Buyers Guide

Purchasing your new home or investment property can be a complicated and sometimes frustrating experience, so here at Nigeria Property Hub, we provide buyers with independent and informed advice, to help you make the right decision.

Knowledge is key to successful completions so we have provided you with a complete guide to the buying process.

  • As the property market moves rapidly, it is sometimes difficult to judge if the price asked for a property is realistic or not. It is therefore wise to check the price against similar recently sold properties in the vicinity with other local agents. If possible it is prudent to view the property with someone like your builder and find out what or if work needs to be carried out to improve the condition of the property. It is also wise to find out how much any remedial work would cost should it be required and how this could impact the asking price. We would also advise checking to see if there are other similar properties currently listed and how long they’ve been on the market.
  • Once you get an idea about the property’s pricing in your preferred area, the next step is to assess your finances and work out how much you can afford. We have a mortgage calculator to assist you with this but we recommend you also visit either your current bank or speak to a professional mortgage advisor who can advise you on a variety of different mortgages to suit you and your budget.
  • Once your mortgage is in principal agreed, along with your deposit, you are ready to go house hunting in earnest.
  • Take time to fully read the property description, including details of room sizes, total sq. Ft/Mt area, garden and parking allocation attached to the property. Check to see if any part of the property is in sharing zone i.e. shared driveway, right-of-way, common part / way property or public footpath.
  • Once you have found a property that fits your criteria and you are happy to proceed, it is time to put in an offer. There may be a period of negotiation at this point as even if you have put in the highest offer, the vendor may have a chain above him that requires a different timescale to your own and a lower cash sale may be preferable due to speed or maybe they are willing to wait for a higher price to enable them to buy a specific property. This can be an extremely frustrating time for buyer but the vendor’s agent will negotiate with all parties to reach an agreeable sale that suits all parties.
  • Once an offer has been accepted, the vendors agent must remove the property from all property portals and websites or it should be displayed as a under offer or sold (STC). You must also then pay a holding deposit to ensure the property isn’t sold to someone else and to show that you are serious about proceeding with the purchase.
  • You must then arrange for a survey and finalise your mortgage arrangements plus appoint a conveyancing practitioner or solicitor. This must be done within the agreed terms of sale timescale or you risk forfeiting your holding deposit.

To help you understand the terms used, please find below our Jargon Buster.

Applicant

A person who makes a formal application for mortgage or to purchase a property. Applicants can also be in group; for example a couple or a family where everyone is working and taking out a mortgage or property in joint names.

Mortgage

A mortgage is a legal agreement by which a bank, building society, etc. lends money at interest in exchange for taking title of the debtor’s property, with the condition that the conveyance of title becomes void upon the payment of the debt.

In simple terms a mortgage is a legal agreement in which a person borrows money to buy property (such as a house) and pays back the money over a period of years.

Building Survey

A full inspection of the property, conducted by a chartered surveyor, who will write a detailed report setting out the soundness of a property and any property defects. Suitable for any house, particularly older properties and those that have been poorly maintained as well as properties that have been extensively altered or extended, or any property due to be altered or extended.

Buildings Insurance

Building insurance is purchased to protect owners from financial risks due to loss or damage to physical structures that you own. Three common types of building insurance are part of insurance packages purchased by home owners, landlords and business owners. This coverage category protects against total loss from natural disasters, as well as payments for certain types of damage repairs. Definitions of buildings insurance are generally the same and to define a building this means, for insurance purposes, the actual structure, the foundations, the walls, floors, roof, windows, plumbing, fixed electrical wiring and its decoration and permanent fixtures and fittings. Buildings insurance could also cover fitted kitchen units, fitted bedroom furniture, toilets and baths. Basically anything that is a fixture to the building is normally classed as within the buildings insurance cover. There are many different types of buildings insurance which is dependent on the type of construction and the actual use of the building.

Exchange of contracts

Exchanging of contracts is the final step in the house purchase process and occurs after a solicitor has carried out all the necessary searches and the contract terms and conditions have been agreed. Once each party has signed the contracts and they have been physically exchanged, they are legally binding. The contracts will include a completion date, which is the date that the property becomes acquired by the purchaser. At exchange of contracts, any deposit needed has to be paid and arrangements for building insurance must be made so that the property is insured from that day.

Joint Income

Meaning of joint income is to combined gross income of all earning members of a house. Individuals do not have to be related in anyways to be considered members of the same household. Joint income application can be made when all these members of a household who jointly ready to apply for credit. Household income is an important risk measure used by lenders for underwriting loans.

Maisonette

An apartment occupying two or more floors of a larger building and often having its own entrance from outside.

Title Deeds

A deed or document containing or representing evidence of ownership.

Title Insurance

An Insurance that covers the loss of an interest in a property due to legal defects and that is required if the property is under mortgage. Prior to the invention of title insurance, buyers in real estate transactions bore sole responsibility for ensuring the validity of the land title held by the seller. If the title were later deemed invalid or found to be fraudulent, the buyer will lose their investment.