Buying a House in Nigeria | Key Points to Note

Buying a house in Nigeria has become a necessity for the average business owner. Everyone is trying to ensure they seize paying rent on a property. Having their own buildings, bearing their name is the goal. This is a very important step to take in actualizing residential freedom as there are several advantages to owning a home.

Some advantages of owning your own home include the following below:

  • Living security exists, as decisions made by a landlord in a rented property have no effect on you.
  • You are in control of costs related to living in your own building.
  • You can create your dream home, as no landlord stops you from rebuilding your property.

Some people still marvel at one’s decision to buy a house instead of building one. Building a house seems more appropriate but there are situations where buying a house in Nigeria outweighs the advantages of building one. Check out some factors that help one in deciding on buying a house in Nigeria:

  • Time constraints
  • Location

There are more factors but we would stick to these two for now.

In buying a house in Nigeria, fulfilling the basics, viz-a-viz the following below:

  • Deciding on buying or building a house.
  • Conducting research.
  • Having a budget.
  • Finding a good mortgage agency, etc.

Is necessary before you get to the point of inspection, which is the aim of this article. Without further ado, let us dive in.

Buying a House in Nigeria And The Key Points To Note!

We have arrived at that section you all have been waiting for. The key points to note regarding buying a house in Nigeria centers on inspection, verification, and re-verification. Let’s dive in.

Nature of the Property

This is one research you have to make, in your quest for buying a house in Nigeria. People buy properties for a lot of reasons. Common among them is for commercial or residential purposes. There could be a situation where you make a purchase of a building in a residential area and remodel it into a clubhouse.

Just when you are about to kick-off, you get a restraining order. Reason being that your clubhouse is in a residential area. This is possible as a clubhouse should be in a commercial area. Be certain that your vision for the property after purchase fits into the current approved use in its location.

Who is the Seller?

This is one question you have to ask repeatedly before going further with the negotiation, or any payment. 9 times out of 10, you would be in communication with an agent. This you have to be certain about.

If you can’t reach the owner of the property, the agent must surely be able to convince you he/she has the backing to negotiate in favor of the client. A power of attorney is the document that confirms this. Without that document, do not proceed with the negotiation. See some documents you would need when trying to purchase a property.

Find Out The Reason For Sale of The Property

Regardless of how good the offer is, make it a duty to press further for information on why the owner of the property is selling. You don’t want to be caught unawares on trespassing issues, a bad debt, or a failing structure. Does the owner plan to move, or the property is under litigation?

These are some questions you need to find answers to, before making the purchase. If you feel you are not getting the right answers, broaden your horizon. Ask neighbors or business owners around the property, they might know a thing or two.

Ensure Physical Inspection

It is really important to make physical inspections of the property before you seal the deal. This doesn’t take away credibility from some online real estate consultants, but it is necessary to inspect the property. All things could be clearer when an inspection is carried out.

The inspection would help you decide on either moving forward with purchasing the property or calling it quits. Inspections can reveal details not spelled out on paper. Inspections can reveal the level of work done, or left to be done. This is quite important if the client’s situation requires him/her to take possession of the property immediately.

In a situation regarding the sale of an existing building, you can go with your quantity surveyor or engineer to find out the damage done to the property. If after the inspection you find out the problems are too expensive to fix, you can choose to walk away from the purchase.

If the problems are small, you could ask the seller to fix them or reduce the selling price. All these options can only come into play when you make a solid case, made possible by inspection.

Verify Documents For the Property

You should conduct a search at the Land Registry of the state where the property is situated to verify the information given to you about the property. It is pertinent to ensure that the information given to you by the seller corresponds with your findings at the Land Registry.

Your attorney does this step, and it is important. It shows the information provided in previous documents by the seller is correct. Where there is a discrepancy, be sure to clarify it before moving forward with the purchase.

Evaluate the Property Independently

Having an independent valuer evaluate the property can help you establish a basis for negotiating downwards. What do I mean? If the seller of the property offers you the property for say $1,000,000, how do you negotiate that? Did you think of the possibility that the property could go for say $400,000 or $1,800,000?

Yes, these types of possibilities exist but how do you state the facts that help you negotiate lower? Only the results of a valuer can give you that. You hire an independent valuer to establish the true cost/state of the property. His/Her result would enable you to make further financial decisions as regards the property.

If the valuer’s documents say the property should go way lower than offered, then you need to ask why. This helps you save some quid as regards the deal, or perhaps help you make the final decision on not purchasing the property. Pay the valuer to help you save money, or help you spot a poor deal.

Get Transfer Documents Before Making Payment

Before you make payment for the property, ensure you get a purchase receipt, contract of sale, and ORIGINAL copies of all previous documents of the property from the seller. This is to avoid stories that touch. I would suggest there’s a round table meeting involving all parties related to the property, where an exchange of documents and money would take place.

Also ensure you make payment to the right source, i.e. the owner of the property. DO NOT make payments to the agent or third party. If it is a family property, you can make bank drafts in the family’s name head and principal members of the family to avoid fights over the sharing of the money.

Take Physical Possession and File Necessary Documentation

After payment, immediately take physical possession of the property and file necessary documentation with the government. In present-day Nigeria, land grabbers (“Omo Onile”) would move on the property in the blink of an eye if you do not secure the property or take possession. If the property does not have a certificate of occupancy, you can begin the processing. If it does, you need to get the Governor’s Consent to the transaction.

Having gone through these tips, I believe you have become equipped in the areas of shopping for properties to acquire. These points were made possible by babadeayobayo@gmail.com.

Kindly share this article if you find it helpful. Also, let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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