This is a detailed guide on the things to consider when buying land in Nigeria.

You’ve worked for many years and finally, want to purchase land for personal use or start a real estate business.

Unfortunately, you are scammed, you purchased fake land From a fake landowner and your money is gone.

I guess you wouldn’t want this to be your story

So read this article to the end to know the things to consider before purchasing land in Nigeria.

Buying of land in Nigeria

Purchasing land in Nigeria requires one to be very careful not to fall into the hands of fraudsters who pose as landowners with fake land documents to sell someone else’s land to people.

Also, there are circumstances where people buy land for certain purposes and later discover that the land cannot serve the purpose for which it was bought.

As things are not moving smoothly in Nigeria, poverty and hunger have made people create alternative ways of surviving which is, claiming ownership of land and selling them to people.

These land touts are always in a haste to get money from you, they will show you all kinds of papers to make you believe them.

Many people have fallen victim to this so it is important you read this article to the end to know the things to consider before buying land in Nigeria to avoid had I known.

Things To Consider Before Buying  Land In Nigeria

Below are the important things to consider before purchasing land in Nigeria

1. Make Thorough Findings

Had I known always comes last, but you can avoid it if you make thorough findings before buying land in Nigeria.

You must know if the land is communal, family, or committed land.

If it’s communal land, endeavor to get approval from the community head before making payment.

If it’s family land, endeavor to know if the land is under dispute.

If it is, run away, but if it is not, make sure you get the approval of the family head before making a transaction.

Moreover, if the land is committed, it is a no-go area. Committed lands are acquired by the government, and they may be committed to road expansion, future government estate, or government reserved areas for major development.

Make your findings very well because It is better to delay than to leap in and regret later.

2. Check Land Topography

It is important to check the typography of land before buying it.

If you do not know, involve your surveyor or an expert in the building industry to help you check for good land topography to avoid future occurrences that may cost you so much money.

A good land typically has a good water drainage feature to avoid flooding. Moreover, sloppy lands tend to attract more cost during building construction, while plain lands are generally preferable.

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A land with sloppy or hilly topography enhances flooding and with time, you may have to battle with the danger of erosion for the rest of your operations on the land.

3. Check Soil Type

Soil type is important when purchasing land.

Different types of soil will influence your building in different ways.

Make sure the soil type of the land you are buying can fulfill the purpose you are purchasing it for.

Moreover, It is advisable to purchase land that has loamy soil.

Loamy soil is the best type of soil for construction and farming due to its combination of silt, sand, and clay.

Loamy soil does not shift, expand, or weaken drastically and it absorbs water very well.

Additionally, swampy land is not suitable for building construction but for fish farming, so whatever it is you want to do with the land, be sure the land can do it before purchasing it.

4. Consider The Shape Of The Land

It is also important to consider the shape of land when buying it. An irregularly shaped or triangle-shaped land will likely be more difficult to develop and it will affect the structure and design of the house if you are building on it.

5. Environment

One other thing you must consider before buying land in Nigeria is the environment the land is.

Ensure it is not a polluted area where you wouldn’t want to live.

Make sure the place is not close to industries so that the fumes emitting from there will not kill you.

Also, ensure that the land does not experience floods during raining season.

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6. Availability of Legal papers

When buying land in Nigeria, make sure you involve a lawyer who is grounded in property law practice to make sure the land is duly registered to avoid problems in the future.

Moreover, ensure your lawyer prepares the legal document needed before purchasing the land.

Also, make sure you are buying the land from a genuine landowner, let your lawyer check all the documents, and confirm it is genuine before carrying out any transaction.

Moreover, buying land with the care of ownership is always better and safer. If you have care of ownership, you can always claim the land if any issue arises.

Further, When buying land in Nigeria, you must confirm the land you are buying is genuinely registered.

The main documents to check for are the Survey Plan, Deed of Assignment, Excision, and Gazette.

These documents will help you know if the land is free or under government acquisition, and you will also know what the land can be used for.

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Notwithstanding, you can still buy land and register it yourself but endure you are buying it from a genuine owner.

7. Consider The Size of the Land

To avoid problems, you need to make sure the land you are buying is the actual size you want or the actual size the person says it is.

One of the ways to check the accuracy of the size of land before buying it is to involve a surveyor or an expert in the building industry.

If the land has a survey plan, the surveyor will check or measure the land to make sure what is on the survey plan is accurate.

8. Check For Access Road

Checking for access roads is also one of the first things you must consider before buying land in Nigeria.

It is important to make sure you can access the land you want to buy from the major road before buying it to avoid problems in the future.

If there is no access road to your land, make sure the landowner provides one so you do not encounter problems.

9. Document Every Transaction

You must make sure everything is properly documented when buying land; it is the only way to save yourself from unnecessary stress when problems arise.

Document everything you pay for no matter how little the amount is.

It is necessary to pay a lawyer to prepare a purchase receipt in which you and the seller will sign to acknowledge payments through any bank.

This will serve as evidence in case the seller comes back to deny selling the land to you.

10. Consider The Location

One of the things to also consider when buying land in Nigeria is the location. The location will determine the value the land will have in the future because land in a developed area will sell more than land in a developing area.

Moreover, If you’re investing, buy land with a high resale value.

Do not buy land that is completely distant from potential customers, or one you are not capable of building on.

11. Consider Zoning Restrictions Before Buying A Land In Nigeria.

It is crucial to know the Zoning laws of the area you want to buy land as this will help you to know what the government plans for that area are.

Zoning laws are, among other things, the government’s special way of trying to keep residential areas residential and business areas businesses.

You will not be allowed to erect a factory where the government has already designated for residential buildings.

Moreover, even if the area is meant for residential buildings, know the kind of building the government permits for the area.

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Building a skyscraper in an area where the government specifies bungalows is going to make you have issues with the government.

Documents Required For Buying Of Land In Nigeria

When buying land, There are crucial documents required from the seller before finalizing the transaction.

It is important to see and verify these documents before handing over your money to anybody.

Below are the important document needed for purchasing land in Nigeria

1. Approved Survey Plan

This is an important document to request from a seller when buying land in Nigeria.

It is what you will take to the land department to do a geographical search first.

The approved survey plan marks and defines legal boundaries, reveals the true ownership status of the land, and also reveals if the land is under any government acquisition or committed area.

2. Deed of Assignment/ Deed of Transfer

This is a document that transfers legal ownership of land to a buyer.

A deed of assignment traces the history of how the land got to the present owner.

This document is very important, and the buyer needs to request it when buying land from someone who previously purchased it from another person.

3. Certificate of Occupancy

The Certificate of Occupancy is one of the most crucial land documents in Nigeria.

It can be used to determine the legal ownership status of any land in Nigeria.

It is the document that shows that an individual has consented to a statutory right of occupancy by the Governor of the state or a customary right of occupancy by the Local Government Chairman if the land is situated in a rural area.

4. Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a document that gives authority to a person to act as agent or attorney for another person.
Since this is an instrument of delegation, it is usually required where a person is acting for another person.

Additionally, there are other documents, although not frequently requested when buying land, but may become vital depending on the circumstances surrounding the sale.

Such documents are

  • Duly perfected Legal Mortgage
  • Government Gazette
  • Vesting order/Judgement of Court
  • Evidence of grant from the State, etc.

It is mostly advised that a buyer of land should endeavor to engage a lawyer who can advise on an appropriate document to be required before carrying out any land transaction.