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Investing in real estate business?

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By Tony Oji

If there is any business in Nigeria that is truly lucrative and extremely profitable, it has to be real estate. Most of the top billionaires in Nigeria are real estate investors. The business is a money spinner to the highest level. It is currently booming and people are making millions in it.

The rapid population growth rate in Nigeria makes the business very lucrative as daily people are looking for houses to rent or build a home of their own.

One thing very good about real estate business in Nigeria is that the investment opportunity is so diverse that there seems to be something for everyone in it. Anyone who wishes to invest can do so, whether he has thousands or billions of naira. One can even invest without a dime in the pocket. Let us see how it works.

The Wikipedia also defines real estate as the profession of buying, selling, or renting land, buildings, or housing. So, it is all-encompassing such that any of the areas one wishes to specialise in, gives value to what one desires and aspire as far property business investment is concerned.

In Anambra state, for instance, almost all the cities have high market values in landed property as well as interesting buyers.
The capital city, Awka, has many estates owned by government and individuals. Corporate-owned properties are not many but they rather invest in neighbouring communities for farming purposes both in large and small scale as the case may be.

Besides, government-owned estates like Oganiru Estate, Ahocol Phases 1 & 2, Udoka Housing Estate, Ngozika Housing Estate 1 & 2, Think Home Estate, Savanna Estate, Rockland Estate, etc. These estates, usually do not have houses of more than one-storey building either as a duplex or bungalow according to the specification and approval by the Anambra State Housing Development Corporation (ASHDC).

An aspiring builder must have an allocation paper for the piece of land. This ascertains ownership of the land and proper identification. A letter of acceptance will follow with a compulsory fee a fencing permit and development levy before such a person can commence work on the site with a building design.

The allocated piece of land usually comes measures 120ft by 100ft in Anambra state while individual owned property measure 100ft by 50ft. Third party, property merchants play a part and earn hugely in this business. The plots of land go for between 1 and 3 million naira, with civil servants allowed payment in instalments through deduction from salary.

House rents, as would be expected, vary from in parts of the cities with the rent in locations known as government reserved area (GRA), as high as N400,000 to N1.2 million naira.

Also, rent in high density areas in Awka town goes for 250,000 to 350,000 per a three-bedroom flat. Renting a flat in a well-built estate with all the required or needed amenities, means breaking the bank.

That is why everybody appears to queue up to acquire, at least, a plot of land from the government or individuals in the outskirts of Awka for development just to avoid the huge rents.

The issue of percentage now is none negotiable as it hinges on 10 percent no matter the nature of business except for the ones in rural area that can go for 5 percent, usually for landed properties in the interior areas that cost less than one million naira.

For, a self-contained room, which usually have one toilet, one bathroom, kitchen, the rent is between 80,000 to 170,000 in Awka, especially at the student’s vicinity like the temporary site, Okpuno, Ifite-Awka, Arroma, Amudo and Secretariat Road. These are areas that are easily accessible all day and do not have transportation problem.

Again, shops within these above-mentioned areas are hard to acquire because they are known as business points and their prices are on the high side.

John Paulson, investor and multi-billionaire, said, “If you don’t own a home, buy one. If you own a home, buy another one. If you own two homes, buy a third. And, lend your relatives the money to buy a home.” With little diligence and prudence, you can confidently and successfully start your own real estate business and grow with time.

Meanwhile, real estate business is very profitable and real estate investment is one of the best investments any serious-minded investor must look into. If you do not have enough, it is important that you seek investors. You can look for equity investors that can give you enough leverage at the start and accelerate growth.

Another strategy, which is simple but costly, is that one can buy a property in a good location, develop it into commercial structures or luxury apartments, and sell for a higher sum. Such business requires much more investments than other forms of real estate business but it can yield a significantly larger profit.

One more thing: real estate requires a lion heart because it is equally full of risks and danger, especially for green horns who are not conversant with the tenets of the business.

With a good attorney, well established property agent or merchant for guidance and advice to avoid fraudsters, dupes and dangerous land speculators one can fly. Government-allocated property is safer, well identified and, though a little bit inconveniencing, it is risk-free, less expensive and profitable.











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