Many Nigerians living abroad love to invest in Nigeria but sometimes they go about it the wrong way and end up making grave mistakes. A 2018 report shows that diaspora flows into Nigeria totaled $23.63 billion, representing 6.1% of Nigeria’s GDP. This shows that many Nigerians in the diaspora may have the purchasing power to buy properties in Nigeria. Still, no one wants to lose his/her hard-earned resources or income to wrong investments or fraudsters.
I once read a story about a US-based Nigerian man who invested a huge sum of N787 Million in a landed property at Sangotedo in Lagos State and was presented with a fake document for the land. This kind of mistake can easily be avoidable once the investor is well equipped with the right information and knowledge.
Knowing and being able to avoid these mistakes can save one from the headaches and stress that spring from trying to recover your lost fund. Let’s talk about these mistakes:
This has been one of the setbacks many diasporas have. Some of them say, “I’ll invest when I’m back in Nigeria” but they don’t remember that real estate doesn’t wait for anyone. For instance, in Ibeju Lekki in Lagos State, the selling price of the most landed property has been appreciated by 20% – 30% for the past 5 years and is still appreciating because of the ongoing development in the area.
With the rate at which properties appreciate, especially in developing or developed areas, a minute delay can make one purchase properties at a higher cost than it should be. For instance, as of 2016, a plot at Amen Estate Phase 2 was selling for N10m. Then, in 2018, it was selling for N12m but right now, it’s selling for N25m. So, if there’s any Nigerian in the diaspora who invested in 2016 when it was sold for N10m, rather than wait anytime he/she comes to Nigeria to invest in the property, the person must have saved the additional cost over these years. Knowing the right time to invest in a property is a big deal.
Investing Out of Emotion
It’s difficult not to let your heart rule your head when purchasing an investment property; there are lots of people, especially those living outside Nigeria, who invest because they love to and not necessarily because they need to invest in it or it’s good for them. Some Nigerians in the diaspora may also invest in properties they know nothing about or didn’t do their research on out of fear of missing out, or simply because a friend or family member introduced them to it. This can be a costly mistake.
There’s nothing wrong with investing in a property introduced to you by a friend or family, however, ensure you do thorough research on the product and make sure it’s worth spending on. Have in-depth knowledge of whatever you want to purchase or invest in, including the specific location, the property valuation, potentials, land documents/title, and so on.
It’s fine to have your relative or friends inspect the property you want to invest in, however, don’t let them make the final conclusion for you – many don’t have a personal interest in it and may not make the right decision.
Don’t purchase a property because you feel like, sometimes, this feeling is borne out of anxiety or fear. Take your time (but don’t procrastinate) to research the property you want to invest in, seek expert advice and make the right decision.
What’s the Best Way to Go About it?
Here’s the best great strategy for Nigerian’s living abroad to buy their property without physical inspection:
- Employ the services of a professional like a lawyer or well-trusted realtor to inspect the place with your representative at a convenient time.
- Instruct them to go live (I mean a live video record) so you can see the property with them. Let them also show you where the property is located, the neighborhood, and the landmarks.
- Choose the desired plot where you’ll be allocated together with your realtor via the live video.
- Proceed with the land document but make sure that the land/property document has been duly verified and authorized by the government. This should be done by a professional lawyer – not just your family or friend.
- Proceed with the payment to the official payment channel of the real estate company. It’s not advisable to make payment through your relative except on the ground of total trust.
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