The complete guide on how to buy a land in Lagos Nigeria successfully without fear that you’d be scammed or eventually lose your property. I call this the land purchase in Lagos guide. It includes problems of buying land and building in Lagos.
How to Invest on Landed Properties in Nigeria
We all know the importance and benefits of owning a land in Lagos whether to build our own house or for investment purpose.
Nothing like having your own house and be done with land lord wahala. And for many of us in Nigeria the process of owning a house starts with owning a land. As an investment opportunity we also know how lucrative it can be to invest in landed properties, hence buying a land is a project that many of us have in our plans.
When buying a land anywhere in Nigeria we face three challenges:
- Finding a reliable real estate agent. Some people including some who position themselves as authorized real estate companies will say anything including claiming that a land is not under government acquisition when it actually is just to get your money. You need an agent or consultant who will tell you the truth about the land you want to pay for.
- Avoiding scammers. There are many scammers often disguised as Omo oniles and even real estate agents. There has been many horrifying stories from people who have fallen victims to real estate scams that we can’t ignore.
- Finding the right property and paying the right price. You don’t want to buy a land that has no commercial value. Or worse, a land that is waterlogged and will require three times the money you use in buying the land to fill it up before a building can be safely erected.
My goal writing a Nigeria real estate guide is to guide you on these three areas and how to secure your land after buying it so that you never risk losing it.
Steps to Buy a Land in Lagos to avoid being Scammed or Lose your Property
Step 1. Determine your Purpose for land
What do you need the land for? Do you hope to build a house there later to live in or for rental? Do you want to buy and sell years later for profit? Where in Lagos do you want it and why?
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 or a long term investment plan where you hope to resell years later then you want to make sure your property is in a place or location that is developed with good attractions or soon to be. One of my relations bought a house somewhere in Ikorodu with low rent rate. And even with the low rent rates tenants are not rushing to move in. However a major bridge is being worked on that will hopefully open that place to a major road and change things for the better. If things never change however that would not be a very good investment.
So when buying a piece of land for investment purpose, for rental or to resell, make sure that it’s a in a place with good commercial value. Location is everything if you want to be successful investing in real estate in Lagos. Certain areas attract more business and at higher rates than others.
When you know the purpose of the land and what you’re looking for then the next logical thing to consider is your budget. How much can you afford? We all want to buy lands in decent environs and with easy access to major roads however not many of us have the funds to pay for lands in such places.
I don’t recommend buying lands in places that is likely to remain undeveloped for decades to come. I will never forget my experience when I visited my uncle’s house in Lagos to console the family after he died. The house was so far from the main road, it took one keke ride, one long taxi ride and one bike to get to the place after cutting off from the major road. It turned out to be in a village. I was like, why have a house if it will turn people off from visiting you?
If you’re on a tight budget, then look into our properties installment payment options. Better to buy a good land that you would love building on or has great commercial value to make a good investment and pay on installment basis than the alternative.
Step 2: Make a Realistic Budget
The reason some people run into trouble or get frustrated when buying a land in Lagos is because they underestimated how much it will cost to legally buy the land. To complete a legal transaction for a land it will include signing certain documents, documents that will cost you money.
There aren’t so many extra fees involved when you are buying a land from a real estate company vs buying from Omonile. But still you must make room in your budget for these extra costs. Buying from a real estate company you may only need to pay for Survey plan and Deed of Assignment. You should confirm first about all the extra charges there are before you proceed with buying a property. Failure to budget for the extra fees could cause delay in completing the transaction and allocating your property to you.
Step 3: Find a reliable Real Estate Agent or Consultant
You may have a negative opinion about them, but real estate agents or consultants can be very helpful in helping you find the exact property you want at the right price. They also come in handy to help with questions you may have. They are the middle man between you and the property owner. If you ever have an issue with the property owner you have another person invested in your interest to help you sort out the issue and see that you get what you want.
That’s largely what I do for you so look through our property listings on the site and use any of the contact options on the site to contact me. I’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have and help you as you find the right property for you.
Step 4: Hire a Surveyor and or Lawyer
A land surveyor has the instruments/compact to know the coordinates, the direction the land is located in the map and he can ask his colleagues at the general Alausa Ikeja office to give you the condition of the land. This allows you to know if the land falls under government acquisition.
Or if there is a survey for the land, do a photocopy of it and go to Alausa yourself to check.
You can do without a surveyor however you can’t do without a lawyer. It’s not recommended to complete a property transaction without having a lawyer look through the legal papers and confirm there authenticity.
A property lawyer helps ensure that the paper work for the property are properly done and are genuine and defends your interests. Especially if you’re buying a land from Omoniles in Lagos. Never ever proceed without a lawyer. Omoniles fears real estate lawyers. Either way, real estate companies or Omo oniles, going ahead without a lawyer is being penny wise pound foolish as that can put your entire investment in jeopardy.
A real estate lawyer fee is 5% of the cost of the land. You should add that to your budget.
Step 5: Inspect the Land
When you inspect a land make sure:
The land is not Swampy. If you buy a swampy land you will have to spend triple the amount you paid for the land to fill it.
The land has commercial value. Either it’s in an already developed area or it’s in an area with landmarks or attractions that guarantees development in the nearest future. Take Ibeju Lekki for example. Some major projects are happening there. The $17 Billion Dangote Oil Refinery, Lekki Trade Free Zone, new International Airport and many more projects are being worked on there which makes it a no-brainer that the Ibeju Lekki axis offers the best investment opportunity right now.
The land is not near major roads. When a land is too close to major roads you risk losing the property in the future if the road gets expanded.
The land is not near hire tension wires. It is recommended that you live at least 60m from high tension cables.
The land is not close to fuel and petroleum pipeline.
Step 6: Make Payment to the Right Owner
When buying a land from real estate companies in Nigeria make sure you make payment only to the real estate company not the consultant or agent. I never ask my clients to pay into my personal account not because I think I will steal their money but because it is not professional and it can complicate a simple process. Ask for the account number of the real estate company, call them first to confirm that the account number his theirs and then make payment.
When buying from Omonile, make sure the person you’re about to make payment to his the real owner of the property. Never buy from Omonile without an Omonile lawyer by your side. They know the right questions to ask, they can investigate and confirm the real owner of the land and genuineness of the papers or title being offered to you.
Step 7: Secure your Property
One of the benefits of buying a land in land from a real estate company is that you don’t have to worry about securing it. The lands come secured. The only issue you may have is allocation. Be clear on when your land will be allocated to you after you complete payment for it so there’s no misunderstandings.
When it comes to Omonile, aside from the fear of buying a stolen property there’s also the fear of losing your property if you fail to secure it from trespassers. I’ve seen this happen too many times.
So when dealing with Omonile you have to do two things immediately payment is made, all papers are signed and your property is allocated to you.
- Hire some bricklayers to erect a fence around your land. Never buy a land from Omonile and leave it open to everyone to see that there’s an empty land there. Even though you don’t have money to build yet, or you wish to resell later, put a fence up around it. This is an extra cost too you must add to your budget.
- Start processing a title for the land with the land registry of the Lagos state government. The process officially transfers the title from previous owner to you. Failure to do this could cause you problem in the future where you risk losing the land to someone else, either the seller’s children, extended family members or even Omonile.