Lagos is the fastest economical growing city and the most populous city in Africa. The real estate industry in Lagos is doing very good and almost everybody is jumping into it. Apart from being a trending business in Lagos, real estate is also one of the most reliable businesses anyone with patience can invest in.
The traditional way of buying land from Omoniles and rushing to build houses anywhere in Lagos is gradually fading away as many more people are now opting for land inside estates because it guarantees more security with better structures.
Buying land inside an estate has a lot of advantages especially when you are buying in Lagos. Many known risks individuals face while buying land outside estates are now being confronted by real estate companies. Usually, buying a land from Omoniles in Lagos is a 50/50 chance, you may end up owning the land or losing it to land dispute or related challenges. There are also the dreaded omonile issues that almost all prospective land buyers in Lagos are always concerned about. These issues include paying different charges at different time under threat from families you bought land from; you pay a fee when you are fencing the land, you pay a fee when you want to put gate, you pay a fee at the foundation level of your house, you pay a fee at the decking point, you pay a fee at the roofing point, you pay a fee during plastering, another fee during painting, more fees when you want to move into your house. You keep paying different fees that come with insane threats.
Besides Omonile threats, you will also struggle to get a governor’s consent or C of O for your land (if it does not already have one) and before you can get a C of O, you must first get Excision and Gazette for the land. Without securing these land titles, someone including the government can claim the property any day and if the person secures the C of O of the land before you, you could lose your property to the person with a C of O (even if you have a structure on the land already) as such person(s) would get the declaration from the court most times as the lawful owner of the land.
If that is not the case, Government can reclaim the land without compensation. In some cases, if you have built something on the land, you may be asked to pay a fee for the demolition of your structure.
There are so many challenges one might face when it comes to buying a land in Lagos or anywhere else in Nigeria. Individuals are now opting for land inside trusted estates to avoid losing their land and their money in future. Some estate companies may take longer time to conduct physical allocation but that doesn’t mean the plot(s) of land won’t be physically allocated to the owner.
Estate company takes majority of the risks to ensure buyers investment with them is secured. Buying land inside an estate is safe because nobody will come to threaten you with different charges at different time and your land documents will be secured by the estate’s company. It is the duty of the company that owns the estate you buy from to secure Excision, Gazette, Governor’s consent or C of O for the land. It is also the duty of the company to protect the land from land grabbers(Omoniles). All the issues you would face buying land from family would be taken care by the real estate company that owns the estate one buys into.
Land bought from an estate is more secured than the ones bought outside an estate. Your land can not be resold without your consent. You wont be scared of 419ners or anyone reselling your land as all transactions must be done with the company that owns the estate and during the process, the original data of the land owner will be pulled out from the company’s system. Land or property owner will be contacted directly and a letter of authorization will be required from them.
Reselling land inside an estate is not as easy and simple as lands outside estate, due process must be followed before the company can grant change of ownership unlike land outside an estate that can be sold by wrong seller to more than one buyer.
Land bought from an estate may tend to enjoy better roads and drainage system, neatly maintained streets and adequate security than landed properties bought outside an estate. When land is bought outside an estate, the streets might not be tarred in the next 30 years, security challenges might be unattended to, electrification issues might never have a solution or alternative too. It is filled with different challenges that most people will not be willing to take. In Nigeria, it is easier for a camel to pass through an eye of a needle than finding one residential street outside an estate that is always cleaned and maintained. Don’t forget, environment is the biggest factor in changing one’s life. An environment children grow up in very crucial part of their upbringing as it contributes majorly to their behaviors.
Estate has a way it creates an Eco-friendly environment. The Nigerian Urban and Regional Town Planning Act are not fully observed in some areas of most Nigerian cities. In Lagos, the Lekki phase 1 extensions have a lot of poorly planned building arrangements. You can almost tell that some areas were planned by indigenous settlers that sold lands to developers. So in a country where the less intellectuals are leading the intellectuals, you may need to opt for an estate to have a better structured environment.
Residents in estates are by far more coordinated unlike those residing outside estates. Sometimes, people living outside an estate spend more than people living in an estate. There is this false claim that estates will keep billing home owners with service charges to a point it would seem as if one is a tenant in their own house. Well this is not always true as there are common bills everyone needs to pay to live a better life. These bills include security fee, environmental maintenance and electricity bills.
The bills are shared among property owners in the estate, depending on their usage. Some estate independently supply 24 hours electricity. The total bill for yearly electricity that lasts 24hours daily might go as high as N350,000 in a year if government ever provides that. Lots of Nigerians including the poor are currently spending between N180,000 to N800,000 per year on fuel to power their generators. To have clean streets and drainage, 247 security personnel, gardeners, park maintenance and more would cost less in an estate community because the bills are shared. If solely handled by individual outside an estate, it would cost 10x more expensive than that of an estate. The only difference is, in an estate, it is a compulsory bill while outside estate, it is optional.
Estates are well organized and planned, they offer very calm and peaceful environment. Residential and commercial land users are well planned in such a way that a church, mosque or bar will not be found in the residential area of the estate.