Before you buy that house... what you should look out for

Before you buy that house... what you should look out for

Homeownership is the ultimate goal of almost everybody on planet earth and not just Nigeria alone. Yet this crucial, expensive and potentially life-changing investment comes with its own challenges.

If you are from Nigeria, you will have to be extra careful before you part ways with your hard-earned cash as Title Genuity and Property Ownership are two of the biggest issues facing the real estate industry.

Here are 7 things you should look out for when buying your first or next property.

  1. Do your search: This is the first step to acquiring your property. Before you get excited about owning your own land and/or property, do well to ensure you have done a detailed search of the property at the land bureau and confirm that the seller is indeed the owner of the property. Doing this will also confirm the type of title the property has, whether the land/property is committed to the government as well as other vital information. Never skip this step on any condition. A professional lawyer will be an asset for you all through this process.

  2. Agree upfront with your agent and lawyer: If you employed the service of an agent, its good to be all clear with him/her on how much you will be paying for their service to avoid any form of embarrassment or delays while negotiating the deal. This applies to your lawyer as well.

  3. Confirm bank details: You need to ensure that the bank details you are provided with agrees with the name that comes up on the title documents after doing a proper search. Where there is a difference, it is good advice to meet up with the owner of the root title of the document and get a signed approval that you can proceed with making payment for the property.

  4. Inspection: Make sure you inspect the property before you make a down payment for that house and when you do, look out for errors, faults, leakages and other shortcomings in the house. Where there are fixes to be made, look to see if you can get a discount for fixing those costs or if the buyer will bear that cost. If its a brand new house, push for the seller to give a grace period or warranty where all issues discovered subsequently (post moving in) will be covered by that warranty. This grace period usually span for like 6months to 1 year

  5. Root title, Survey, deed of assignment and contract of sale: Confirm the root title is represented in your deed and contract of sale. Also confirm that the survey has been registered and the co-ordinates quoted therein falls under the co-ordinates of your property. Let your lawyer go through these 4 documents to ensure there are no unfavorable terms and all the details of the property are well represented and are in congruence.

  6. Ask Neighbours: Its a good thing to get as much information on a property as much as you can and the people that may have undisclosed information of a property are your potential neighbours who have lived close to the property for a period of time. You can get a background information of the seller and know whether there are obligation tied to the property such as loans, liens etc.

  7. Payment: Ensure that payment of the property and transfer of ownership is done at the same time having been satisfied with all the information provided by the seller and having carried out a detailed inspection. If there are any ‘t’s that have not been crossed or ‘i’s that have not been dotted, don’t pull the trigger.

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Till I come your way next time, stay safe

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