Purchasing a property in Nigeria can be a herculean task which as a result, it is critical to know what to look for and understand the buying process before deciding on a home. Buying a home requires good and thoughtful thinking and of course, money, though today opportunities now lies around for your to buy land at an affordable amount as down payment and spread the balance over a period of months.
Buying a house/land is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make in your life, and it’s probably one of every Nigerian’s ambitions. It can be very exciting and a very scary prospect at the same time, this is especially so because in Lagos, Nigeria for instance, there’s always the risk of fraud and other factors tied around it.
We bring to you 8 things you need to put in check and be aware of before buying a landed property.
- USE A TRUSTED REALTOR/AGENT – These days, because of how lucrative the real estate industry is, so many have plunged in leaving many clients at bay drowning in a sea of one or two illegitimate real estate agents. Therefore, it is very important to get a suitable, professional and genuine real estate agent/company, as they have very solid records and are well aware of current market events. They may include proper background checks and comparative market studies of the property you wish to purchase as well as finding information that is not available to the general public. Using a real estate agent means having a professional whose job it is not only to find the property you want, but also to protect your interests; from negotiating prices, navigating home inspections, etc.
- UNDERSTAND HOW LOCATION RELATES TO VALUE– The quality that makes something so desirable and useful is Value. When you want to buy a house/land, the second thing to do is the location, be it in Nigeria or any other country in particular. You must make sure that the location is very easy to reach, if there are schools, hospitals, recreation areas etc. proximity, given the proximity of the location to your main destination and the availability of basic services, also indispensable are crime rates and security. This is very important to create comfort.
- LEARN ABOUT THE PROPERTY YOU WANT TO BUY – Buying a property is a big step that requires you thinking very thorough about what you can afford and if you intend to live in the property, then you need to be sure that it is in a location you are happy with and can be for a very long time and most importantly when you find property you are interested in, you should always ensure that the person you’re dealing with is the owner of the property or someone who has the valid authority to sell the property. Conduct the proper searches, ask the right questions and request for the right documentation to determine if the person you’re speaking to about the property is the rightful owner.
- KNOW HOW BUYING PROCESS WORKS – You need to make research and learn everything you need to know about buying a home in Nigeria. Ask questions from professionals, know about the documents involved in the buying procedure because it definitely involves a lot of money, so put in extra effort in making sure you’re going through the right channel, don’t get emotionally tied up in the process and be prepared to walk away too In case you get suspicious of any foul play. In some cases, it is very important especially when the property in question is a family land. You can get a lawyer who specializes in the line, who will also ensure the property is free from any pending litigation, that the property is not the subject of any government acquisition and that the property is not subject to any overriding interests.
- VERIFY ALL NECESSARY DOCUMENT IF GENUINE – This is one of the delicate and important process, because who gets an ownership rights over a land/house even after payments without proper documentation and proofs? Very simple, NOBODY!!!. In Lagos for instance, there are like 3 main land documents; The contract of sale, Receipt and The Deed of Assignment. Also the Governor’s consent and C of O are also very necessary too. One needs to be very vigilant and careful while on this process, that’s why it will be advisable to get a lawyer at hand who knows about the originality of these things/documents.
- THINK REPAIR COST – It is often the case that you’ll have to make a few renovations when you buy a new house. While it might seem inexpensive to fix to inner look in some cases like a bit of paint or some wallpapers, note that making changes to kitchens and baths can be very expensive. Although, that doesn’t mean you should give up on a house in need of significant fix but then you should factor in those costs when determining whether you can afford to buy and also remember to include labor force while totaling.
- LOOK OUT FOR DEAL BREAKERS – At this stage, ensure that the land and the environment meet your expectations because if you have viewed a house you love once before, arrange a second or third viewing to inspect and look for any potential problems before putting in an offer. For example; Look at ceilings (are there cracks, leaks, stains?), Do the doors and windows work as intended? Are the power points functioning? Examine the plumbing (do the taps turn on?, do toilets flush?), Is there mobile network coverage in the area? Amongst many others
- DON’T JUST GET OBSESSED WITH PURCHASE PRICE – There is more to owning a land/property than just the initial purchase price. You need to consider all of the extra cost on repairs and maintenance, totaling all these costs and being sure you can afford it and most importantly having researched about the neighborhood and knowing the crime rates and security level, quality schools around and the likes.