Off the Plan!!! To buy or not to buy?

You must have noticed the new trend where companies are offering members of the public, landed property at instalment payment terms. It is called buying off the plan.

Buying off the plan is the process where a person buys property before it is a built simply by looking at and visualizing the property from a plan. However I am writing to you about land and not necessarily a house. The points here would substantially cover both.

Here is a list of 10 things to search for or 10 questions to ask when you answer of any of those adverts.

  1. Does the owner or seller have a valid title to the land he is selling? Ask to see it.
  2. Has the Red copy of the survey been lodged at Survey Department? Ask for a copy of the survey
  3. If buying from land urchins (Omo Onile) ask for the Gazette evidencing the grant from government, else you risk buying a property that has been reserved for public use.
  4. Even area has what it has been zoned for. Make sure that the physical plan of government for the area is conducive for what you want to use the land for. Don’t buy land meant for industrial purposes in a residential area. Your development won’t be approved.
  5. When buying a house off the plan, ensure that you see the title of the seller to the land. Even though he may not have a legal title he must be able to show has equitable title
  6. Make sure that all covenants on the land have either been exhausted or the seller explains how you and the other buyers will share liability on the land
  7. Ask yourself if the rate of appreciation of value n the area is commensurate with what you plan for the property especially if you plan to make it a short term investment
  8. What are the risks? The land you think you are paying for may not be what you are offered after you have competed payment. If a developed house, they may fail to deliver within the time frame promised
  9. You may not been able to choose your neighbours and if you all live within an estate then you will have a lot of joint faculties, so ensure that you are satisfied with the arrangements made.
  10. Above all get a contract, listing all you agree so that the developer will not renege after collecting your money.

I am sisi lawyer and I aim to make legal issues easy to understand

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