Buying land in Nigeria isn’t a process that anyone should take with levity at all, lest they be burned. A great deal of investment, both financial and time, goes into buying land anywhere in Nigeria, hence the need to get it right.
Although buying land is most times not as capital intensive as buying a house, the process involved however can be sometimes tricky and intimidating for an unprepared mind.
Not to worry though! Below you will find a helpful list of questions you must get answers to when searching for your perfect piece of paradise.
The Right Questions To Ask Before Buying Land
These are questions that you must direct at yourself, your real estate agent and any other person that may be involved in the transaction at some point.
Why are you buying the land?
Is your primary interest in the property to create a personal residence, to have a vacation home or as an investment?
While these interests may overlap, you may need to explore different considerations based on your priorities. Easy access to your property may be a plus for a personal residence but not for a vacation home. Proximity to a tourist attraction may be good for your investment property, but not so much for your personal residence.
What is the Land’s investment value?
The next question to ask yourself is what is the possible resale value of the land.
Even if you aren’t buying a property primarily as an investment, it’s still important to understand its value. You may decide to sell the property down the road and it’s good to know up front what you can expect in this regard.
Can you afford the land?
Most people exhaust their entire life savings or borrow when buying land in Nigeria. The reality for many is that they find it hard paying off the money they borrowed. No matter how tempting a piece of land or property may be, don’t borrow money to buy it if you don’t know how you are going to pay it back.
How great is the Location?
No matter your intentions when buying land, location is the most important thing to consider. You don’t want to buy land with absolutely no resale value, and you definitely don’t want to buy land you can’t build on. While all land may seem buildable, soil conditions and topography are two vital issues. Poor soils can affect the concrete footing size and therefore the cost of construction.
• Are you looking for a land that is already developed or are you willing to spend the time and money necessary to develop the property?
• What other construction is planned or possible on the surrounding land?
• What’s the topography of the land?
• What changes are likely over the next several years: new roads, housing developments, malls?
• Do you like the neighborhood?
• Is it close to schools, work, shops, and medical care?
• Is the property located in a flood zone?
• Does the land drain well or does it stay wet for most of the year?
• Is it in a desirable area? Will the land retain or improve its value in the coming years?
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What are the zoning restrictions on the land?
Zoning laws govern what you can and cannot do with your parcel of land. It’s important to know local zoning restrictions. If you’re planning to build on your land, you don’t want to find out that your plans violate local regulations after you’ve started, or even after you’ve bought the property.
Find out up front what you can and cannot legally do on the land and make sure this fits in with your needs before buying.
Has a survey being conducted on the land?
When looking at a parcel of land, you will want to find out if it has been surveyed recently so you have an accurate representation of what you are buying. You will also want to make sure you have established boundaries in order to place your home in the correct spot on the land.
• What is the shape of the parcel?
• Has the property been surveyed, and are boundaries marked?
Is the land accessible?
If you are buying land in a rural developing area you will also want to look into what kind of roads have access to your home, are they maintained by the local government or will you have to maintain your own private roads?
What are the costs involved?
There are so many factors that affect the cost of a parcel of land, not just its purchase price. You will want to consider utility installation, electricity situation in the area, taxes, building costs, permit costs, and more when looking at properties.
• What are the annual property taxes?
• If title problems are found, how much time and money will it take to resolve them?
• What permits and fees are required and what are the costs?
There are lots of things to consider when buying land in Nigeria, and all these questions are just a starting point.