Buying land is always an investment that ultimately pays off either as a way of making a profit or to build your own house and be free of Nigerian landlords and their palavers. Whether you are buying a plot, acre or hectare of land, there are things to consider before you buy land in Nigeria. In this article, we have outlined the most important things to look out for when buying land in Nigeria.
Unlike shopping for your favourite snack, you don’t just shop, cart and checkout with the land of choice. There are other factors and costs to consider asides from the original cost of the land itself. Having a budget will go a long way in helping you know what land to buy and whether you are even prepared to make such an investment.
Extra expenses that often accompany land purchase includes:
- Legal fees (5% of total cost)
- Agency fees (5% of the cost of the land)
- Survey plan (N100,000 -N300,000)
- Fencing (to protect the lands from trespassers)
- Certificate of occupancy (C of O)
- Governor’s Consent
These are all extra costs that accompany land purchase and it is advisable you have them in mind to avoid hidden charges or surprises.
Before you buy land, ensure that your chosen location is promising or has potential for development. While the price may come into play when choosing a location as highbrow areas can be pricy, in the long run, buying land where the location has potential is more profitable. Ask yourself questions like “How developed would this place be in twenty or thirty years?”. Look out for available infrastructure like roads, electricity and water around the location too. Although land does not depreciate, a strategic location increases its value over time.
- Land Size
This should be top on our list of things to consider before you buy land in Nigeria. Before you purchase any piece of land, familiarize yourself with plot dimensions. There are different land sizes to choose from and these sizes ultimately determine the prices of land.
Here are some plot dimensions you must know before buying your land:
- Plots: Generally, a plot is a marked piece of land set aside for a particular purpose or awaiting sale or rental. It generally describes a land division that has been carefully set aside with clear-cut boundaries for developmental purposes. To avoid being scammed, know the size of the plot you are about to purchase as this size may vary from seller to seller and according to Nigeria’s land division. The recommended plot for house construction is 50 x 100ft.
- Acre: An acre is bigger than a plot and the best way to visualize it is a standard football field. To identify an acre, look out for a rectangular piece of land that is about 4,046 square meters or 43,560 square feet or 6 plots of land measuring 60 x 120ft will give you an acre.
- Hectare: A hectare is the largest of the three sizes and measures about 100m x 100m or 328 feet x 328 feet or 10,000 square meters. To get a hectare, you will need about 15 plots of land.
- Variations in Measurement: Factors like land location, possession, and circumstances leading to the transaction can have a bearing on land sizes and as prices and values increase, you can get the same land dimensions for lesser square metres, especially in bustling cities like Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, and Abuja. Lagos offers 648 sqm or 60’ x 120’ – 18m x 18m for a plot. Calabar offers about 1,100 square meters of commercial plots. In places like Niger Delta where land is a priceless asset due to oil spillage and other mining activities, it is often hard to get anything above 450 square meters. Nevertheless, other states still offer land for sale for the standard measurements – 60’ x 120’, 60’ x 100’, 80’ x 120’ etc.
- Land Appreciation
A piece of land is an asset that remains unchanged except if tampered with, it is arguably the best gift of nature and the returns over a given time are often high. If you buy land in a rural area for instance, when development happens in such a location, you just might get more than three times the initial amount invested.
Before you buy land in Nigeria, ensure you clarify the purpose. The purpose will help you know where and when to buy a piece of land and will also ensure that you do not run into trouble with the authorities for using such land for prohibited activities in such a location. There are two purposes for buying land: commercial and residential.
- Commercial: Here, the land is for commercial purposes, you are buying the land for investment purposes like rentals or to re-sell after some time.
- Residential: Everyone should aspire to become homeowners eventually and those who solely buy to build their homes fall in this category. It saves one the trouble of renting an apartment.
- Proximity to Key Locations
Whether for commercial or residential purposes, the land you buy must be close to other key locations like the hospital, market, etc.
- Availability of Social Amenities
Whether for residential or commercial purposes, ensure the land you purchase has the basic social amenities like power supply, good roads, water, etc.
Your safety as a land owner should come first and to ensure this, you must survey your surroundings, ask questions about the situation of such an environment and make informed land purchases based on your findings. If you’re buying land in Nigeria so you can build a house, you need more than just a piece of land to build, you will need to also assess the serenity of the environment. Does it appeal to you and your mental health? Do you love the hustle and bustle of the environment or you’d rather you get something quieter and more comfortable? Also, a piece of land near an industrial area might do you more harm than good in the long run.
- Necessary Documents
Don’t forget to scrutinize all the documents associated with your land purchase as a lack of them can lead to a loss of the right of ownership. Top on that list is verifying whether the seller has the authority to sell the land to you. Ask for proof of ownership before carrying out any transaction in the name of land purchase and no matter what you do, do not go into a deal in which the seller cannot provide the proof of ownership. When you have those documents, ensure you keep them safe and somewhere easily reachable.
- Mode of Payment
We cannot stress this enough: NEVER PAY IN CASH when buying land. Properly document the transaction process and document all payments.
- Engage the Services of a Lawyer
Don’t DIY your land purchase process. Always have a lawyer present when buying land. For more insightful articles on real estate in Nigeria and globally, sign up here. Kindly share this article to help others.