain in detail, I’ll be giving you step by step things to do before you buy a piece of land, the processes involved and also the documents you need to have one you’ve purchased the property.
Determine the Type of Land You Need To Buy – To buy a piece of land in Nigeria, the first thing you need to do is determine the size of land you want. You and you only, knows the type of structure you plan to erect on the piece of land and the kind of location you want it to be in. So make enquiry, contact a very reputable agent, find out the different sizes and then make a decision as to the size of the land for sale that suits your needs.
Let’s Talk Money – In this country Nigeria, the price for land varies with the location. Welcome to Nigeria. Depending on how commercial the location is, the price of land in that area will be considerably high. If it is in a less commercial areas and a more rural settlement, it will be considerably lesser than the prices of land in a commercial and urban settlement. Let’s take a very vivid example using Lagos state as the case study. In Lagos state, there are those who own properties on the Island and on the Mainland. A plot of land in Lekki (Island) will not be the same as the price for a plot of land at surulere. Likewise even in the same surulere, a plot of land at aguda has a different price from Lawanson .( well if you find one) So my point is, how much can you afford in the neighborhood that you want ? Remember the payment will include agent fee, and miscellaneous spendings you did not bargain for. So it is expedient that you tell your agent where you want to buy the plot or how much you can afford so he can find a plot in a suitable location for you.
Land Survey – Land survey is simply the measurement, mapping and marking of a piece of land with specialized technologies, mathematics, geographic knowledge, survey equipments with the help of those who carry out the practice – land surveyors. Land survey is a very old profession and it was in existence from over 3000 years ago. In this time, Egyptian surveyors marked out fertile grounds from the Nile river and continually marked the land after every flooding that took place on the Nile. The profession might seem like its age long, but when land surveyors work on your piece of land, they will measure any and everything they find. The sky, the soil, the space, width length, ocean bed, basically anything. For some people land survey should be done after purchasing the piece of land but I beg to differ. Here are some good reasons why you need a land survey before purchasing that piece of land.
Carrying out a land survey allows you to identify the property, know its boundaries, know everything and also find out if the structures in the area or piece of land are inclusive for a purchase. Getting a land surveyor will be advantageous as he will ensure that you’re not being tricked and that you’re getting the worth of your investment. Also, if there are some improvements stated on the deed that should be on the property, the surveyor ensures that you get the full package and not some.
It is important that you know that surveyors and “Nigerian Humans”. The previous owner could have instructed his surveyor to omit certain specifics. I love my country and it’s citizens but this is business and in taking risks like these, I choose facts. Get your own surveyor. Be sure he sees everything or anything that could had been committed by the previous surveyor whether deliberately or unintentionally. With your own land surveyor, it’ll be easy to detect if a neighbor is encroaching into your proposed property. In Nigeria, this causes a major fallout between parties involved and sometimes even leads to a lawsuit in the future. Best you sort it out now. Better now than later.
Lastly, some people purchase lands that turn out absolutely useless to them. This is true. With a land survey, this will not happen. You save yourself the stress of buying the wrong property, you get your money’s worth and also enjoy property without lawsuits and threats of eviction. A land survey document is one of the most important documents to have in hand before and after the purchase of your land. Apart from every other thing we have talked about, know that if you had to sell the property,you would also have to provide your own survey. DO NOT BUY A PIECE OF LAND WITHOUT ONE.
The Search – Now that you’ve found a piece of land that suits your demand, what next? Bear in mind that no land is vacant and without dispute, this way when you meet landowners with lands that have impending dispute, you’d know how to handle them and the best way to escape them. To know this, you’ll have to investigate. The next and vital thing to do is to carry out a search to ensure that the property you’re about to purchase does not belong to someone else. In this case you’ll have to submit an application letter to the authorities in charge- lands registry- including an affidavit of the applicant’s status and reason for the search. The response you get here will determine if you’ll purchase that piece of land or not.
Executing the Deed of Assignment/Conveyance – Immediately after the search has been conducted and you’re satisfied with the piece of land you can then execute the deed of assignment. This is the part where both parties involved, that is; buyer and seller complete the deed, sign it, and complete the payment for the purchase.
Obtain Land Documents– It will be absolutely unbelievable if you buy a piece of land and say you own it when you have absolutely or incomplete documented proof. You will need the certified copies of the vendor’s title documents(previous owners title) and his survey plan. This is serious business and these two documents will be requested for when it’s time for your application for consent from your governor. The documents are proof and evidence of the state and present condition of the land from the town planning authorities. These documents contain the coordinates of the plot and must fit into the map of the state. So it ultimately helps you know the boundaries of your property. To get the CTC’s, you will submit the application letter and an affidavit stating your purpose for the land to the lands registry.
Charging Fee, Endorsement Fee, Form 1C – In some states Like Lagos state, you’ll have to pay the charting fee, endorsement fee and also pay for form 1C even before applying for the governor’s consent. Before payment, you’ll be given a receipts at the registry with a paying deposit- slip to a designated bank for payment to the state government. Afterwards, you’ll process the governor’s consent.
Governor’s Consent – According to the land use act in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, all lands in each state of the country is vested in the custody of the governor of that state and it is especially mandatory that any citizen interested in a property of the sort, should seek legal validation for the acquisition of that land. To obtain the Governor’s consent, you must have the following documents.
Completed form 1C
CTC of the document of the vendor (previous owner)
Current tax certificates from you and the vendor
Four copies of the deed(from the vendor)
Copy of the land survey plan
Receipt of payment of charting fee, endorsement fee and form 1C
Receipt of payment of land use
A photograph of the land property
Identification from vendor and applicant
Application should be submitted to the directorate of land services.
Payment of Stamp Duty, Registration Fees, Consent Fees and Area or neighborhood improvement charge – Sounds like a lot but you have finally gotten your property and the next thing to do is get information on how to pay for registration, consent and neighborhood improvement fee. Make your enquiry from reputable agents and they’ll tell you that there are designated banks where you can pay through with certified cheques. Receipts are usually provided to any applicant who can make copies before submitting the originals to the land registry.
Obtaining a new title name from the land service department and stamping of the deed- It’s beginning to seem like a tedious process right? Its really not all that tedious it just looks it on paper. After all these payments have been made, the attorney general and commissioner for the state will give consent on behalf of the state governor. He signs the deed and the dees is stamped at the stamp duties registry. I know, it’s Nigeria, we’re protocol followers.
Deed Registration – After all these processes, the last step is to register and get filed with the cashier at the lands registry. Of course you’re to come with proof or evidence of payment attached to the deed.
Benefits of a registered title
I’ve lived in a place where the owner of the property faced constant threats and disturbances because he encroached into a piece of land with the new fence he built. There were days where I just wanted out of the compound but I had limited options. On a special day the landlord had a guest and apparently he was a prospective buyer and was checking out the same property that already had disputes. Now I don’t know how that transaction went, but you can see that you could be sold a piece of land that has disputed history and without asking for the registered title. You need to know and frankly people are stepping up, registering theirs and enjoying benefits. So whether you’re a vendor or a prospective owner keep this in mind.
This is the reason why I have decided to share with you this information. Most people claim to be ignorant of this but that is just an excuse to get away. It is the last thing to get and one last step that will make the process solid and concrete. So this is really important.
After buying a piece of land and obtaining a new title name for the property, it is expedient that you register your property or the deed to be specific. There are quite a number of reasons why you should register the property and I have listed them and given little explanations as to why I think the registration is worth the stress.
Identified ownership- at the lands registry there is an up to date record of the latest owners of properties. So your name will be filed and recorded when you register. With this, there’ll be no need to dig too deep for history if a dispute arises that questions your ownership.
State Guarantee – A registered title has state guarantee. Your property is safe and if by a mistake on the part of the lands registry official, you lose a property, the government will give a compensation for the land lost and rectify any other issue concern the land that originated from the land registry office.
Less and Easy Resolve – When you have a registered title it will be easy to resolve any disputes that might erupt. I mean, if you have a land dispute, all you have to do is report the issue to the land registry and it’ll be resolved.
The Register Book – This is the book where the registration is mainly carried out and it has different segments which are as follows: name of present owner, accurate description and location of land, covenants or agreements that restrict owners from certain uses of the land, easements like a part of the property that can be crossed by other people.. Like having a walk path on the property, outstanding charges or mortgages, and even warnings on the property against intruders.
Comprehensible – A registered title unlike a conveyance or deed is simple, easy to understand and even tender for any legal issue.
With a registered title, you can take a loan from any bank or financial institutions. If you ask me, it makes perfect sense because no financial institution will give you a loan without a registered title.
To sell a property is not as easy it may seem to the layman who knows nothing about real estates. Before getting around selling it you will have to prove to the prospective buyer that your property is legitimate. Trust me it is way faster and easier to tender a registered title as proof of ownership.
Dealings are easier – if you have any dealings that have to do with a landed property, it becomes easier when you have a registered title. Whether it has to do with a financial institution or a regular business deal, it is way easier than using other land documents.
Registering your title will keep your records safe and also protect your interest if you chose to lease it for some purposes. Even as a buyer, you’ll find it’s easier to purchase a land with a registered title.
If you live in any part of Nigeria, you will agree with me that this country has a really large land mass. There are lots of lands in the thirty six states of the country and even the country’s capital abuja. However, for different reasons these lands might be inaccessible to an individual who would want to purchase one. The reason why he might find it difficult can vary from it being expensive, unavailable, or it could just be that this individual doesn’t even know how to buy a piece of land in his locality.
You think this is a joke but there are people in that last category and that’s the reason for this article. I hope that I have explained thoroughly how one can purchase a plot of land in whichever location they desire. If you have more questions and enquiry on this topic, feel free to ask us as we’re waiting to answer all your questions.
That said, I’ll just briefly summarize everything we talked about on how to buy a plot of land in Nigeria. As it is with everything in this world, buying a landed property involves some steps. Taking these steps dutifully will lead you directly to that property you desire. However, I can’t say the same for if you do otherwise or you take shortcuts. Actually I can say, you will be in more trouble than you bargained for. Some of the steps we talked about include ;
Knowing the type of land you want. We talked on this extensively because a lot of people buy properties they don’t need, that are in a non commercial location, or properties that are just wrong for the purpose intended.
We also talked about having a set amount in mind that you might want the property to revolve around. A price that you’re certain confident you can afford even if some expenses you do not bargain for arises. It is also important to ascertain this because it might also be a determining factor as to where your property will be located. We also talked about land survey and its importance before and after purchasing the plot of land.
And then we talked about the several documents, payments, forms and other requirements that need fulfilling before the purchasing of the land. Trust me without all these requirements and stages of screening and investigation for legitimacy of ownership, you’ll be diving into and unending ditch of problems.
The last thing we talked about is registering your title and the benefits associated with the registration. They range from having a state guarantee to being certain that all disputes will be easily resolved. There are other benefits that you will enjoy and you will not regret it.
As I said earlier, If you indeed have any questions to ask concerning how to buy a piece of land, then this is the chance you’ve been waiting for. Please endeavour to send us your challenges concerning this topic and we will be happy to help.