I remember when my uncle’s friend told him to buy a plot of land in Ajah area of Lagos few years ago, he said he cannot because that place according to him, was a bush. At the time, a plot of land was less than two hundred thousand Naira and my uncle could afford 10 plots or more if he wanted to, he never did. A plot of land in Ajah as I’m writing this article is in millions. Imagine if my uncle had bought just one plot for less than two hundred thousand Naira at the time, he would be rolling in millions today because of an investment of two hundred thousand Naira which was mere change to him at that time.
The same principle has not changed; it is still the same and will remain so for a very long time, the place you tagged “BUSH” today is the city of tomorrow. Do you know that when you buy a land today in a place, the next person coming to that area will be in your back? That is the cycle. As a human being, you must be foresighted to become rich anywhere. Land is the only asset which value never goes down. It is a recession proof and don’t depreciate at any time.
In buying a land, you need to do a proper check to avoid being defrauded by the popular touts in Nigeria known as land grabbers. They are real nuisance to the sales of lands and properties in urban centers. The menace is so much in Lagos state Nigeria and that is why they have been banned by the state government. Despite the law banning these criminals, they still continue with their activities in many parts of the state. They grab your land and sell to other persons. They can sell the same plot of land to over 10 people at the same time, leaving you with nothing.
There are strategies you must follow to avoid land grabbers’ (Omonile) trap. See them below;
- Check with the Ministry of Land/Planning: This ministry has all the map of land in the state. They know the ones that belong to government and the ones that are reserved for other purposes like agriculture, recreation etc. Before paying money to that agent threatening you that someone else will come and pay etc etc, make sure you confirm first. Land agents will want to harass you to pay on time so that someone else don’t pay, please be weary of these kind of agents. They are mostly fake and criminals. If someone else wanted to pay, the person could have done that before you signified interest in the land. Please don’t be pushed by their antics.
- Engage property lawyer: Engaging property lawyers will save you from imminent troubles. These lawyers will help with the background check of the property, its history and why the person might be selling it other than the reasons he must have told you which might be lie. Lawyers know what to do in this case. By the way, they are not as expensive as many Nigerians are made to believe.
- Surveyor– Make sure you engage a qualified firm to do the survey of the land for you immediately.
- Meet with the whole family of the land owner at the same time: Land in Nigeria is mostly owns by family and not individual. That is why one person cannot sell land to you without the consent of other family members. It is important you get the family receipts plus the receipts of the land and your payment.
- Don’t pay with cash: Please get a bank draft or a cheque and pay them with that. These cheques or draft will be documented for evidence purposes in the future.
- Fence the land immediately: Don’t buy the land without having a little budget for the fencing and gate because the land can be resold by the person who you bought it from or another person (land grabbers) can sell it off again.
Finally, take advantage of developing regions within your city because buying a land in a place with good prospect is the way to go. For example, outskirts of town. Land is generally cheap in these areas at the beginning but become expensive after two years. You can buy early and resell when it increases. A friend bought a plot of land for 50 thousand in Mowe Ibafo, Ogun State in 2005, today, a plot of land in that area is not less than two million or more. As the population increases, people will continue to site new towns and locations. You have to just buy when it is cheap and wait for two to three years and sell.
In every city across the country, there are developing areas. You don’t have to be a real estate guru to know that land in such areas may be cheap today, but they will be astronomically expensive in few years’ time. Take advantage of it.
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