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10 Things To Avoid When Buying Property In LAGOS

Lagos State is regarded as the best place to invest when it comes to real estate investment and it’s also the most delicate place to invest. But Real State is considered one of the most lucrative businesses to engage in, in the world. This is because purchasing land or building almost guarantees a steady profit, especially if the intended landowner buys from a reliable source with all the necessary information.

There are steps you must take when buying properties in Lagos. The steps are crucial for every first-time investor, especially.

We would be giving a breakdown of all you need to know in this article, to avoid falling into the hands of fraudsters or to avoid purchasing the wrong property at a high cost.



Yes, you should investigate who your neighbours will be before purchasing land in Nigeria. Many people make this error while purchasing land.

The landmarks in that neighbourhood determine how quickly an area develops and the value of the land. Before purchasing land in that neighbourhood, you should try to examine 5-10 years ahead to see what that place will become. Check to see if any important government or private projects are now underway or have already begun to operate, as this will indicate how quickly the area will expand. That is why, before purchasing land, you must carefully analyze this. Another reason you should examine this is to see if you can manage the development in the neighbourhood when the time comes for those who need to buy and build a residential house, but if you are purchasing to resell, the development will be a major benefit. For example, some people may be unable to understand why others enjoy having a jet constantly flying above their heads.



It is critical to understand the zoning permits of the area from where you are attempting to purchase land because this will inform you of the government’s plan for that location. You will not be permitted to construct a factory on land that has already been designated for residential development by the government. You should be aware of this in order to avoid future problems with the authorities. Even if the location is zoned for residential construction, be aware of the kind of structures that the government allows in the area. Building a skyscraper in an area where the government says only bungalows are allowed will cause problems with the authorities. If you can discover up to 5 World Class Landmarks in any neighbourhood, whether they are operational or under development, you are fine.



You may argue that this is unimportant, but you will understand how vital it is to verify if the property you purchased is accessible when you must now ask your neighbour before you can access your property. Before purchasing a land/building, always ensure that the location has a good road network that is easily accessible.



When you buy a new house, you will almost always have to make some improvements. While fixing cosmetic flaws (a coat of paint or some wallpaper) is affordable, making adjustments to kitchens and bathrooms may be costly. That doesn’t mean you should pass on a house in need of major repairs, but you should consider such prices when deciding if you can afford to buy (don’t forget to include labour).



You should also examine to see if the size of the land conforms to what the owner claims. The only way to do this is to hire a surveyor to come out and survey the area and take accurate measurements. Do not simply assume that because the owner says it is one plot that it is one plot; instead, confirm. Even though it will cost you money, it is preferable that you do it and you are certain of what you are purchasing. That is why I advocate purchasing land from an estate; it will save you a lot of time and ensure you are free of any Omo-Onile Wahala (problem).

Legal documents are essential while purchasing land in Nigeria.

After you have verified the aforementioned list, the next item to look at is the legal paperwork that the land has, which also includes the land title. When purchasing land in Nigeria, you must ensure that the land you intend to purchase is legitimately registered. Many individuals believe that the ideal document to look for is the C of O. (Certificate of Occupancy). However, this is not a good thing because any land with a C of O in Nigeria only has 100 years to be used before it reverts to the government. Assume that the land you want to acquire has already been used for 30 years, which means you only have 70 years left. The Survey Plan, Deed of Assignment, Excision, and Gazette are the most important documents to look for. With the help of these documents, you will be able to determine whether the land is under government acquisition or is free. You will also be able to determine what the land can be used for. Regardless, you can still acquire land and register it yourself, but make sure you are purchasing it from a legitimate owner.



Before purchasing land in a particular area, you should understand how secure it is. Examine whether the government has given appropriate security in that area. Check to determine if the community has a strategy for dealing with security issues. You can also ask folks living in the neighbourhood if it is peaceful and free of harassment from robbers and hoodlums. When purchasing land, security is an important consideration. You wouldn’t want to be forced to leave a particular area after paying for the property.



It is assumed that when buying a home in Nigeria, you should have your own “must-have and want” checklist before going house hunting. You should have potential deal-breakers such as a home that needs to be replaced, a home in a high-risk flood zone, and so on. Aside from that, when you move through the house, look past the appealing finishes, such as high-end worktops, and check for evidence of potential major concerns, such as cracks in the foundation or water stains on the ceilings or walls.



We opted to postpone this until you have confirmed the other items specified above, as they will influence the price of the land. Land without a title, for example, cannot be priced the same as land with a C of O. Because each of these titles costs money to get, the owner will undoubtedly add these costs to the cost of the land. Also, the location and size of the land have a lot to do with how much the land will cost. With this information, you can determine whether or not the owner is overpricing the land.



This happened recently when a high rise collapsed in Lagos and the building has been fully subscribed for. The money which is in dollars couldn’t be gotten back because the structure wasn’t insured. One of the first steps to take when buying such a humongous type of property is to check if the house or structure is insured.



Diverse regions of Lagos have different soil properties; however, not all property developers do soil tests prior to construction. Many people believe it is a waste of money and wind up laying the incorrect kind of foundation. In regions where the soil structure requires pile foundation, it is very typical for them to simply sand fill, do raft foundation, and construct the entire house within 3 months (to reduce time and boost annual turnover). After a while, this usually results in the building, tilting or sinking. Before purchasing, take a step back and inspect the entire structure to ensure it isn’t already sinking or leaning. In addition, look for large cracks in the walls (smaller cracks are likely plaster cracks) and consult a civil engineer if you have any doubts or worries.


-Isaac Abimbade 

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