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Top 10 Tips to Successful Home Buying

Property

Buying a property is probably the biggest investment you will ever make – with long-term financial ramifications. It also calls for an informed decision and good advice from a real estate professional.

However, the real estate process can seem daunting, especially for a first-time home buyer. With the current real estate market, most people are uncertain of how to move forward with the home buying process.

Many potential home owners are to a great extent looking out for tips and advice to help them make the home buying process easier.

From the financing to pre-approval process and offer presentations, here are top home buying tips we believe everyone should know before they decide to purchase a home:

1.Research is the key to discovery

Property sellers will not call you with offers to buy a maintenance free-home with wonderful mortgages. You have to find the gems yourself! Reading available materials, talking to experts, and spending time looking at different homes and neighbourhoods will help you end up with your American dream home.

Looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants and needs, both for the short term and long-term.

2. Make a plan and get pre-qualified

Developing a home buying pan will help you focus on the important factors and organize the entire process. Loan pre-qualifying helps you determine the home price you can afford and presents you as a genuine prospect to the seller.

Planning and getting pre-qualified will keep you out of the panic mode and allow you to take advantage of opportunities. It also saves you both time and money.

3. Hire your agent

A typical real estate transaction involves a dozen separate individuals – from mortgage brokers, to insurance assessors, to buyer’s agents, bakers, inspectors and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to get a home sale closed.

It is the role of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all these professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.

4. Create your top 5 list of amenities

When shopping for a home, list all the features – lounge, private yard, etc., that are most important to you in deciding on which home to buy. Establishing your desires early enough will save you time shopping for inappropriate homes and will also keep you from buying a home on a whim.

Remember, your top reason for buying a home should be the value you are getting.

5. Sign a contract that protects you

Make sure that the contract you decide to put your house on allows you to arrange financing, inspect the home and negotiate any problems that you uncover.

Ensuring that the contract you sign will minimize potential legal battles plus much more.

6. Put yourself in the seller’s shoes

As a potential home buyer, you are about to make one of the most important decisions that will affect both your life and that of the seller. Take your time to understand why the seller bought the home, their reasons for selling the said property, as well as the home improvements they have or have not made.

This gives you a better position to evaluate the home and negotiate a better end. In the end, the home buying process excludes the professionals and comes down to the individuals buying and selling the home.

7. Secure financing

One of the biggest decisions to make before putting a contract on a home is how to finance the purchase. While you may find the thought of owning a home thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling.

Most first-time buyers start out confused about the process and making such a large financial commitment. Create a chart that lists different types of fees, loans, and all least three mortgage providers.

>>> Check out how to determine your mortgage value here

8. Perform due diligence

Unlike most major purchases, once you finally buy a home, you cannot return it if it does not eventually work out like you expected. That is why home owner’s insurance and property inspections are so important.

A home owner’s insurance policy protects you against loss or damage to the property itself and liability in case of injuries within your property.

Paying for a qualified home inspection before you buy a home is not just spending “a little extra” for peace of mind – it is absolutely essential for anyone who does not want to spend thousands of dollars for repairs.

9. Protect your investment

To protect you both as a buyer, as well as the seller, it is advisable to purchase a home protection plan. A home protection plan, or a home warranty, is a service contract, normally for one year, which protects homeowners against the cost of unexpected repairs or replacement of their major systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear.

Also, throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you have probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent and you have gotten to know each other fairly well. There is no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, your agent wants you to keep in touch.

10. Attend open weeks and think long-term

Once you have narrowed down the neighbourhoods, attend a few open weeks. Looking at homes that are up for sale – even if they are not a perfect fit for you – is a great way to learn more about the area. When you do eventually find a house you love, you will know how your place compares to better or worse homes in that neighbourhood.

When it comes to buying, a good strategy is to find the most affordable house in the best neighbourhood. If you buy at the bottom of the price range in a good neighbourhood, you will have more room to build home value.

Visit us during our Kitisuru Open Week on 26th August – 1st September from 8:00Am -6:00pm for an amazing open week experience. To secure your spot, call us on: 0724 – 002 605 or simply visit our website.

BELLCREST GARDENS

THE RISE OF ‘URBANITES’

Real estate developers are now slowly turning to these kinds of building environments and Sigimo Enterprises Limited, a fast rising real estate player is one innovative and trend setting developer that has taken the first step to provide such homes for the already established urbanites.

One such development is Bellcrest Gardens in the tranquil Kileleshwa suburb, a relatively fashionable urban location that appeals to the rising middle to upper class Kenyan.  The suburb is also a favorite of expatriates, UN and NGO employees.  This is a unique attribute of boutique apartments, as the intention is to build them in intimate locations with an enveloping atmosphere.  The mere fact that Bellcrest Gardens is set in the unique locality overlooking the famous Arboretum forest makes it an ideal setting for these kind of building set ups.

Bellcrest Gardens is designed with precise attention to luxury and space.  According to the CEO of Villa Care Limited, the marketing agency of the properties, Mr. Daniel Ojijo, upmarket apartments continue to shine and the appeal is now greater than ever.  He continues to add that the apartments highlight strong architectural elements and are an ideal showcase of design at its utmost element with warm accents across the rooms.  The apartments are designed with a coastal feel with the balconies overlooking beautiful lawns, built to encourage relaxation and comfort.

With convenient proximity to schools, shopping centers, hospitals and other social amenities, Bellcrest Gardens offer unrivaled spacious and modern 4 bedroom apartments and penthouses with 4 bathrooms with large airy kitchens with utility area.  Each house offers a spacious lounge and balcony with an uninterrupted view of State House Gardens and the Arboretum. The houses encompass a spacious master bedroom with an inbuilt walk in closet.  Finishes incorporate ceramic tiles and granite worktops in the kitchen.

These are twenty eight modern and spaciously built 3 bedroom apartments master en suite + self-contained Dsq measuring 170sqm.

Amenities include:

  • Swimming pool
  • Lift
  • Clubhouse
  • Gym
  • Backup generator
  • Excellent panoramic views
  • Ample parking
  • Perimeter wall with electric fence.
  • General Amenities
  • Backup generator
  • Dsq
  • Electric fence
  • Gym
  • Perimeter wall
  • Interior Amenities
  • Lift
How to invest in real estate in Kenya

WHY YOU SHOULD INVEST IN PROPERTY IN KENYA

Kenya has been in the Global limelight as a favorable investment destination, especially after the GES summit that happened in Nairobi in July 2015. International media has picked this up as expected. A great take I liked was by Forbes , a nice article entitled Why invest in Africa’s Fastest growing economy.

It is an open secret that the business environment in Kenya has been great, with many multinational companies setting up office in the recent history ; big names like Google, IBM, Microsoft, ORACLE, SAP, Coca Cola, GE just to mention a few.

I know you have seen the “for sale” sign on those apartments on your way to work, a number billboards about property open days as you sat in the notorious Nairobi traffic jam, or you just saw a whole newspaper page advert on a new real estate development in Nairobi. All these signs suggest something, the real estate sector is flourishing. It has experienced it’s share of good performance over the years, contributing to 7.85% and 8.12% of the GDP for the last two years respectively according to the Central Bank of Kenya economic review.

Investing in real estate in Kenya

Investment opportunities in Kenya, real estate.

This growth in real estate in Kenya is mainly driven by a huge housing deficit being experienced in housing in Kenya. Currently, the Kenya urban population is growing at an average rate of 4.2% annually resulting in a demand of about 150,000 new housing units every year. The market is only supplying about 20,000 units per year, leaving a yawning deficit. In Nairobi alone, the housing deficit stands at 80,000 units annually according to the Planning and Housing Executive Committee.

This factors present a superb opportunity for those wishing to invest in property in Kenya. With rental returns having grown by 9.7% over the past year and property prices having increased 3.46 times over the last 15 years, the prospect of making a neat return on investment real estate in Kenya is almost given.

However, there are several things to consider before investing in real estate in Kenya.

What You Must Know Before You Invest In Kenyan Real Estate

What to check when investing in property in kenya

What you should know in Kenya’s Real estate

There are several important things you need to understand and check before you get into a property transaction in Kenya. Like any legitimate business, there exists the very real possibility of getting swindled.

To avoid complications, it is first important to check the validity of the title deed, the zoning of the property and whether the land rates and taxes have been paid up to date. It also necessary to check if there are any caveats against the property or any pending disputes on ownership.

After all these check out, the process of purchase is pretty straightforward. But if you are new, it will save you a lot costly mistakes to enlist the services of a qualified legal counsel.

Then there is the issue of financing. If you choose to get a loan or a mortgage to finance your property investment venture in Kenya, be sure that you fully understand exactly how much you are going to pay back. Flexibility on the payment terms is a very good thing.

Finally is the consideration of security and insurance. Real estate investment, as any other asset, should ideally be insured. Shop around for the best insurer, and make sure you understand the terms, especially the fine print.

Property investment options in Kenya

Now that we know that investing in real estate in Kenya is a great idea, and we know what to look out for so as not to make mistakes. We can look at some ways one can invest in property in Kenya.

Investing in property in Kenya : land

Investing in land in Kenya

1. Buying land

The most popular real estate investment avenue in Kenya is Land. Investing in Land in Kenya is appealing simply because once you buy, you really don’t have to do much, most people buy and wait then resell later at a profit. As the real estate mantra goes, don’t wait to buy, buy and wait.

There are a several ways to add value to this sort of investment, such as fencing it, connecting power and water lines and building an access road. As with many real estate investments, location is always King.

Ofcourse the option of developing the land is available , and depending on what one chooses to build and the location of the property, different levels of revenue can be  obtained.

2. Building residential property in Kenya

Residential property is another property investment avenue in Kenya. Actually if one has the finances, one can buy land, build residential units and choose to sell or let. This strategy offers higher returns but requires a lot of expertise and is capital intensive. There are ways of making this work better by using different building technologies, like prefab housing that we covered in a previous blog.

Residential property in Kenya

Building residential property in Kenya

3. Commercial Real estate

Finally we have the option of investing in commercial real estate. Not known to many people, commercial real estate offers more reliable income than residential property investment in Kenya. This is because the lease agreements with the tenants is usually for periods not less than five years and with a rent increment clause that ensures the owner gets incremental income from the property over the lease period. This is also capital intensive and requires a degree of expertise.

Now that you know where to start, you can have a look at our extensive property listing and have us start you on your way to making it big by investing in property in Kenya. Alternatively you can contact us here.

Written by Nathaniel Ndegwa