The first important thing to note is that every piece of land is owned by the state government, this is in accordance with the Land Use Act 1978.
The government leases any land purchased for a period of 99 years after which such title can be renewed by the owner.
Land can either be free or under government acquisition. A land free from government encumbrances makes it easy to obtain a certificate of occupancy or any type of good land title.
It is important for anyone seeking to purchase real estate to search the title of such property at the appropriate land registry. Each state maintains a land registry where a title to property can be searched. The land title in Lagos State can be searched through the land bureau at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. A diligent search for the land title can also involve a search at a court registry where the title to land involves court judgement or probate registry in case of property of a deceased person.
There are two types of acquisitions; Committed and Global.
Here, the land has registered interest by the government for slated purposes, such as roads, defence purposes, drainages, canals, airports, schools, etc. A person who purchases such land will find the perfection of land title problematic, and where a person proceeds with property development on such land, it can be subject to demolition with no compensation.
Global / Non-Committed Acquisition:
This refers to lands that have been acquired long ago by the government, but the lands have no slated purposes. Such lands can be turned free through the process of ratification.
Types of Land Titles in Nigeria
Excision & Gazette
Excision simply means the government releasing a parcel of land that has been under global acquisition in the past. A family or an individual interested in such land can process a government-approved excision, and documentation for the land can be processed up to the governor’s consent level.
Gazette is an official record book that spells out all details of an expanse of land that has been excised and given back to the community. The details include the name of the community and details of the expanse of land given excision. The excision document is usually taken to the surveyor general’s office for the land to be gazetted. With a gazette, a person can apply for a certificate of occupancy or governor conse…
Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)
A Certificate of Occupancy is an authorized document of grant issued by the State Government, to an individual, groups of individuals or an entity, to confer ownership and right of occupancy in a definite land for all purposes for a term not exceeding 99 years subject to renewal. The Certificate of Occupancy is a document issued only once, to the first person to own and purchase such land as virgin land. Therefore, this document prevents multiple owners from claiming ownership of that piece of land. The C of O is usually issued for all governments’ land allocations and properties.
Governor’s consent simply refers to the approval of the Governor of every State of Nigeria of any transaction concerning land. It is an integral part of land transactions, as consent is usually required for the perfection of any land transaction. The main purpose of obtaining a Governor’s Consent is so the government is aware that ownership of land has been transferred to another person. This consent can be applied for and obtained multiple times, as many times as possession of such land is being handed over to multiple purchasers over time. Governor’s consent helps in the legalization of such property, as the government is made aware of the transfer of ownership rights. Therefore, as long as the consent is obtained by the buyer, the ownership rights will be properly secured.
This simply implies that the individual went into a court battle with the government to another party over an expanse of land and came out victorious. Such person can then proceed to process the appropriate land documentation to grant him exclusive rights to such land, which could be either C of O, Governor’s Consent, Excision, or Gazette as the case may be.
Probate & Letter of Administration:
Where a person who is owning any piece of land has died, the personal representatives of such person before exercising control or ownership over the property must obtain a Grant of Probate in case the deceased left a Will or Grant of Letter of Administration in case the deceased died intestate. The Probate and the Letter of Administration are the only valid titles to any property left behind by the deceased person. Both documents can be obtained via the Probate Registry of the State High Court or High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
Now, That’s for property titles.
Let me share with you, the documents you should be getting whenever you are buying land, whether from an individual or from a real estate firm. ?
Documents Required at the Stage of Acquiring a Land:
This must clearly state the name(s) of the purchaser and must include their signature. The names of the buyers have to be boldly written for the documents and receipts to be valid.
Contract of sale:
The contract of sale is the legal document that must give a full description of what is being purchased and a description of payments to be made in the present and the future.
Deed of Assignment- this is a legal document that explains that part of the property that is covered by the C of O stating that they have assigned that particular portion of land to the purchaser. This deed must be duly signed and stamped.
Deed of Assignment:
This is a legal document that explains that part of the property is covered by the C of O stating that they have assigned that particular portion of land to the purchaser. This deed must be duly signed and stamped.
Here, the land is mapped out accordingly to show the type of title such land already has. That is, if it is excised, gazetted, C of O, etc. it also shows if the land is still under government acquisition.
Finally, it is sacrosanct for every intending purchaser of land or landed properties to ensure an investigation is conducted as to the title, accessibility, and usage of the land to be purchased. Apart from having a good title, a landed property may be encumbered for other reasons, which include an existing mortgage or pledge of the property, and criminal forfeiture among others.
Hope this little piece of information will always serve as a guide to us whenever we venture into any kind of property investment.
Let me make it more simple.
It is a document that gives Mr. A the right to carry out a transaction on behalf of Mr. B’s property.
It could be a land of a house.
Although, power of attorney is usually used mainly in the Eastern part of Nigeria.
I have gotten people asking me what is the meaning of Excision as regards land titles.
Let me explain it in lay man’s understanding.
What is Land Excision?
Land excision means that a part of land has been legally released to indigenous settlers by a government gazette and it’s termed to be excised. Also, this signifies that the land is no longer under government acquisition, thus C of O (Certificate of Occupancy) procedure is now possible.
Many lands at Ibeju and Epe have the Excision Title, Because many areas in that location were previously own by the government.
Many which have been released, have either C of O of Governors Consent.
Still on land Titles.
You will also see many lands in the Ibeju and Epe axis with the title ” FreeHold”.
What this means is that the developer got the land from the family and no title has been perfected on the land, although they might have started the process of certification on the land already, always ask.
An example of a Freehold land is that your family land in the village, lands that can be inherited by the heirs of the said real estate, such lands as tagged as freehold, and documents can be perfected on such lands by the owners.
I will explain further here.
Lands or estates under this classification have an indefinite duration and can last forever. These are estates with full-time ownership with government intervention.
Lands under freehold are not under government acquisition and such lands can easily be inherited by the heirs of the original owners when such land is bought from the heir of the original owner.
Question: Can it now be inherited by the person who bought it?
Get the land surveyed in your name.
Get your lawyer to draft a Deed of assignment, which every party involves will sign.
You can take it further by processing your C Of O.
Look at the Development of Dubai coastline from 1991 – 2020 from Space ?
Dubai’s coastline increased by 6% ???
? Palm Jumeirah – kick started 2001 ? 12 Billion
? Palm Jabel Ali – under development ? TBC
? World Islands – kick started 2003 ? 15 Billion
? Mina Rashid – kick started 2018 ? 7 Billion
? La Mer – kick started 2015
Massive development within 31years….
I believe we have a lot of locations like this in Lagos for developments like this…
We can replicate this we have a government that thinks more about tourism.
The Lekki Atlantic project is a good one too.
Dubai makes a lot of billions of dollars by creating spaces like this…
Land Sizes in Nigeria:
There are certain factors to consider before buying a property in Nigeria, one of which is the ‘size of the land.’ It is essential to get conversant with the land sizes and measurements used in Nigeria.
You must understand the land system measurement in Nigeria, especially if you are interested in buying that particular Land or house. The land size varies in Nigeria for different reasons, including development patterns and human and environmental factors.
What is a Plot?
A plot is a substantial piece of land for farming or building. The word ‘plot’ is a random term used to describe a land division carved out for property development.
The land size can be measured using different units such as acres, hectares, square feet, or square meters.
The size of a plot of Land varies for different reasons, but according to Nigeria’s land divisions, the appropriate size of a field of Land is 100 × 50 ft (450sqm).
This can accommodate a standard house with a small compound.
In Lagos State, the standard size of land is 60 x 120ft (648sqm), while in some other cities of the country, lands are measured at 50 x100ft.
Acres and Hectares are bigger measurement units mainly used for larger areas of lands like farmland and forest.
Nigeria primarily uses the metric system of measurements; these plots of Land are usually described in square meters.
For easy comparison, you should always ask any land vendor what the size of a plot of land is in square meters. Always ask.
As a potential buyer, you should always keep in mind that in any urban planning environment, plots are made up of different sizes to allow for different types of use, either residential or commercial.
Most real estate developer sells 500sqm or 648sqm for residential plots and 1000sqm or 900sqm for commercial plots.
Standard Measurement Units of Land Sizes in Nigeria
To better understand land sizes used in Nigeria, different units of area are used as follows:
A foot, plural feet, is a unit of length in the Imperial Customary Systems of Measurement. One foot (1ft), in measurement, is defined as 0.3048m exactly or 12 inches. One square foot (1 sq ft) comprises 0.09sq.m
The square foot, plural square feet, is an imperial area unit. One square foot is defined as the area of a square with sides that measure 1 foot in length.
A meter is the base unit of length used in the metric system and can easily be converted to other teams.
One meter is equivalent to 100 centimeters, 39.37 inches, or 3.3ft.
Square meters (Sqm)
The square meter is a fundamental metric unit of area.
A square meter is simply the area of a square whose sides measure exactly 1 meter in length. It has a symbol m².
It is used for measuring the sizes of anything from rooms to houses to Land.
An Acre is a standard unit of measurement used by Land sellers, and it is almost equivalent to the size of a traditional football field.
An acre is a product of any rectangular plot of Land, giving 4046.86sqm or 43,560sq ft.
An acre consists of 6 Units, each measuring
60 x 120ft.
About land measurements, the above divisions constitute some fraction of an acre which means a plot can be;
50 x 100ft/ = 450sqm (which means there are 8.7 plots of land measuring 450sqm in an acre)
60 x 120ft/ = 648sqm (which means there are 6 plots of land measuring 648sqm in an acre)
100 x 100ft / = 900sqm Approximately (which means there are 4.4 plots of land measuring 900sqm in an acre)
This one is very important, for those of us that buys more lands together. ?
How do you measure the size of a plot of land?
Whether you are buying or selling Land, you must know its size.
The size of the Land can be obtained from the survey plan.
However, it would help if you involved a professional surveyor to go out and physically measure the Land in the field before you buy (or sell) to avoid any complications.
A Corner piece plot is usually larger than an ordinary plot.
The premises are much more extensive than regular plots.
A Corner Piece is a plot of land located at a road intersection and has a border with at least two access roads.
Many people desire cornerpiece plots for several reasons.
This type of Land usually has extra 3 meters added to the sides close to the streets because of the 6m setback for roads.
Above all, always remember to carry out your due diligence before concluding a transaction.
The term ‘off-plan property’ refers to property that is available for purchase before it has been completed.
Most people have not really bought the idea of investing in off plan,not because they don’t know that is is profitable, but because they have their doubts about the developer.
However, this may not seems right because you tend to see the approved plan for each housing unit before you can transact with the developer or the company in charge. In addition to that, you have the opportunity to carry out your housing measurement again.
Investing in off-plan properties has a lot of benefits provided that the location where the property is positioned will skyrocket investment returns.
Please, always lookout for locations that are very HOT for off-plan investment you want to subscribe to.
For the Lekki axis
Off-plan apartments sell more in areas like:
These locations are very lucrative for apartments off-plan investment in. Lagos
Maybe in the future, some other hot places will spring up, but these locations are the most GUARANTEED for now.
Great Advantage When Buying An Off-Plan Property:
Buying off-plan means committing to buy a property before it’s finished being built. This often means before it’s started to be built,
but not necessarily: even if the property is well on its way to being finished, it’s still technically an off-plan purchase.
These are some of the advantages;
1. You are able to secure a purchase price below market value.
2. Great capital growth can be attained. Using your profit to scale up the investment.
Someone bought a house at 40m offplan, sold at 80m in 3years, and use the 80m to buy up more units of affordable off plan…
3. It gives the ability to resell the property at a profit. Buy low and sell higher
4. It gives you an opportunity to buy the property with a minimal deposit.
You don’t need to break your bank before you start enjoying the wealth that off plan gives…
5. It gives time to plan and save. Some people have the capacity to buy at an outright plan,
it means that, you don’t stand at a disadvantage, with the spread payment plans, you are still eligible to key in and enjoy same dividends.
6. Gives you peace of mind, taking the stress off during a building project.
Just invest, sell later and cash out. Easy and sweet.
Not complicated at all.
Another important point is that you have the opportunity to contribute your own input into things like interior decoration, kitchen finishing, bathroom tiles, and many more.
In addition, you have the opportunity to know more about the materials used in constructing the building, unlike an already completed building that might have problems ranging from cracked walls to poor plumbing works to electrical installations.
Lastly, you have the opportunity to flip your investment even before completion
This is the sweetest, Exactly what’s happening at the Victoria Estate at Harris Drive by VGC.
Those who bought at 95m, of of them are selling off with 20-25m extra gains some are waiting for the project to complete before they break their piggy bank for cash out…?
Having explained the benefits you tend to get when you buy into off-plan property,
Let us now look into the risk involved in buying an off-plan property
One of the major risks is Trust on the part of the developer, the trust issues arise when intending buyers find it difficult to believe in the reputability of the developer or real estate company and also on what the property would look like after completion.
This is why some developers develop a physical prototype for potential buyers to see what the off-plan would look like.
These days some have 3D animation videos of their projects for buyers to see.
Another is keeping to the delivery date
It is always good to make your own research about the developer and make sure he has integrity when it comes to building quality houses and keeping to delivery date.
In conclusion, buying an off-plan luxury property is a good investment if you invest in areas where properties appreciate faster as you will have the opportunity to get a high return on investment.
So that’s it for off-plan real estate investing…