Like every other person, you have been saving up for years in order to invest in buying land for either investment purposes or building your own home.
Especially if you are a first time home owner, the experience can be quite challenging if you are not adequately prepared for the unforeseen challenges.
Buying land for investment purposes may have some requirements different from buying land to build your first home. I will highlight this in my checklist below.
To get started, my intention is to help provide you with a land buying checklist you should tick through when you are making this big decision. You will learn to understand how the following can provide guidance for you:
- Establish your purpose of buying the land – Investment or home building
- Consider the potential location
- How much do you have to invest?
- Do a thorough search and site visit – Consider environment, cost of living, security etc.
- Conduct proper due diligence on the land document
- Use traceable payment media
Property Investment checklist for a potential buyer of land
What is your purpose of buying land
To be candid, when the purpose is not well established, you may just not be ready to take this big step. You need to understand why you want to purchase this landed property. This will help you to decide on a few things:
- The location of the property which most times drives the cost of the property.
- The level of development in the area
- The amount you are willing to invest
- The ease of access to this site
- The cost of living within the environment among other things.
I will suggest you take your pen and write a one line purpose for buying this property.
Where is your preferred location?
The decision on the location of your investment ahead of time will assist you in knowing the budget to set aside for your investment.
Come to think of it, purchasing land at the periphery of a town will definitely be cheaper than buying at the town center. However, the purpose to which you want to put the land to use will determine where it will be located. Key drivers for you may include:
- The purpose of the land, for your home building or you want to keep it for investment purpose.
- Proximity to work or your business
- Availability of open plots: Don’t underestimate how this can drive the cost of property and the attendant cost of maintenance in the long run.
- Nearness to family and friends. I know people who will rather live close to family than pulling away from them due to special needs of the dependents or the bond they share with their extended family
How much do you have to invest:
Having settled the first two items, many months ahead of taking this big decision, it is advisable to have conducted market surveys to know the cost of getting your desired plot.
Do not hesitate to search wide and far, talk to real estate agents, visit property listing sites and even visit some of the property locations to know how much it costs to secure a parcel in your desired location.
This will give you a fair idea of the cost of the property and you can then know how it fits into your budget or if you have to secure an extra loan to be able to meet up with the cost.
Look out for bargain deals for guys that are under immense pressure to sell off their property maybe because they have an urgent requirement for cash. If you plan well ahead of time, you may just be fortunate to strike a real deal.
Conduct proper site visit:
I can never overemphasize this point. In environments like Lekki, Lagos and other major cities of Nigeria like Abuja, you want to be careful not to buy properties that are under government acquisition.
Ensure you check out the environment to know if there are certain issues like floods or other natural disasters confronting such areas. You must conduct a site visit to see the property yourself.
Never buy property on paper because there are too many dubious persons out there waiting to swindle you of your money. Other due diligence you should conduct include:
- Go in the rainy season to see if there are issues will flood or if the area is water locked. This will impact the cost of construction and future security of your property
- Consider if the area is closed network or open. This will impact the security situation in the environment
- What is the income level of your neighbors? Your network will determine your net worth.
- Are there stores for ease of shopping?
- What about accessibility to drinkable water and other key social amenities
- Do you have good schools around because of your children? What is the cost of an average good school in the area?
- What about key developmental issues like road networks and public recreation centers?
Conduct interviews around the property to gather people’s opinions on these issues. Also, you can visit online forums like nairaland to have a feel of other people’s idea of these items.
Check for documents veracity:
This may be your most important step apart from point 4 highlighted above. I have dealt extensively with issues of documentation in this other article. Documents you should demand and verify include:
- The payment receipt
- Survey/general plan outlay of the estate
- Excision document to show it is free from government acquisition
- Certificate of occupancy or governor’s consent
- Power of attorney
- Deed of assignment
You can’t afford to hastily go through this stage of the process. Conduct proper checks at the bureau of lands to confirm the authenticity of these documents.
Ensure you procure the services of professional real estate lawyers or agents at this stage. Don’t compromise at all… it is worth all your troubles
Pay into Verified Bank Accounts:
Never conduct cash transactions. The last point of the trace for any cash transaction is the last person you paid to. In case there are issues, you can easily trace your money if you do a bank transfer or paid with a bank cheque.
In conclusion, although this list is not exhaustive, it would have taken care of most of the issues you may encounter in the process of buying your land. There is safety in the multitude of counsel.
Learn to seek opinion before you make major decisions. Above all, seek divine guidance. It may be your only saving grace.