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What you Need to Know if You Want to Own a Home in Kenya
What you Need to Know if You Want to Own a Home in Kenya 1024 678 Migaa

What you Need to Know if You Want to Own a Home in Kenya

Property is a huge investment and one of the smartest moves one can make is owning a home. Homeownership has long-term financial ramifications, reason why the potential home-owner needs to make an informed decision before plunging in. 

The entire process of ownership can be daunting; it requires time and patience especially for a first-time homebuyer. So many things come into play, a reason many homeowners lookout for tips to ease the home-buying process. Before you venture in, here are tips that can help in your decision-making process of home-ownership.

Do your Research

Performing thorough research is the core of home-ownership. Finding a perfect home that meets your needs, desires, and preferences is like finding a diamond in the rough. Look at different homes, compare the prices and usability, talk to experts, read materials, your dream home is a hidden gem, find it!

Pro Tip: Do not settle! Neither should you rush. Take time and look for a house that is truly functional for you, whether it is a fully furnished apartment or a home that you are building from scratch.

Acquire Premium Residential Unit

If your home-ownership goal is to build the home from scratch, then the first step is to acquire a premium residential unit in a quaint location. This requires long-term planning and funds before commencement. Once you identify the property, involve the services of a lawyer to take care of the legal documents. Many Kenyans have been duped of their hard-earned money in the name of property buying. Be vigilant.

Pro Tip: For quality assurance, professional developers are recommended. Find one with a proven track record of quality work and testimonials that back up their work.

Make a Plan

One of the desires for people living in big cities is to eliminate rent payment from their list of expenses or bills. If building your own home is a long shot for you, then buying an apartment is a viable option. You may not need all the funds at once, you only need a working payment plan and you are good to go. 

Tip:  Work closely with your developer, lawyer, and financier, if any, from the onset until the property is legally in your name.

Owning a Home in Kenya - Tips

Hire the Services of a Viable Agent

A lot goes into home-ownership and several parties are involved before the deal is sealed and the property legally in your name. From insurance assessors to lawyers, agents, inspectors, and others. All these parties have a role to play in the decision-making process and a viable agent can coordinate all these processes for you. An agent acts as your advocate.

Sign a Contract

Before any transactions occur, make sure you sign a contract with the relevant parties. A contract is a protective measure, a shield against legal battles. The contract also gives room for the payment plan and negotiations for any problems you may encounter along the way. 

List Down your Top Amenities

Before shopping for a home, write down all the features and amenities you would like to have in your area of choice. List then from the most important to the least. Establishing your desires saves you time and protects you from buying a home on a whim, which you may regret later on. 

Tip: The main reason for buying a home should be value for your money.

The strongest and probably one of the most stable pillars of Kenya’s economy is real estate. Developers work overtime to meet the rising demand for quality and affordable housing. Real estate is an attractive investment and with the above tips, a potential home-owner can acquire premium property without a hustle.

10 Tips when Buying Land in Kenya
10 Tips when Buying Land in Kenya 1024 683 Migaa

10 Tips when Buying Land in Kenya

The land is valuable because it is an infinite asset, it appreciates over time and there is only so much available on this earth, hence the quote, “don’t wait to buy land, buy land and wait.” The value of land keeps appreciating because of the ever-increasing population thus attracting an upsurge in demand. With this in mind, many people get duped in the quest to buy land. Below are 10 tips to keep in mind when buying land in Kenya.

Identify the Property

The first step to purchasing land in Kenya is to identify the location coupled with the amenities that you would like to enjoy. The price of land also depends on the location; the closer the property is to a major town like Nairobi, the higher the price. So while considering the location of the property, also keep in mind what your budget is.

Perform a Thorough Search

Once you have identified the property you want to buy, you need to perform a search to figure out the true owner of the property to avoid being duped. If the seller is a company, a search will help you know who the true directors of the company are. You will also know if the land has any bank charge restriction or caveat. You will also know the right size of the land as captured in the land reports and if there is any rent payable to the government.

Organize a Site Visit

Site visits are an important part of the process of buying land. You need to know what you are buying, and not get into it blindly. Site visits also give you a chance to figure out if you like the property or not. And in the process, you may also get the chance to meet the seller in person. Actually, with a site visit, you may request to meet the owner if possible.

Know all the pitfalls before you indulge and safeguard your finances during purchase to avoid falling into endless court cases regarding a piece of land that you purchased.

Involve a Surveyor

Once you have identified and visited the site and are convinced about the property, you can hire the services of a land surveyor. Ensure you get a licensed surveyor to confirm the availability of the land and the right boundaries. Request the surveyor to get the survey map and confirm if the land truly exists on the map. A surveyor also confirms if the land parcel’s number exists. Survey maps, unlike title deeds, are not easy to fake.

Buying Land in Kenya - Land Surveyor

Verify the Documents

After the paramount land visit and survey, you can start the process of acquiring and verifying the necessary documents. Documents like the title deed and a survey map must be acquired from the registry. Avoid shortcuts and second-hand sources lest you get duped. Purchase of land is where most people tend to lose their money when due diligence is not done.

Work with Professionals at every Stage

When buying land, it is advisable to involve professional lawyers and surveyors other than going through the process without any of them, which is also an option. Professionals will protect your interests in case of any eventualities. The surveyor verifies the legality of the property while the lawyer drafts an agreement between the buyer and seller, which can be used in a court of law in case the need arises. You can also opt for a reputable property firm like Migaa Golf Estate, as they ideally have in-house professionals.

Buy a Property as soon as you Can

The moment you decide to buy land, ensure you strike while it is still hot. Go through the entire process and acquire the property as soon as you can. As earlier said, land appreciates and what you buy today at Kshs. 4 million might cost Kshs. 8 million in 2 or 3 years. It is always cheaper to buy as soon as possible.

Find out the Land Rates and Land Rent

After verifying the title deeds and the survey map, using copies of these documents, log into the eCitizen account and check if there is any outstanding land rent on the parcel you want to purchase. You can also go physically to Ardhi House if you cannot find the land number on the portal and have then check for any outstanding land rates. In case of any arrears, ensure they are paid before the purchase as they can stall the transaction. A clearance certificate is usually offered after this process.

Sign a Sale Agreement

Only after you have gone through the processes mentioned above and verified the land is legit should you sign a sale agreement. The sale agreement between the seller and buyer is usually in writing and is signed by both parties and a witness. Engage a professional and trusted lawyer in this process to help with the due diligence of signing the sale agreement and transfer of land to the new owner.

Fence your Property

After signing the sale agreement and a deposit paid as agreed, the property is officially yours and as you wait for the completion of registration and transfer, you can fence your land. Fencing does two things: Restricts encroachment and unearth cases of multiple buyers. If the seller was dishonest, fencing the parcel unearths the real owner(s).

Bonus Tip: Buying Land in Kenya

Avoid buying land that belongs to a deceased person before all the succession formalities are complete and avoid developing your parcel before the necessary approvals from relevant authorities.