One of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones, the South East represents the country’s inland southeast both geographically and politically. Five states make up this region: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo.
Despite being the smallest geographical region, Nigeria’s economy largely benefits from the South East’s oil and natural gas reserves as well as its expanding industrialized sector. 22 million people live in the region, which accounts for nearly 10% of the nation’s total population.
The two most populated cities in Nigeria are Aba and Enugu, which are also the tenth and fourteenth most populous cities overall. Other significant cities in the southeast include Onitsha, Umuahia, Owerri, Nnewi, Awka, and Abakaliki (in order of population).
The area is also referred to as a commercial and trading zone because it is home to small and medium-sized indigenous businesses that provide goods and services. Yam, cassava, rice, cocoyam, etc. are the primary agricultural products of the region.
The region is rich in natural resources and solid minerals, including bauxite, iron ore, lignite, clay, coal, tin, and columbite. The process of purchasing land is exciting and emotional.
In order to minimize issues, it is a good idea to deal with a seasoned real estate business or agent right away and to conduct research on the property. De experience agency offers you that.
Understanding this procedure is crucial since it enables you to make more intelligent choices.
The Southeast is one of the top regions for real estate investments, and this is no longer breaking news. In order to avoid fraud and to receive the best value for your money while buying land in the southeast, we will be highlighting a step-by-step guidance in this post.
1. Have a Budget
You must be certain of your budget before you even begin looking for land to buy. This is directly related to the amount of land you decide you can afford to purchase. A budget will also enable you to readily reach a decision by limiting your possibilities and reducing uncertainty
2. Purpose of Buying Land
Your purpose of buying land should be known, is it commercial or residential purpose?
With this in mind, you would be able to choose a location and other considerations. Let’s say is for residential purpose, you wouldn’t want to buy land in a lone area or buy land in an area with no residents of you want to open a restaurant.
3 . Location of the Land
As an illustration, the price of a plot of land in Lekki differs from the price of the same space of land in Surulere. Given the distinct nature of the neighbourhoods, the former is more pricey.
In southeast Nigeria, where you can purchase land, location is essential. Land becomes more expensive to purchase in such areas the more commercially developed and urbanized a neighborhood is.
For instance, a block of land in Simawa can be purchased for N800,000, yet the identical tract in River Valley may be sold for N10,000,000. Additionally, you should think about the reason you’re purchasing the land and make sure the area is appropriate.
4. Inspection of the Land
Ensure that you personally inspect the land. Avoid letting someone else inspect the property you plan to purchase.
No matter how much you trust this individual, don’t rely on them to handle things for you. This only applies if you will be inspecting the land in the company of a real estate professional.
A growing number of customers have fallen victim to fraud simply because they were too busy to thoroughly evaluate the property before paying. Although the pictures the landowner supplied you are wonderful, visiting the property in person is considerably more beneficial.
5. Document on Demand, Availability, Buy and Build
Purchasing land without obtaining the required paperwork is a recipe for disaster. The same reason you would ask for a diploma after finishing a course is the same reason you must obtain the required paperwork.
To assert full ownership of a piece of property, specific documents are required. It does more than merely display advertisements for various lands located throughout the nation.
Does the land seller have the right to sell the land? is a crucial consideration when purchasing land.
Are they actually the owners? It is simple for a thief to pretend to be the owner, snap photos of the property, and designate them as “property for sale.
“When purchasing land in Nigeria, you must make absolutely certain that the property is legitimately registered. Many individuals believe that the C of O is the finest document to look for (Certificate of Occupancy).
However, the fact that any land in Nigeria with a C of O has just 100 years to be used before returning to the government is not ideal. Therefore, if the land you intend to purchase has been occupied for 30 years prior to now, you will only have 70 years to put it to use.
The Survey Plan, Deed of Assignment, Excision, and Gazette are the essential papers to look for. With the aid of these documents, you will be able to determine whether the land is publicly owned or is free, as well as what it can be used for.
Despite this, you are still allowed to purchase a plot of land and register it on your own; just make sure you do so from a legitimate seller.
Before engaging in any transaction, it is imperative that you request ownership documentation from the seller. It is a red flag to pull out of the transaction if a seller cannot provide sufficient proof. There are chances that it is a fraudulent transaction you are entering into.
This is possible because he/she does not have the right to transfer the property. Under no circumstances should you get into a transaction when the vendor cannot show ownership documentation.
In the same spirit, you must make sure you have all the proper paperwork on hand after the deal to avoid unnecessary problems with the government or land speculators. Be sure that the land is available for sale and it is ‘buy and build’, to avoid issues. These documents could acquire additional costs.
6. Additional Costs
Be sure to check out and reserve money for additional costs. As an example of additional costs, consider that 5% of the cost of the land is normally spent on legal fees and 5% is also spent on agency fees.
The price of building a fence to safeguard your land after buying it (you don’t want to leave it unprotected); and the price of getting all the required government paperwork, like the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), the Governor’s approval, etc.
Survey plans normally cost between N100,000 and N300,000, depending on the place you select. These are just a few of the extra costs you should immediately include in your budget in order to prevent any financial issues while buying land.
7. Neighborhood, wise placement, and significant landmarks
Yes, you should do your homework on the locals before buying land in southeast Nigeria. Before buying land, people frequently make this mistake.
The defining features of a neighborhood are what determine how rapidly a community develops and how much its land value rises. You should try to look five to 10 years into the future to see what the area will look like before buying land there.
Look to see if there are any major public or private projects that are in the works or that have already started to decide whether a region will develop quickly. You may move forward if a neighborhood has up to five World Class Landmarks, whether they are already in existence or are currently under construction.
For instance, if a famous landmark, like a factory or university, is built nearby by the government or a private party, the value of your land will rise. Therefore, before buying land, you should carefully consider this.
The eventual development in the area will not be a big benefit if you are purchasing to resell, but it will be for those who need to purchase and build a residential home. By taking this into consideration, you can also determine whether you can handle it.
For instance, some people would find it difficult to comprehend why others enjoy having an aircraft fly overhead constantly. Check to see if the land is strategically positioned for the intended use.
8. Security and the environment
Checking the environment can help you decide whether the land you want to use for housing purposes is safe to live around because you don’t want to live in a polluted environment.
You must consider the environment in which the land is located and comprehend how it is now affecting people who are presently dwelling there in order to assure your safety while you are there. Check to see whether there are any hazardous substances nearby, such as refuge disposals or harmful farm scents.
Additionally, be sure there are no ongoing water problems in the area where you’re thinking about buying land in Nigeria. You must verify the level of security in the neighborhood before buying land there.
Check to see if the government has provided adequate security for that area. Also, find out if the community has a plan for handling security issues. You may also ask those who live nearby to find out if the area is secure and does not encounter harassment from hoodlums and rubbers.
Security is a major issue that must be taken into consideration while buying land. When purchasing land for either business or residential purposes, it is important to consider the local way of life.
This is essential if you are considering building a home. The style of living must be taken into consideration. If you were to start a family there, for instance, is it a place you would want to raise your kids?
9. Soil qualities and characteristics
Suitability for residential or commercial use, and zoning regulations.
The sort of soil you have will determine how you construct your new house or factory. It will state how much extra money you will spend on the land when the time comes. It will let you know if any land filling is necessary.
The following are ways that soil composition affects building: the cost of constructing a foundation, quantity of earthworks required, land stability and preservation.
Therefore, before buying land in Nigeria, be sure to be informed of this information. Look for economical, adequate table lands for development.
It is essential to understand the zoning restrictions for the area where you are considering purchasing land because they will reveal the government’s ambitions for that area. You won’t be able to build a factory on land that the government has previously designated for housing.
You need to be aware of this to prevent further disputes with the authorities. Be aware of the kind of constructions the local government authorizes, even if the property is designated for residential construction.
You’ll run afoul of the authorities if you construct a skyscraper in a community where the government has ordered bungalows. Check to see if the environment would support your objective, especially if it is commercial.
10. Accessibility, Area or size of Land
You could think this is inconsequential, but if the property you bought is inaccessible and you have to beg your neighbor for access, you will see how important an inspection is. Always verify that the area has a good, accessible road network before buying land.
You should also make sure the land’s measurements match what the owner reports. The only method to accomplish this is to engage a surveyor to visit the area in question and take measurements.
Never take the owner’s word for it when they say there is just one plot; always verify. It will cost you money, but it is better to do it and know exactly what you are buying. Therefore, since doing so will streamline logistics and guarantee that you are free of Omonile Wahala(problem), we propose buying land from an estate.
11. Town Planning Laws and Regulations, Family Land
When the intended use of the land conflicts with the goals of town planning law, town planning laws and regulations may restrict the conveyance of that land.
A family land;
One should make an effort to determine whether a piece of land is communal or family land before purchasing it.
When buying communal land, the head of the community’s consent is required, however when buying family land, the family head and key members’ consent is required. Any alleged sale made by a member of a group or family without the required approval is voidable.
12. Traditional Land Owners (Omonile)
Check to see whether there are no Omoniles on the land or if they have been settled.
The group of persons who had a traditional claim to land before the Nigerian Property Use Act of 1978 was passed is known by the Yoruba term “Omo Onile,” which translates to “landowner.” Real estate buyers deal with them when attempting to acquire ancestral or customary land.
In our other article, we’ve discussed Omoniles and their occasionally violent method of operation.
13. Mode of Payment
When purchasing land, the method of payment is crucial and could be the deciding factor in whether you are defrauded or not.
NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, NEVER PAY FOR A LAND IN CASH.
From the price of the land to the receipt for survey fees, you must make sure everything is accurately documented.
Only by keeping track of every payment will you be able to spare yourself future stress. It is crucial to keep track of every payment you have made, no matter how small. As was already indicated, this is done to prevent hiccups in the future.
It is advised to pay with checks or bank transfers rather than cash to avoid losing your hard-earned money to scammers. In the event that something goes wrong, you can readily follow your payments made while purchasing land from any agency in this way.
It is also crucial to hire a lawyer to draft a purchase receipt that can be signed by all parties to acknowledge payments made through any bank channel. This eliminates the chance that a seller will dispute the amount paid, the day it was paid, or the reason it was paid.
There are no templates to recognize a possible fraudster based on their skin tone or facial features. When purchasing property, one of the typical mistakes individuals make is believing in or placing their trust in the relationship they have with the land seller.
People with cases of relatives or sisters defrauding them over a land deal frequently appear in court. In order to avoid the danger of being misled, it is crucial to take this into account when purchasing land for investment or any other purpose.
When you make payments through a bank, you can follow them if something goes wrong. It can also be used as a minor piece of evidence in court.
As opposed to when you pay cash and the landowner denies knowing anything about the transaction. If you can’t go through these procedures, then here’s something else to do;
Speak with a real estate attorney;
If an informal agreement is struck, you must immediately retain the services of a real estate lawyer to help you avoid making costly mistakes and future problems that are typical of land deals that could jeopardize your investment in the property.
How Your Lawyer Will Act:
Investigation is necessary for all land deals. You and the vendor will sign a contract of sale agreement that will enable your solicitor to investigate the vendor’s title on your behalf.
Pending the outcome of your solicitor’s investigation of the vendor’s title, you will then pay a deposit equal to the purchase price of the land. The Vendor is not required to substantiate his ownership of the property in the absence of a Contract of Sale Agreement.
The vendor is required under this requirement to present his title documents, show the origin of the title in the land, and show an uninterrupted line of transactions leading back to himself.
Attorney Due Diligence;
Based on the title documents that the vendor has provided, your solicitor will continue to examine and investigate the matter.
Depending on the nature of the vendor’s title, the documents may include a conveyance deed, a legal mortgage deed, a surrender deed, a gift deed, assent, a certificate of occupancy deed, an assignment deed, a lease agreement deed, a power of attorney deed, a declaration of trust deed, a survey plan deed, a vested order deed, etc.
The inquiry and title search may be carried out at the Locus, Lands Registry, Probate Registry, Law Court, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the municipal planning body such as FCDA, LASPPPA, UCCDA, Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), etc.
Real estate could be a target of a fraud or money laundering inquiry or a crime’s proceeds. This can justify your lawyer conducting due diligence at any anti-graft organization.
The Solicitor’s Investigation’s Findings;
The results of your lawyer’s inquiry will show the state of the property and any liens or other issues it might have.
The true landowner(s) will be revealed via a typical title search;
whether the vendor’s description of the property matches the listing description; whether the boundaries and signatures in the document match those in the abstracted documents; whether the property’s transfer of ownership has been uninterrupted; whether any land parcels were sold to a third party;
Whether or not the land is contested; Whether the government purchased the land due to a compelling public interest; Whether the previous owners of the land placed restrictions through law or custom, whether there are issues with the adjacent or previous owners;
whether the proposed renovations or developments will contravene any restrictive covenants already in place that the municipal planning authority, such as UCCDA, FCDA, or LASPPPA, has imposed in the area where the land is located; Whether the property has an easement, whether the property is subject to a caveat;
whether the real estate is a criminal proceeds under investigation by security organizations or has been seized by the government; whether the property is the subject of a legal dispute;
Whether an appeal or set aside has been filed in relation to the court order transferring title to the vendor; etc. Your lawyer will provide you with a written legal opinion advising you on any matters pertaining to the land and if you should move forward with the acquisition. After this procedure or the former, then;
14. Close the transaction
An important milestone in the purchase of land is the closing.
The Deed of Assignment or Deed of Conveyance and other closing paperwork will be written by your solicitor and approved by the vendor or his attorney if your solicitor is pleased with the condition of the land. The solicitor will adequately explain the agreement to all parties (s).
You, the vendor, and witnesses from both sides will all sign the deed document. You are responsible for paying the remaining balance of the purchase price. The vendor will transfer ownership of the land to you.
The Vendor will deliver the original title documents to you (and the keys – if the transaction involves a building).You obtain ownership of the property. Where there are renters on the property, a notice identifying you as the new landlord must be given to each tenant.
15. Perfect the Land Transaction
Any act of land alienation under the Land Use Act is legitimate with the Governor’s approval.
You must get the governor’s approval of the state in which the property is located, pay the necessary taxes (stamp duties), and register or file the instrument at the state lands registry (and at the Corporate Affairs Commission – where you are a company). The land instrument cannot be used as evidence in court because it wasn’t registered.
16. Take Possession of the Land
The last step is taking ownership of the purchased land. Make sure to build a fence around the perimeter of your property. The fence notifies other potential buyers that the land has already been purchased.
You can go above and above by adding some gravel or sand to the area or even building a well. Keep in mind to visit the location frequently and to employ a local guard to help you keep an eye on it until you’re ready to build a house there.
Finally,If you follow these steps duly, you will be able to purchase lands with ease. Our real estate Agency is always here to help if you need any assistance.