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How to Buy Land in Lagos Nigeria Without Being Scammed
How to Buy a Land in Lagos Nigeria – Real Estate Guide
This is the comprehensive guide on how to buy a land in Lagos Nigeria without fear of getting scammed or even losing your property. You can as well call this the ‘fool-proof’ guide to purchasing lands in Lagos. It addresses the problems of buying lands and building in Lagos.
How to Invest on Landed Properties in Nigeria
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Owning a land in Lagos, provides you with benefits of building your own house or using it for investment purposes
There is nothing that gives peace of mind like owning your own house and being free from land lord wahala. For many people, the first step to owning a landed property is buying a land. As Nigerians we know how lucrative it is to own a landed property, it presents a great investment opportunity and that’s why buying a land is a major project that many of us have as part of our plans.
Three challenges of buying a land anywhere in Nigeria:
Getting a trust worth real estate agent: There are many fraudulent agents out there who would do and say anything to you to ensure you buy the property whether y hook or crook. Some will go as far as saying a land is not under Government’s acquisition when it actually is, all in a bid to get your money. You have to smart about getting a reliable agent, one who would tell you the truth about the land you’re about paying for
Scammers and tricksters: there are lots of scammers out there who often pretend to be Omoniles or even real estate agents. There are quite a number of sad stories about people who have been scammed by these fraudulent people and these are stories we cannot ignore. You need to be smart about the agents and Omoniles you get into transactions with in order to avoid scammers.
Finding the right property and the right price: Buying a land that has no commercial value or buying a land that is waterlogged would be cost intensive and bad investment. The waterlogged land would require you use three or four times the money you used in buying the land to fill it up before a building can be erected.
The Goal of this Nigeria real estate guide is to help you navigate these three challenges and how to secure your land after buying it so you don’t risk losing it.
Steps to Buy a Land in Lagos to avoid being Scammed or Losing your Property
1 Decide on your purpose for the land
Here are questions to consider when buying a land what are you buying the land for? What do you intend to do with the property you build on it? Would you live in it or rent it out? What areas in Lagos are you looking at and why?
If the purpose is to erect your own house someday, you may consider buying a land in the area where you presently live or an area close to your work place, with easy transportation if you don’t intend to change jobs anytime soon. It wouldn’t make much sense to live in point A and your place of work is at point Z. You would have to continually leave home at very early hours of the morning to ensure you don’t go late to work. That alone is enough stress to make you age faster, trust me.
If the goal is to build your own house someday then you may want to consider buying a land in the area you currently live in or somewhere with easy transportation to and from your work place, if you don’t hope to change jobs anytime soon. It makes no sense to live so far away from work and have to leave home 4am just so you don’t get to work late. The stress of that could lead one to an early grave, trust me.
If it’s for rental purposes or a long term investment, one you hope to resale years later, then you want to ensure your property is located in a developed area with side attractions or soon to be. There is a family friend who bought a house somewhere in Ikorodu with low rent rates. But even with these low prices, people are reluctant to move in. however, a major bridge is being built and hopefully, that will open up that area to major roads and other developments for the better. If things don’t change, then that place would be very bad for investments.
Commercial value is a major factor to look out for when buying a parcel of land for investment purposes, rental or for a resale. Location! Location! Location1 is extremely important when investing in Lagos real estate market. Certain areas attract more business and at higher prices than others.
After you determine the purpose for the land you intend buying, the next thing to do is to consider your budget. How much are you willing to invest with? How much can you afford? Everyone wants to buy lands in beautiful environments and easy accessibility to major roads; however we often forget that lands in such areas cost a ton of money.
That doesn’t mean you should buy lands in areas that are likely to remain underdeveloped for years to come. The experience I had when I visited my Aunt’s house in Lagos to console the family after her demise is one I cannot forget in a hurry. The house was really far from the major road, I had to take a keke ride, a long a long taxi ride and one bike ride before I was finally able to get to the place. The area turned out to be a very primitive one. I mean, what’s the point of having a house in a location that would discourage people from visiting you?
If you’re on a low budget, then look into properties with installment payment options. It is far better to buy a land you would enjoy building on and has got promising commercial value on installment basis than to buy a land that wouldn’t yield any substantial return on investments.
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Step 2: Have a realistic Budget
Many people underestimate how much it will cost to legally purchase a land in Lagos and often get frustrated or even worse get into trouble. A complete legal transaction for a land will include signing some documents, documents that cost money.
There are many fees involved when buying a land from an Omonile compared to buying a land from a real estate company. Regardless, you have to make room in your budget for these extra costs. When buying from a real estate company, you may only need to pay for deed of assignment and survey plan. A precautionary step to take is to confirm about all extra charges before you proceed with the purchase. Forgetting to budget for extra costs could cause you some significant delay in completion of the transaction process.
Step 3: Get a trust worthy real estate agent or consultant
Contrary to popular opinion, real estate agents can be very helpful in assisting find the right property at the right price. They would also answer the many questions you may have. They are the middleman in the transaction process. If you ever have an issue with the owner of the property, you can easily call on your agent who’s got your interest at heart to help you resolve the issue and ensure you get what you desire.
That’s a large part of what we do for you, so feel free to look through our property listings on the site. You can contact us via any of the contact options and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you may and also help you find the exact property you’re looking for.
Step 4: Hire the services of a lawyer or surveyor
A land surveyor has the tools to know the coordinates, the direction the land is located and he can even ask his colleagues at the general Alasa Ikeja office to give you the condition of the land. This would enable you know the land is under Government’s acquisition or not.
Or if the land already has a survey document, you can go to Alausa yourself to check the status of the land.
You can make do with the services of a surveyor however you cannot make do of the services of a lawyer. You need a lawyer more then you need a surveyor. It is not advised to complete a property transaction without having a lawyer peruse through the legal papers to confirm their authenticity.
The job of a property lawyer includes checking the authenticity of the paperwork of the property and defending your interests especially when buying property from the Omoniles in Lagos. Never proceed without a lawyer. Omoniles are scared of real estate lawyers. However, whether you are buying from a real estate company or from Omoniles, do not go ahead without a lawyer, doing so would be penny wise foolish and could put your entire investment in Jeopardy.
The fee for a real estate lawyer is 5% the cost of the land. You should also add that to your budget
Step 5: Land Inspection
Things to look out for when inspecting a land:
Nature of soil: ensure the land is not swampy. Buying a swampy land would cost you triple the amount you bought it to fill it up.
Commercial value: ensure the land has commercial value. Buy lands in developed areas and if you must buy in an underdeveloped area ensure the area has landmarks or attractions that guarantee development in the nearest future. Ibeju Lekki is an example of this, it already some on-going major projects such as the $17 billion Dangote oil refinery, new international airport, Lekki free trade zone and many other projects. These are all clear indicators that the Ibeju Lekki axis offers one of the best investment opportunities sat the moment.
Proximity to major roads: Ensure the land is not too close to major roads. This presents the risk of losing the property in the future peradventure the roads get expanded.
Also look out for high tension wires and ensure the land is not near them, it is strongly recommended that you live at least 60m from high tension wires.
Ensure the land is not too close to fuel and petroleum pipelines.
Step 6: Pay the Right Owner
Make sure you make payments to the real estate company and not the agent or consultant when buying a land from real estate companies in Nigeria. None of our agents will ask you to make payments to their personal account not because they aren’t trustworthy but simply because it is not professional and can complicate a simple process. Always ask for the account number of the real estate company, put a call through to them to confirm that the account number is theirs and then proceed to make payment.
When buying from an Omonile ensure the person you’re about paying is the legitimate owner of the property to avoid stories that touch the heart. Never buy from an Omonile without an Omonile/property lawyer by your side. They would know the right questions to ask, they can investigate and probe further to know the real owner of the land and the authenticity of the papers being hanged to you.
Step 7: Guard your property
One benefit of buying a land from a real estate company is that you don’t have to go out of your way to secure it. The lands come secured. Allocation is the only problem you may have with it. To avoid misunderstandings, ensure it is clear to you when the land will be allocated to you after completion of payments.
When buying from Omoniles, aside from the fear that it may be a stolen property, there is also the fear of losing your property is you fail to secure it from trespassers. This has happened so many times.
So when doing a transaction with an Omonile, you have to quickly do two things once payment is made, papers signed and property allocated to you.
Get some bricklayers to build a fence around your land. Never ever buy a land from an Omonile and leave it open for everyone to see that it’s an empty land. Even if you don’t have the money to erect your building yet or wish to resale later, put up a fence around it. This is an extra cost you must add to your budget.
Begin processing the title for the land with the land registry of Lagos State government. This process officially transfers the title from the previous owner to you. If you fail to do this, it could cause you problem in th future. You may risk losing the land to someone else the seller’s children, extended family members or even Omoniles.