Buying buildable land in Mauritius

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A project to build a house depends, of course, on the acquisition of land. However, this cannot be done without giving it some thought and going through a process. The choice of the right residential land to build your villa is a decision that requires careful consideration for your real estate project. The ideal plot of land should meet a number of criteria related to its status to ensure you will be able to build on it. There are essential steps to take when embarking in the acquisition of land successfully.

Choosing the right ground

To begin with, the first thing to do is to obtain the title deed from the seller, in order to verify that he is truly the owner and in what legal form (in his personal name, as a couple, under the name of a SPV such as a company or a société, etc.).

The title deed will also show you the exact size of the plot in m2 so you don’t rely on approximate measurements communicated to you at any stage. The title deed would also reveal the status of the land : whether it is residential or agricultural or any other specific status. If the title deed does not mention it, it will be important for you to inquire about it as this will not only affect the selling price but also your ability to obtain building permits later on.

Secondly, other details need to be taken into account, such as the accessibility of the plot, its orientation and its views. These elements will allow the buyer to visualize the ideal positioning of the future house. Its shape is also important, as this will influence the design of the plans of the house. Also look at the neighbourhood and potential nuisance sources so you don’t have any nasty surprises in the future.

The steps of field verification

The first point to check is the survey of the land. Read through the land survey report that is available, but be careful not to rely too much on it, especially if it was done a long time ago. Indeed, over the years, what is written in the survey report may not be what is found in reality. A recent survey report is therefore very important, with a land registry number assigned to the plot (Parcel Identification Number).

It is also important, if you are going to build your house there, that the land is serviced, that is, it has a connection to electricity, water and telephone networks. If this is not the case, the connection work may result in additional expenses the buyer will have to bear.

It is necessary to check whether the value of the land is not totally overvalued in relation to the ongoing market prices. The advice of a professional real estate agent with expertise in this area is essential. A certified appraiser will also be able to assess its real value based on the latest sales in the region. With the help of experts such as an engineer, an architect and a surveyor, it is then advisable to check the condition of the land and its topography in relation to the specific construction project you have. This might add a few costs to your total project, but it is well worth it. The results can eventually help you to negotiate the price of the land.

Buying the land

Once there is agreement on the property and its price, both parties move on to signing a pre-contract (which may take the form of a promise of sale or an option to purchase) which will set the parameters of the signing of the sale. A real estate agent must be able to guide you and accompany you through all these steps. The services of a notary are important at this stage to guarantee the validity of such an agreement and make sure that all conditions are listed in the document. A deadline is set in this pre-sale contract for the final signing of the deed of sale, with potentially conditions attached to it, before the signing of the deed of sale can actually happen.

The notary costs are to be borne by the buyer when buying a piece of land. The notary is chosen by the buyer, and he has the responsibility to verify the title deed of the property with the Registrar and all the documents of the seller to confirm full ownership and also if the property has any sureties on it. After the signing of the authentic deed, he will have a few days to register the sale with the Registration Office and pay the transfer fees payable by both the seller and the buyer that he would have collected from the parties at the signing of the deed of sale.