9 Things To Watch Out For When Buying Land in Lagos

9 Things To Watch Out For When Buying Land in Lagos


The time has come. You have found a land within your budget that you like. You already imagine your future home on it. Or, if on the other hand, land banking is your goal, you probably are calculating your ROI already.

Yeah, at Hybrid LandTech, we feel it’s never too early to do your ROI mathematics!

But wait…

Without wanting to spoil your joy, we always advise you to check the following points before making a financial commitment!

But before we continue, check out our YouTube video which talks about the topic. Remember to subscribe to it.

9 Tips for Buying Land in Lagos

1. Check the site’s environment

Always inspect your land first-hand!

You have to take a look at the environment in situ. Check for the possible presence of pollutants. If it’s a residential plot, you don’t want poultry, a company releasing toxic wastes, or a noisy mosque or church just by your proposed site.

Going to knock on the door of your future neighbor can also be a good thing. This will allow you to know if several people have made an offer on the land before retracting (problem of soil, constructability, etc.).

There are a few tools we like to use at Hybrid LandTech – Google Earth from the Google Play Store or Maps from Apple (which now offers a 3D view), allowing you to clearly identify neighboring plots.

The advantage is you will see everything that the fences hide from you! You will also be able to identify the different possibilities of access to your land.

2. Check the possible pollution of the site

Obviously, you don’t want to buy polluted land and all its health hazard. When talking about polluted land, I mean, properties sited on or around noise pollution or physical pollution.

There are some land spaces offered in Lagos that you can also call a landfill (active or abandoned). We don’t sell that though. It’s greedy, unethical, and not ecologically friendly.

Be aware that the cost of depolluting land can be very high. And you may not be able to get back all of your acquisition fees from the seller should you want a refund!

Most real estate companies will only offer you up to 65% of your payment back due to the expended fees of processing. So, make sure you inspect your land first-hand and ensure it’s a place you can live in.

3. Ensure the land is not FLOODABLE

This one is a no-brainer!

It is obviously advisable to check if your land is in an area known to be unfloodable if there’s anything like that.

In short, all you have to do is go to the site and see if your land is in a flood zone. If this is the case, you can either give up on your project or anticipate an additional cost of construction (construction on floors, stilts, etc.).

You can also be picky and find out if global warming will not make your site exposed to rising waters. So, you may want to avoid coastal areas.

4. Check constructability

To check if your land is constructible, you have to apply for a planning permit from your state. The office in charge of that in Lagos is the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA). They will reject or approve your request and deliver it to you within 28 days.

5. Know if the land can accommodate your project

Your architect will analyze the area in which your land is located and you will have the criteria to be respected for any construction.

These criteria include the maximum footprint of the construction (ex: 10% or 100m2 for a plot of 1000m2), and the maximum floor area (thus including the floor) which will give you the maximum size of the construction.

You will be able to know the maximum height of your construction and many other elements.

6. Check the nature of THE SOIL

Greenville Estate, Epe

This is my 6th point but that does not mean that it is unimportant. The nature of the soil is essential because it determines the type of construction and the cost of construction.

Red clay soil will require specific foundations to deal with cases of drought. Rock, will require a rock breaker and therefore an additional cost…

To know the nature of the soil, you can talk to your neighbors or a professional. List the type of trees or plants, and the presence of stones…

But the best thing is to carry out a soil test. Its cost varies from ₦100 to ₦200 thousand in Lagos. It’s a small investment that can save you a lot of money and hassle!

7. Check biodiversity

These data are available on the portal of the state you’re buying a property in. For example, Lagos property prospects or owners can find information on the portal of the Lagos State Parks and Gardens.

This can give you an idea of the areas of interest and protections near you. You will thus be able to know if your land is near a protected biotope, a National Park, or even a so-called remarkable nature area.

This can have an impact on the price of the land…and on the possibilities of construction. You are also more likely to have an environmental association appealing against your building permit…

8. Ask about the land property documents

Make sure the property documents are not fake. To be sure, you may need to involve a legal professional here. Remember that over 500,000 land scam occurs annually in Lagos and Ogun States alone. 

And when talking about the price, confirm if the land payment covers the land documents or if that will be a separate commitment. Land documents in Nigeria consist of:

  • Deed of assignments
  • Certificate of occupancy (C of O)
  • Survey plan
  • Excision
  • Receipt
  • Governor’s Consent.
survey document for Greenville by Hybrid Landtech
What a survey document should look like

Note that the documents required for buying land listed above are in order of importance. Most real estate companies may help you with the most important of the above and charge you a separate fee.

Land document fees charged by real estate companies in Nigeria range from ₦800 thousand to millions of Naira depending on the value and size of the property.

9. Check the price

In some areas where there is little land available, it can be difficult to have an idea of the true value of an estate.

Feel free to do an online comparison. Find out how much Hybrid LandTech sells a plot in Greenville Estate compared to other REPUTABLE brands (note the caps) selling land in Epe for example. But have it at the back of your mind that, what you see first-hand is incomparable to what’s seen online. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush!