Buying a property in Abuja is an amazing thing. The city is one of the best in Nigeria as well as in West Africa. Amazing roads, security, you get to have top government officials as neighbours.
Aside from that, you get to reside in the seat of power of one of the most powerful African countries on the planet.
These are nice reasons to want to buy a property in Abuja but like buying property and land anywhere else, you have to be wise when doing so.
Like any other action being carried out, there are certain things you must consider when buying a property in Abuja. In this article, you will learn 4 main factors to consider before buying a property in Abuja.
1. The Land Owner:
This might seem simple or trivial but, it is not. Every landed property in Abuja is owned by the federal government which in return, is managed by the FCT Minister.
The FCT Minister runs the management of these lands through two agencies; Federal Capital Development Agency (FCDA) and Abuja Geographic Development Agency (FGIS). These are the agencies you go to for any issues concerning land matters in Abuja.
Also, note that there are different types of land in Abuja: Government-owned Land and Private owned land. Under the government-owned lands, we had lands called area council lands; which were under the jurisdiction and management of the Area council heads (in other states, you have local governments, in Abuja, you have area councils) until it was all allocated back to the FCT Minister.
Therefore, no Area Council Chairman can sell a government owned land to you.
As For government-owned lands, transactions are done through the AGIS; verification on its nature (for sale or not) and for private, you get to transact with the private individual but still consulting with the AGIS to make sure the land information given is correct.
However, trying to purchase a government-owned property can be a lot of trouble so, people usually prefer to go for private-owned lands; buying these ones happen faster and with less stress.
Bottom line, know who owns the land you are buying.
2. Nature of the Property and Its Environment:
It is one thing to want to buy a property in Abuja and another to find one that meets your needs. I am sure when buying, you have certain requirements in mind. If you do not, you should!
Where it is? Is it in an area that meets your standards? Is it as big as they say on the documents and advertisements? Is it encroaching on another person’s land or are you keeping to your land boundaries as you should? Is it right for what you want to buy it for; some people buy a land to farm and some, for event hosting, building of residential houses etc. these are questions you should ask yourself.
Most importantly, there is something you should note: the FCDA has designed a master plan for Abuja; determining which structures should come at certain places. When buying a land or property in Abuja, you MUST check with the AGIS to ensure that the property you are buying and what you hope to use it for fall in line with the plan of FCDA for Abuja if not, let us just say, you will not be compensated for the destruction of your property.
So, when purchasing a property, ensure that the property meets your required standards as well as that of the federal government, you do not fall into trouble with the government one day or later discover your property is encroaching on another person’s property.
But ‘how do I know when I am encroaching on some else’ property, you might ask. A Surveyor can help you with that; checking to make sure you are only on your property and not encroaching on another person’s own.
3. Land Documents Validity:
These are the papers that will give you legal right over the property. If the seller has the original copy of these documents, then He/She has the rights to sell the property to you. I am talking about documents like:
- Certificate of Occupancy
- Power of Attorney
- Deed of Assignment/Conveyance
when buying a property in Abuja, this is one of the ways you can use to make sure you are dealing with the legitimate owner of the land or the legit ‘house for sale’ agent authorized by the legitimate owner to sell the land.
You have to ensure that you are not being swindled (Abuja is not void of thieves and Fraudulent people). How do you know if the person has legitimate right to sell the property? Land documents!
However, if you cannot tell if these are real or fake, it is best to employ the skills of a legitimate and certified Lawyer who knows what they are doing and can verify the documents presented. You can also employ the help of the AGIS to know if the plot of land you are buying is genuinely owned by the claimer as well as confirm and if it comes with any other issues you should know about (every property, especially land, is documented with the AGIS).
4. Due Legal Check:
like in the rest of the world, there are a lot of things that could go wrong when buying a property in Abuja.
Someone could be selling you a property that is not theirs or a property that is still undergoing litigation. We call that a defective property. You could fall into this trap if you do not do due legal check on your property before the final purchase.
However, a good lawyer will be able to ensure that the property you are about to buy is free of legal issues with the government or any private individuals.
As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider when buying a property in Abuja.
You find a property or land in Abuja that you have so much interest in? do not be in a hurry to become its new owner; do your due diligence first.
Ensure the property is privately owned and if it is for the government, follow the due process for a purchase.
Also, ensure the seller is legitimate; be it the property owner (it is best to deal directly with the owner of the property) or the ‘house for sale’ agent as well as the documents presented. Do not spare cash, employ experts Surveyors and Lawyers to help guide and advise you in the process.
All in all, ensure you do not buy a property you will regret later on.