Protect Your Investment and Your Family’s Future 

While the Nigerian Real Estate market presents immense potential for profitability, it is crucial to recognize the hidden hazards that accompany this journey. Behind the glossy brochures, captivating advertisements, and promising returns, lie risks and pitfalls that, if not identified and navigated, can threaten the very foundation of your investment and pose a threat to the financial livelihood of your family. 

In the face of these sly hidden hazards, knowledge becomes your most powerful ally. By equipping yourself with a comprehensive understanding of the Nigerian Real Estate market, you can make informed decisions that mitigate risks and maximize the potential for profitability.  

In this article, we uncovered 4 treacherous gimmicks and loopholes that are prevalent in the market. The information here will empower you with the insights necessary to navigate the complexities of the Nigerian Real Estate maze, provide practical guidance, and shed light on the hidden dangers that may otherwise go unnoticed. 

 

HAZARD 1  

MISLEADING FLOOR PLANS: THE DEVIL IN THE DETAILS 

Floor plans play a crucial role in helping potential buyers understand the layout and dimensions of a property. However, it is essential to be aware of the deceptive practices employed by some developers when presenting floor plans. These manipulations can create an illusion of more space, better functionality, or even hide potential flaws. 

To avoid falling victim to misleading floor plans, you should take the following precautions: 

  • Request accurate measurements 
  • Visit the property 
  • Seek professional advice from a qualified architects or building inspector 
  • Request detailed specifications of the property  
  • Compare multiple floor plans of similar properties from different developers

It is essential to have a clear understanding of the property’s layout and dimensions to avoid unpleasant surprises after purchasing a new home. 

 

HAZARD 2  

QUALITY CONTROL CHALLENGES: THE SLOW POISON 

Ensuring quality control in the construction industry is a complex and multifaceted task, especially in rapidly growing cities like Lagos and Abuja. Unfortunately, the reality is that regulatory bodies and building authorities face significant challenges in effectively monitoring and enforcing construction standards. 

To navigate the murky waters of construction standards in Lagos, a comprehensive approach is necessary before making a purchase. This includes: 

  • Conduct thorough research on developers and builders before considering any property.  
  • If possible, visit construction sites before making a purchase decision 
  • Seek Recommendations and References from those who have bought in the past. 

 Remember, vigilance and due diligence are crucial when making one of the most significant investments of your life. 

 

HAZARD 3  

LAND DEGRADATION: WEAKENING FOUNDATIONS 

The consequences of land degradation on building foundations are significant. As the land becomes unstable, it cannot adequately support the weight of structures. This can result in cracks in walls, floors, and foundations, compromising the structural integrity of the building. Uneven settlement can also lead to misaligned doors and windows, difficulties with drainage systems, and a host of other issues that pose risks to residents’ safety and well-being. 

  It is crucial to be vigilant and informed to avoid purchasing homes that are threatened by the hidden dangers of land degradation. Here are some essential steps and considerations to help you make informed decisions: 

  • Hire a qualified and experienced building inspector or structural engineer to conduct a thorough assessment of the property  
  • Confirm that the property has the necessary building permits and approvals from the appropriate authorities.  
  • Only Work with reputable developers known for their commitment to quality construction practices and regulations.  
  • Engage the services of a qualified real estate attorney who specializes in property transactions.  

 

HAZARD 4  

LACK OF TRANSPARENCY: THE GREASED WHEEL OF DOOM 

Transparency is a fundamental pillar of any fair and accountable system. However, when it comes to buying a new home, transparency can sometimes remain elusive. The lack of transparency not only leaves you vulnerable to exploitation but also hinders your ability to make well-informed decisions.  

For instance, Mrs. Okafor, a widow looking for a secure and affordable home, fell victim to fraudsters. The supposed “developer”, using forged documents, sold her a property that had no business being sold. Mrs. Okafor faced the risk of losing her investment and becoming entangled in a legal battle. 

Being informed will help you recognize potential red flags and make more informed decisions. Lack of transparency may play out in the following ways: 

  • The developer or seller fails or delays in providing essential documents, including approved building plans, occupancy permits, and warranties for construction work or installed systems.  
  • The developer or seller creates a sense of urgency, emphasizing that the property is in high demand or that prices will increase rapidly, to force quick decision-making. 
  • The information provided by the developer or seller is inconsistent across different channels or changes frequently, raising doubts about their credibility and transparency.  
  • Irregular payment methods or requests for large cash payments outside of standard banking channels.  

 

TO CUT THE LONG STORY SHORT 

As a potential homebuyer, the simplest and easiest way to take a high jump over these dangers and hazards is to deal exclusively with seasoned developers with a track record of delivery and stellar reputation amongst customers. 

While the Nigerian Real Estate Market is sprawling with developers of different classes, portfolios, and reputations, promising you heaven and earth, remember, these red flags don’t necessarily indicate wrongdoing, but they should raise your awareness and prompt you to conduct more thorough due diligence and seek professional advice before deciding.