This article will highlight everything you need to look out for when buying land in Nigeria. Before you set out to buying a land the following listed below are what you will need to consider:

1)Budget For Buying Land
Before you even start searching for land to acquire, you must be sure what your budget is. This is directly tied to your decision of how much land you can possibly buy, you must consider important factors in term of your financial commitment.


Location plays a crucial role in where you can buy land in Nigeria.
The more commercially advanced and urban a neighbourhood is, the more expensive it becomes in buying a land at such locations. For instance, you can buy a plot of land in Ajah for N500,000 while the same plot of land in Ikoyi can be listed for N140 million.

Some locations have better road networks than others so this is something you will also need to put into consideration.


3)Verification of Land Ownership and Availability
It is not enough to request for the owner’s copy of the land he/she intends to sell to you, it is particularly important to verify the authenticity of all the documents that are provided. Having the documents sent to you is one thing, verifying them is another thing entirely.
There is a possibility of you stumbling on an opportunity to buy land and getting a good deal but don’t get carried away to the point of neglecting the documents. Jumping at a good deal to buy land is fine but you need to be extremely sure of what you are buying and avoid leaving anything to chance.
Ask for proof of ownership. Involve verification experts before you pay for any piece of land. Don’t take anything for granted. The process of land investigation is quite complicated and you should leave it to professionals to do this on your behalf.


4)Ask Questions Before Buying Land in Nigeria
After you have verified the documents, please feel free to ask as many questions as you want. For instance, it is important to know why the owner of the land has chosen to sell the land. Ask if there is any dispute or pending litigation over the land in question.
You also need to run a background check on the owner of the property, the land, as well as the documents presented by the seller.  The last thing you want to do is to pay for land that becomes problematic.

5)Inspection of the Land
Avoid delegating the inspection of the land that you intend to buy to someone else. Go and inspect the land yourself and see things with your own eyes. Don’t rely on a third party to do this for you no matter how much you trust this person. The only exception to this is when you are going to inspect the land in the company of a real estate expert.
You can rely on a real estate professional’s guidance and experience to see things differently from the way you see them. Despite this advantage, endeavour to make yourself physically available for the inspection of the land.


6)Documentation and Payment
Take the pain to document every single part of the transactions involved in buying land. Every single part of the deal needs to be documented; from the cost of land to the survey fees.
Documentation is vital for referencing and you should ensure the documents are detailed.
Anyone who tries to sell you land and is reluctant to show you proof of ownership is as good as trying to sell you a stolen car. Would you buy a stolen car? Documents like the receipt, land survey, Letter of Allocation, Power of Attorney, Gazette and Deed of Assignment must be available. It doesn’t matter if this person is your aunt, uncle or boss at work, a document is a document and there is no substitute for it. A land verification expert can help to do this on your behalf.


7)Omo Onile
Omo Onile, by literal meaning, refers to ‘children of the landowner’  They are also known as land grabbers.
They have to be factored into your plans to buy land and the reason is simple – They have a way of making things difficult for you if you decide to ignore them.
Avoid buying land from them. Focus on doing due diligence before you buy the land. This helps you avoid buying land that has already been acquired. Remember to get all documents that prove you own the land including the Certificate of Occupancy also known as the C of O.

To tackle the problem of Omo Onile, the government approved a 21-year jail sentence for anyone charged and found guilty of land grabbing. The Lagos State House of Assembly also pulled its weight by prohibiting forceful entry and illegal occupation of land in the state.

If you ever find yourself confronted by Omo Onile, you should gather evidence and forward them to security agencies to take action.

8)Additional Cost of Buying Land in Nigeria
The fact that the price of a plot of land has been set at N8 million doesn’t mean that’s all you’re going to pay. Extra fees that come with building a house in Nigeria include:
A). Survey Plan: This rests largely on the location of the land
B). Legal Fee: This is usually 5% of what the land costs
C) Cost of Securing Your Documents: Before you perfect your documents like your C of O at the Land Registry, you’ll be required to pay a fee.


9)Taking Possession of Acquired Land
The last thing you want to do is acquire land, get all the necessary documents and leave it unguarded simply because you have paid for it.
There have been cases of land buyers who paid for land only to return to it after some months/years to be shocked by someone else erecting a property on a land that they legitimately paid for.
Avoid making your land prone to land grabbers by taking possession of it upon acquiring it. How do you do this? Erect a perimeter fence around your property Skyaphix can help you taking this up as a project. The fence doesn’t need to be really high but it should be visible even from a distance.

The fence lets other prospective buyers know that the land has been acquired. You can go the extra mile of having a decent amount of gravel/sand on the land or even constructing a well. Remember to visit the site frequently and hire a local guard to help you watch over it pending when you’ll be ready to erect a property on the land.


Final Thoughts

Before you pay for any land, it is important to carry out a thorough research and work on proper documentation. Working with a trusted real estate consultant also saves you a lot of trouble as they have more experience in dealing with all that has to do with land acquisition and selling. Property experts will guide you towards buying land in Nigeria and avoiding risks involved.

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