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Important Things to Know when Buying Land for Building your Dream House

Deciding to build your new house from the scratch is a great idea. It will give you the opportunity to create a design and specifications that suit your needs. But apart from having a great design, how the final product turns out, the suitability of the house to your needs, and how much you enjoy the house are all dependent on the site you choose. It goes without saying that your home may turn out to be the biggest investment of your life. So it must pay off.

Irrespective of the location where you are planning your home, be it the city, suburbs, or in the countryside, you must investigate the area. Tour the neighbourhood, examine and evaluate the traffic and noise; employ the services of an expert to check the suitability of the soil type, the topography of the land, and the climatic features to take into account. Also, review road access whether the prospective location is within your budget.

Factors and Checklist for Buying a Land

You should consider the following factors thoroughly before buying a land to build a home.

  • Location of the land
  • Remember that you are not just building a home for yourself but for your family to live in for the foreseeable future. So, you must settle for a location that is not just comfortable but also convenient, safe and within your budget.

    A comfortable location is one that suits your lifestyle. Try to list out the things you need and those you must avoid. For example, some people are comfortable staying in areas where there are hustle and bustle, huge traffic, many occupants and noise while other like to be close to nature.

    A convenient location, on the other hand, is one that makes it easy for you to move in and out without hitches and has all the things you need nearby. For a location to be convenient for you and your family, it should at least have free flow of traffic, good schools for your children, places where you can exercise your hobbies and have easy access to where you get your necessaries such as parks, supermarkets, hospitals, restaurants, petrol stations, and others.

    Similarly, a safe location isn’t that easy to define but one can discover how safe a place is by considering the social issues and the rates of crime that exist there. These can paint a clear picture of how safe a neighbourhood is.

    Size, shape and orientation of the land

    Before putting your money on a land, consider its size, shape, orientation and slope. Ensure it is suitable for the size and kind of design you are planning to erect and the opportunities for solar access are appropriate to the climate. For example, will the size of your house be proportionate to the size of the land? Is it possible to view other structures from the land? Is there a particular architectural style favoured in the location? If there is, will your design fit the context of the neighbourhood? Will there be enough space for the features you want? Is the frontage wide enough for a big garage to accommodate your car(s)? On orientation, which direction does the land face? This is important as orientation has direct impact on design features such as windows.

    Type of soil on the land

    The type of soil will determine the type of slab to lay on the land. This will guide against cracking in the future. You should not choose a land without getting a professional to conduct a soil test as soil interaction with water can result in a lot of problems. If the land is located in an approved development, the developers in charge must have done environmental testing. However, if the land is located in a rural area or an area that has not been inhabited for a long time, you much check for soil contamination or polluted groundwater as this may create health hazards for you and your family later in the future.

    Utilities and services available in the area

    If your proposed land is located in masterplanned estates that have centralized systems, make sure to check if there are hidden charges for services like water supply, sewer, electricity, telephone, cable service, etc. This will help you to know how to prepare in case individual septic and water systems are not allowed.

    However, if you are allowed to build personal septic and water systems, ensure you find out the depth allowed and determine the difficulty of digging. More so, ensure there are access roads, and discover the parking space allowed for family, guests and delivery trucks.


    Aside the aforementioned factors, you need to find out the section of your land that others have right to use, as well as telephone poles and underground pipes if there are any. This is particularly important if your proposed land is located in a regulated area like an estate. Knowing and understanding the easements that exist on the land will help guide against rancor, law suits and give you an insight into how you should design your home.

    Guidelines and restrictions

    In Nigeria particularly, you must be careful where and how you purchase land. Many people purchased land only to realize later that the same land had been sold to several people or that the area had marked for a purpose by the government. Hence, it is good to employ the service of a good lawyer who will help obtain the necessary permits and guide you to avoid unsavory stories in future. You should also consider getting Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).

    Moreover, some masterplanned locations have restrictions that must be adhered to in order to create uniformity. These restrictions range from house size, privacy measures, landscape choices, and colour.

Checking these factors and more will prevent unforeseen circumstances that may arise in any form in future. It will also give you peace of mind and your family will also enjoy the house when you are no more.

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