In the face of the current global economic downturn, people scout for safe investments where they can put their money. Investment in the stocks of blue chips used to be considered a safe business deal. But the volatility of the stock markets is making many investors not to put all their eggs in the stock basket.
Buying or selling buildings or landed property is thus seen by many as a core area of investment because of its relatively high security of investment worldwide. A research puts the average increase in property investment in comparison to stock investment at 11.4 per cent annually in Australia.
“When you factor in the return and risk associated with buying property and shares, property wins hands down. Shares have [marginally] higher capital growth, but the difference in risk is huge. The risk is measured in variation in returns and capital growth (or loss) on shares can range from +40 per cent in a year to -40 per cent in a week! You don’t get that sort of variation in property, hence it is considered a safer investment,” opines a property investor and don, Peter Koulizos.
But how easy is it buying properties or selling them in Nigeria? Experts say there are precautionary steps prospective buyers/sellers should take to guarantee their dealings. These steps, as outlined by Estate experts on nigeriapropertycentre.com, are stated below:
Understand the nature of the property
Investors want to get the best value for their money. And this often translates to the best return on their investments. With this in mind, you want to evaluate the potential growth in investment in a particular area before you throw your hard earned money at it. Growth range is between five per cent-30 per cent. Why get less when you can get more? Choose your investment location wisely.
Research who is selling
Always keep the following questions in mind: “Who is the owner of the property?” “Who is selling the property? Is it the owner, the owner’s wife, son, daughter, or someone else?” “Whose name appears in the documents? Is it the current owner or the previous owner?” “What liabilities currently exist on the property?”
Verify the true owner
Before you buy a plot of land or a completed building, be sure to conduct what is called a “search” on the property. This is the process of verifying from the state government if the property in question is within government acquired properties or not and whether there are any pending litigation or other issues on the property. The bureau of lands or related government agency in most states handles such matter.
Make payment and collate the right documentation
Pay the property amount to the property owner, then collect the (a) purchase receipt (b) the contract of sales (c) the building plan (d) originals of other relevant documents in possession of the previous owner
Document new purchase with government
It’s important to do this step because it legally makes you the new owner in the eyes of the law. If the property already has a C of O (Certificate of Occupancy), you’ve got governor’s consent for it, which is great. If it does not, then you start processing your C of O as soon as possible.
Appoint an estate agent to manage the property
You safeguard your investment when you do this especially if you live outside Lagos or any cities in Nigeria where the properties are located or overseas. Folks who have invested big time in Lagos’ real estate have found that it has been one of the wisest decisions they made in their lifetime.