Buying or owning a property is a lifetime investment and it is critical that great care is taken before one embarks on this journey. When looking for a dream home it is easy to forget to consider important steps in the process and to just dive in head first. However, when making such a huge financial commitment it is important that you are as informed as you possibly can be and you are fully aware of what you are responsible for doing before purchase. There is a great potential for unwanted surprises when investing in such a variable and vast product. If well prepared, one can anticipate these unpleasant surprises and be in a better position to deal with them.
This article will help inform property buyers on essential steps to take and things to consider when purchasing a property in order to ensure the best decision is made.
CHECKLIST BEFORE YOU BUY
1. PROPERTY LOCATION AND TERRAIN
A key aspect of a property to consider when doing property inspection is the terrain or topology of the area where the property is located.
A property can be located on a flat ground, the slope of a hill or at the foot of a hill. In Nigeria, properties located on flat ground or on a slope are better options than those on the foot of a hill or drainage. This is to prevent flooding and poor drainage issues which are prevalent in our nation especially Lagos. Also to be noted are the available amenities and facilities surrounding the property and their positive impact on the property.
2. STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY
With the high rate of building collapse in Lagos, it is important to ensure that the building being invested in is solid and built with high quality, durable materials. Potential home owners of investors need to properly examine the building Therefore, take a good look at the building, examine the walls for irregularities and cracks, check all the fixtures, piping systems, electrical wirings, roofing, and any signs that may indicate that the building is structurally defective. Once you buy a house, you buy its assets and liabilities and a house with major structural defect is a big liability.
3. VERIFICATION OF PROPERTY OWNERSHIP AND DOCUMENTS
Before purchasing a property in Nigeria especially in Lagos, you need to verify the owner (s) of the property and ensure that all documents such as the Certificate of Occupancy, contract of sales, purchase agreements, deed of assignment etc are in place. It is also very important to have a Governor’s consent on the property which is needed for the assignment of title to use, occupy, and improve property with a statutory certificate.
Price is a deciding factor in arranging an inspection. The price of the property to be purchased has to be competitive and of a good value relative to what facilities the property would be coming with and the facilities. With the aid of a real estate consultant, a great price can be achieved as real estate consultants have more access to property listings and can help find a home that fits your needs and your budget. Once the price range specified for the property you’re interested in is within your budget, an inspection should take place.
5. EXISTING FACILITIES AND ADJOINING AMENITIES.
The value of the property to be purchased would be dependent on the type and state of the various facilities and amenities it has such as swimming pools, high tech security equipment, electrical and water supply, fittings and type of sanitary wares, adjoining land uses like schools, hospitals, restaurants, shopping malls, recreation centres, etc. What facilities does the house have?
6. CURRENT TENANCY
This is applicable if the property to be purchased has a previous occupier. If the house is occupied, you need to find out the nature of the tenancy, the tenancy schedule, the tenancy agreement, and how soon the existing tenants will vacate the premises after you make the purchase.
It is very important to employ the services of a professional real estate consultant who would advise you on your investment and ensure that you get the best value for your investment. He/She would provide professional judgement on key aspects of the transactions saving you time and providing security and convenience.