What To Know Before Buying A Land In Nigeria

Most people wish to buy landed properties at some point in their lives. however, there is some information to know before buying any land, especially in Nigeria.

The main aim of this information is to guide every prospective buyer of land. Many people have fallen victims when it comes to buying land. So I think it’s important to list some of these ”MUST KNOW”.

Some of this information would be briefly discussed below:

1.) Title Documents/ Availability Of Legal Documents

This is a very crucial part of any transaction that involves property acquisition. Any piece of land you are buying must have its legal papers ready. You must ensure that the land you want to buy is genuinely registered.

A good title must confer both the legal and equitable interest of the land in question, clearly describe the land and extent of interest being conveyed, state the owner of the land, and nothing on the face of the document should cast any doubt on its authenticity.

Most importantly, before buying land or performing any transaction, ask the seller for proof of ownership. If a seller is unable to provide sufficient proof, this is a red flag, so pull out of such a deal. It is possible he/she is not entitled to transfer the property. No matter how badly you need land, don’t enter into an agreement with a seller who can’t provide proof of ownership.

It is crucial that one be aware that there are actually various kinds of land documents in Nigeria. These documents include:

a.) Approved Survey Plan:  This is a crucial title document that helps to reveal the real ownership status in any land and landed properties’ transactions. It can also help to reveal whether such land is not under any government acquisition.

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b.) Deed of Assignment: A deed of assignment refers to a legal document that records the transfer of ownership of a real estate property from one party to another. It states that a specific piece of property will belong to the assignee and no longer belong to the assignor starting from a specified date.

c.) Certificate of Occupancy:This document certifies the legal ownership status of any land in Nigeria irrespective of its use. It is usually delivered to the owner of a parcel of land by the government attesting to the owner’s interest in the land where such interest is actually in accordance with the applicable laws. It is simply a legal document issued by the government that proves that a person owns land in Nigeria. 

2.) Land Use

Land use is the categorization of land-based on what can be built on it and what the land can be used for. There are many different categories of land use. The most common uses are residential, commercial, agricultural, recreational, etc. It is good to understand the land use has various benefits such as preventing an expensive misunderstanding when it comes to what can be built on such land. It would be detrimental for a buyer who buys a property designated as residential to build a club.

a.) Residential Use: This is when the sole aim of purchasing the land is to have a roof over your head after retirement or just to live. Then, there won’t be a reason to panic about when the next house rent would be due or not. For some, it is just the fulfilment of living in your dream home and being your own landlord. Whatever the purpose of buying a land is, there are still few things you would want to consider.

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b.) Commercial Use: This means you are buying land for investment. It is actually one of the smart ways to ensure quick returns of your investment. You can decide to build a structure and put it up for rentals. By doing this, you have ensured a steady flow of income. This is one of the many reasons people decide to invest by buying a land. In order to expand their sources of income.

3.) Land Size

When buying land in Nigeria, you need to ensure that the dimension of the land is the same as what the land owner claims. For instance, if a land owner tells you the land is a hectare, you do not just go for it, rather, making sure the land is actually an hectare will be the smart move to make.

You ensure the accuracy of the acclaimed size by involving a surveyor. And in cases where the land already has a survey plan, the surveyor will measure to confirm that what is on the plan is in tandem with what the owner says.

It is very important to know the size of a plot.

a.) A Plot: is described as a marked piece of Land for the purpose of farming or building and is usually measured about 60*120ft.

b.) An Acre: An acre is much larger than a single plot and it consists of 6 plots, each measuring about 60 x 120ft. However, an acre is roughly 40% of a hectare.

c.) A Hectre: Is the largest of all three sizes, and it consists of 15 plots, each measuring about 60 * 120ft.

4.) Topography

The importance of topography cannot be overemphasized. Note that sloppy lands tend to attract more cost during building construction, while plain lands are generally preferable.

A land with sloppy or undulating topography tends to encourage flooding and with time, you may have to battle with the menace of erosion for the rest of your operations on the land.

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5.) Land Appreciation

Land is arguably the only asset that does not depreciate over a given period of time. 

It is nature’s gift to man and does not depreciate. Buying land is one of the surest ways to invest in the real estate business. As rural areas develop into urban areas, those who have invested by buying lands tend to get five folds of their investment because the area is now developed.

This is why it is important to put enough consideration into the location in which you are buying land in Lagos or any other part of Nigeria. The rate at which lands appreciate and never depreciate is what makes it one of the simple ways to invest in real estate.

6.) Security Of The Location: Another important thing in buying a land is to check and be sure on how secure the land is.

Is it safe now? What is the crime rate in the area? Is it somewhere you would still want to stay in 5 to 10 years? These are some of the questions you need to tackle before buying a land. It does not matter whether you are buying for a commercial or residential purpose.

It will be unwise to be aware that a particular area is experiencing unrest, and yet insist on buying a land in the area with the hopes of building your dream home there or not. The security of an area also adds value to your property.

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