1. First, the buyer needs a clean and unencumbered title. This is ascertained by a title search or ownership enquiry to be conducted by your lawyer.   This is VERY fundamental.  Do not buy without it.
  2. Consider Location. This cannot be overemphasized. Really, since we have identified TITLE as the first factor, the second factor is location. The third factor is location. The fourth factor is location. That is just to tell you how important location is , among your criteria.  It often amazes me how some investors buy land in some clumsy locations and heap and dissipate valuable funds on gigantic structures on it and then expect rents or other returns comparable to what obtains in better locations.
  3. When you buy, ensure that the price of the land or building should make sense, especially as it relates to the location.
  4. What is the going rent for similar property in same location? This is one good way to appraise the investment sense in the purchase you are about to make. If you were to buy and place it for rent, can you recoup your investment in 10 years, 15 years or 20 years?
  5. If there is a building on the land, then the current structural condition of the building should be considered. Check out the state or condition of the structure (leaking roof, soaked walls, sinking building, collapsing pavement stones, etc) . Ask for the Building design. Ask for the Building Approval, etc.  What is the building to land ratio? In case, you are considering whether you can use the land more profitably after purchase, how much of the available land has been taken up by the building? Is there a parking space?
  6. Is the building currently occupied by tenants and If occupied, what are the details of the tenancies (including tenor, rents, etc) are. How easily can the existing tenants be managed or evicted.  If you intend to retain the tenants, then what is the profile of each of them? What business do they do or where do they work? Have they been paying their rents and other utility bills as at when due?
  7. What has been the compliance status on the property? Are there arrears of tenement rates/Land use charges or other taxes on the property? Are there arrears of utility bills (PHCN Bill, Water Rate, etc) on the property?