I remember distinctively the year I moved with my parents to our newly built home in lagos, in the early 2000s. It was one of the proudest days in the life of my family.
We had not lived up to a year in our new home when the revelations and dramas started unfolding. I was just a little boy, but I got all the details. You see, the very land on which our home was built, had been sold by land grabbers ( popularly known as omonile, in lagos) at least three times before we bought it.
We were able to settle all our disputes out of court though, and I gained my first experience in the real estate industry. I see people of all ages, and social stratifications fall for the same trap even still date
Buying a land while living in the country is tough, buying a land when you are based abroad is two times tougher.
Are you a Nigerian living outside the Country, and are interested in buying a land in the country, but are worried and scared of who to trust with your hard earned money? You certainly don’t what to be defrauded by scammers pretending to be your friends.
I can assure you that you are definitely not alone in your thoughts, and you are right to be concerned.
Most Nigerians who have aspirations for real estate investing in the country are certain to face this dilemma, and this concerns are not new, they have been around for ages.
I will be sharing with you the risk, and strategies to consider when buying a land as a Nigerian abroad. The aim of the this article is to remove the risk of you investing your money in bad properties, or being defrauded by fraudsters claiming to have your best intentions in mind. Here are some of the risk you should be aware of as a Nigerian abroad, buying a land in Nigeria.
PURCHASING A LAND/PROPERTY FROM THE WRONG PERSON
There are a lot of skilled fraudsters and scammers posing as real estate agents, and land owners around the country. They are willing to go any length to defraud their victims, you will be amazed at the extent of their deception, and the level of sophistication they put into it. They speak with lots of confidence and swagger, backing it up with fake or forged documents. They take no prisoners. When a person claims to own, a representative who claims to act in the interest of the owner presents documents to you, there is a need for you to review and verify these documents. The documents should include; power of Attorney, Certificate of ownership, Deed of assignment etc. These are very important documents.
PURCHASING A DEFECTIVE LAND/PROPERTY
Purchasing a defective property is a statement used to explain a situation whereby a land/property is bought without a proper research conducted on it, and is letter on found to be involved in a litigation battle, or on its way to one. Unfortunately this happens a lot, and it is as a result of you or your representative not conducting their due diligence.
Your representative should be willing, and able to carry out all necessary researches, study the appropriate documentation to make sure that the land/property is absolved from any encumbrance or awaiting litigation. You don’t need to use your hard earned money to buy litigation.
YOUR LAND GETTING ILLEGALLY RESOLD
The fact that you have purchased a land/property, does not prevent it from being resold again, by the owners as a result of greed. Unfortunately this also happens a lot, because in most parts of Nigeria, lands are owned by a family, and not an individual person, hence ownership is not clearly defined.
You need to meet with all important members of the family to make sure there is a unified agreement regarding the sale of the land/property
After you purchase the land, it is necessary you take steps to physically secure the property, and this should be done without delay. This can be done by laying the foundation, or fencing the property. This are steps you must take to exercise ownership. This way any potential buyer would be alert to the physical signs and take the necessary precautionary steps in finding out real ownership. This does not end the process though. You need to file all important documentations to the appropriate government agencies. This way you have legally fortified your ownership.
From the above you have realized that the risk in buying a land as a Nigerian abroad is definitely high. What do you do to prevent this risks? There are two ways I suggest you can adopt.
Create a time out of your busy schedule, make a trip back home (Nigeria) to manage the project yourself, and when you are done, you travel back. This way you are in complete control all of your affairs. There is nobody that can handle your business better than you do. Certainly not your friends or relatives. The cases of mistrust and deceit from friends and families I have seen, heard and witnessed are endless. The point of all this is you will be on ground to see what you are buying, from whom you are buying it, and you get to monitor and make payments yourself. No hidden charges or expenses. All these involves time, and not many Nigerians abroad can afford this time, which leads us to;
This is a strategy I recommend because 90% of Nigerians abroad find the process of traveling back to manage their affairs daunting. There are highly reputable and experienced corporate organizations/bodies that have been created specifically to handle your challenges.
These Organizations are primed to be with you in every step you make in your real estate plans. You get all the information you need about the best Land/property available for your budget, without worrying about exorbitant charges or hidden expenses.
You can inspect the land/property you are interested in through online videos. The inspection videos are very detailed and informative, and you get to see what you are paying for before you pay. You can ask as many questions as you wish, and you will get updated as much as want. You also get a detailed survey plan, to help you verify the status of your land.
The niggling doubts with Nigerians abroad still remains trust issues, and this is completely understandable. These Companies are corporation with a reputation to protect. Their reputation precedes them