Five necessities before buying land

A lot of people have miscalculated the property market by making transactions without following the right procedures. Some do it out of sheer ignorance while others simply don’t pay attention to those little details that matter. Because of the nature of real estate, it involves high transaction costs therefore it needs time to make it work for you. But before you let your money change hands for a particular property, take your time and be sure you are making the right decision from an informed point of view. Be smart as you go into the real estate market to avoid any regret. The following simple steps can make a difference in your preparation for a property transaction.

Site inspection

Avoid buying what you do not see physically never seal a land transaction without making the initiative to visit the site. Simply do not make an office transaction basing on descriptions before satisfying yourself with a site visit. During your site inspection, find out the exact location of the property, the neighbourhood and other aspects of the place that is likely to be your new home. Things such as the crime rate, access roads and access to social amenities can only be ascertained with a site visit.
To get such information, talk to local leaders and immediate neighbours to give you their view on the status of the plot and the area at large, they can offer you helpful information. It is aisable to make another inspection without the seller to avoid cases of compulsive purchases and get the true picture of the property. Some people can’t offer full information in the presence of the seller for fear of offending them. They feel shy to reveal some information but they open up in their absence. It helps you to weigh your investment decision.

Boundary opening

It is essential to open the boundaries of a plot before buying it. This is done by a land surveyor. According to Fred Tegule a registered surveyor with Institution of Surveyors of Uganda (ISU) and Surveyors Registration Board (SRB), boundary opening means the process of showing the land owner where his land is, where it passes and locating the existing corner mark stones of the plot. This is done using a land title to guide the process. “Boundary opening helps to confirm whether the information on the land title is what is on the ground. It reveals the actual size of the land and whether the land is free from any encroachments on ground,” Tegule explains.
He adds that if the land is developed, boundary opening helps to find out whether the developments lie within the plot boundaries.
The surveyor further notes that before buying a property, “engage a surveyor to give you full information about the plot. He avails you with a full boundary opening report containing his findings. However, for a boundary opening report to carry more weight it must be signed and bear a stamp of a registered land surveyor.”

Engage your lawyer

Before you close that deal, engage your lawyer to help you with the legal issues pertaining to the acquisition of the property.
Denis Obbo, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development says the lawyer should also guide you through the transfer process and get you on the right side of the law. The sale agreement should be signed with the guidance of your lawyer and so should the transfer process.
The above steps can give you full value for your transaction and help you avoid fraudsters if applied appropriately.
However, always avoid rushed transactions, since the property market involves a lot of money, it needs time to make it work for you. Always take your time before sealing the deal.

Engage a valuer

It’s aisable to engage a valuer before you make a purchase in the property market. The valuer guides you on the market value of the property and this prevents you from buying above the market price without your knowledge. This further guides you on what bid to place for that particular property. Quite often, properties have been inflated to unrealistic values out of buyers ignorance.
However, a valuer can rescue the situation to get you real value for your money. Information is a key factor in the property market especially about property prices. Valuers have the required skills and information to attach appropriate value to property after a thorough research of the property market. They give a reliable opinion of value which helps you make an informed decision for that purchase.

Title search

According to Denis Obbo, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development, a title search is a request for details of registered land in terms of ownership, description of the land, any limitations or restrictions on the land and encumbrances on the same piece of land. He says the only place that can provide this information is the office of titles which is also the department of registration.
Obbo adds that a title search is carried out through a written request for a search in the office of titles giving a description of the land. “If it is Mailo land, the applicant is required to give the county, block number and plot number. For a Leasehold title, the applicant should provide the Leasehold Register Volume and Folio number where as for a Freehold, one is required to provide the Freehold Register Volume and Folio number.”
He aises that before you buy that piece of land carry out a title search to get the particulars of the land. “It also reveals whether the land is free from any encumbrances such as caveats and mortgages,” Obbo explains.
He adds that the cost of a title search is Shs10,000. “This money is paid to the bank after which you present the payment receipt. It takes between two to three days to get issued with a search letter which is signed and stamped by the registrar of Titles.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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