Hey there! You may be new in Kenya or you’ve just switched work stations from another city (within Kenya) and seriously looking everywhere for houses for sale…. Don’t fret about where you’ll live.
You can be sure to get a variety of homes for sale in Kenya. More so, if you’re planning to buy a home within or around the city.
However, I must tell you that finding a house that meets your exact personal requirements is a mountain to climb. Unless you exercise some patience and wait for some time, there are high chances that you give up your pursuits.
Or, end up with a home you didn’t envisage.
Buying a home needs a thorough pre-planning preparation. Keep in mind this is a permanent project/investment that would completely change your financial state and even impact your lifestyle.
So, while Nairobi has all sorts of homes, know the ones that could or could not work for you.
There are 15 key things that you will need to know before you go ahead to buy a house.
Steps on How to Buy a House: Houses For Sale In Kenya.
15 Critical Factors to Consider When Buying a House
The first comes as the location of the house. A good location for the house means it’s close to a well opened up road or other infrastructure besides transport.
You want to make your transportation a breeze to and from the home for uninterrupted daily routine. Whether you are working or doing business.
Someone once said you can make an ugly house beautiful. But you cannot change or make a bad location to be good.
Additionally, anyone thinking of buying a house should actually consider location as an asset. You look at it as an aspect of value for your current and futuristic plans.
Important questions to ask yourself; how close is the house to recreational facilities like malls, parks, etc.? And if you are buying this house for renting purposes, remember these are the same questions your future tenants will be asking you.
I just believe there is no buyer who can overlook the infrastructure within an estate. You want to know if the roads there are murram or tarmacked and they passable?
What happens when it rains? Would you risk driving on a submerged driveway?
Asides roads, you probably want to be sure about things like network connectivity including the internet. Such that the place needs to have a great network reception.
You can call, chat on different social platforms without frequent hitches.
You also don’t want to fail in checking on the street lighting. This is important for your security.
Water supply. Wow, this one can’t even be a second thought. It’s obvious that a house is connected to some water pipeline or there is a well or something.
What should concern you is whether the source of the supply is a reliable one? There are places which are known for the notoriety of perennial water shortages.
Clearly, you want to be sure that the area has enough water supply. Ask about how often and for how long do the shortages last?
Related Guide: Best Real Estate Companies in Kenya
This is a no brainer.
You must be dead sure about the security – which culminates into your safety. Finding a neighborhood that has calm is a top priority.
This is a long-term investment worth millions of shillings. And you don’t want to a risk to buy a home only to realize that it’s a feared zone because cases of burglary, robbery among other criminal activities have dominated the area.
Security apparatus, for example, a police post is a must. A chief’s camp should be near the horizons of the community – I mean security it’s just one of the non-negotiable first-time-home buyer tips.
However, it is a lifestyle feature for most houses in Kenya urban areas to have a perimeter wall with electric fence. On top of that, add the presence of security guards who are manning the estate.
4. Payment Plan
Even if you have all the money for upfront payment, having an idea about the payment plan will help. Buying a house is a capital-intensive project.
Find the property development or real estate partners you are looking to work with and discuss this plan ahead of time. Also, you need reliable financiers.
Again, ensure that you talk to them – most likely you’ll need a helping hand in the form a home mortgage. As I said the financial partners should dependable and secondly, their mortgage facilities should be affordable.
It’ll be good to get a fair repayment period for any loans you take from them.
Know your neighborhood well. Meet and talk, if possible, with people living there and get to know what the lifestyle is made up of.
Understand your potential future neighbors. If you are lucky, you may even get someone who might be willing to help you adapt to the new environment.
Places where the community is conservative. People don’t want each other’s affairs and such stuff may be a red flag.
The friendliness of your neighbors is a safety aspect. A good neighborhood is more than just buying a house in Kenya.
Avoid places where people seem to be unfriendly.
The presence of social infrastructure in a location is everything for a sustained community. People are happier living in an area close to schools, places of worship, children’s playgrounds, hospitals or dispensaries, entertainment spots, shopping malls among many others.
The major reason this has to be a factor in your search is convenience. You want to get faster and quicker to such places.
Although their prices may be outrageous, they are worthy to invest in. Assuming you also resold the unit, definitely, it would be at much-increased resale value.
7. Green Open Space
Everyone is not an environmentalist but no one wants to stay in a dilapidated surrounding. Every homeowner needs a natural green open space.
Fortunately, you can see trees in their natural, you can see that state of the surroundings, the landscape. Generally, a site surrounded by a lot of green space is more appealing and therefore more desired.
At all times, you will want to have a beautiful view of a rolling façade in front of the house. Good topography also comes in here; it should be straightforward and no much rises and falls that could make the drainage problematic.
8. Which Type of House?
You are looking for houses for sale but which type? Are you going for a condo or a home? It is a syndrome for first-time home buyers.
As a quick thought, condos in Nairobi whether it’s a one bedroomed suite or two can be really expensive.
And when you go for a house to live in for many years, ensure that you are able to maintain things like the lawn regularly. Don’t go overboard to pick a home you may eventually be unable to repay.
9. The Real Estate Realtor
You will probably have to go through the hands of an agent. In such cases, you must always choose the right real estate agents to find the best home and neighborhood for you.
These people know far much about the area you want to move in than you do. In fact, most apartments for sale in Nairobi and beyond have been assigned to one or two of them to bring buyers aboard with the sellers.
If you are fortunate, you get an agent who won’t take advantage of your situation to con you. But ensures that your search for the best, affordable house is well done.
10. Know the Actual Value of the Property
From the first instance, you are supposed to know the value of the property you want beforehand. Most of the times people overpay without knowing this crucial aspect.
So again here is a real estate agent with excellent service to provide real-time assistance in terms of giving you insights about the value of the property you are just about to buy.
This value isn’t just about the house purchase price. Other things are also encompassed in there –such as appraisal and inspections fee – which if you aren’t aware of them, may cost you more.
11. Buy a House You Can Pay for Comfortably
A saying that goes, ‘Cut the coat according to your size’ reminds you to avoid overstretching and to simply live within your means.
Similarly, buy a house for which you can comfortably pay the mortgage with less hassle. You don’t want to live like a poor person in a rich estate.
Therefore, the mortgage should be affordable in its repayment to allow you to do other smaller projects as well.
12. The Potential Growth of Your Investment
Another important factor you want to consider when looking for houses for sale is the potential there is in the property. That is to mean; can it bring higher returns if it’s sold in the future?
Of course, it all starts with the value of the area or site and its potential to grow into a hotbed for real estates in near futures.
Think about this; buying the nicest home in a possibly redundant area and live comfortably. And buying an average-rated house in an area that no sooner than later will skyrocket in terms of land value.
Definitely, the second scenario sounds good. But, people always want the best at that instance.
13. Work with Professionals
One of the biggest mistakes many house-seekers make is engaging with unqualified middlemen. That’s not supposed to happen.
Look for professionals/registered real estate agents. They will inform you whether the property you are purporting to buy is free of issues or not.
For example, they should be able to know if the construction was placed on a road reserve, it’s not grabbed and owners are genuine. And also you can trace the title deed.
All this information is pertinent to your purchase. Unless you are planning to have an evacuation in the next few years and incur a painful loss.
14. Create a Culture of Saving
You want to have enough savings so by the time you want to make a purchase, you are already in a good position with the lenders. Savings also elevate you to the possibility of receiving a big sum of money from these lenders.
Worst is when you don’t have enough savings to even convince a lender. Which lender wants to become a financial partner with you?
So, make yourself a cash cushion to give you an upper hand in this project.
15. Property Inspection
Among the key steps to buying a house for the first time is the idea of inspection. Although this activity comes with a few expenses here and there, it’s worth the hassle.
At property inspection, that’s when you discover a few problems that perhaps were not easy to know by waiting to hear from a middleman.
In this process, things like structural faults or pest damages will be known. If you still fancy the place, at least you know how you will start coping after you move in.
Bonus Point: Think About the Future.
As a vision holder, futuristic thinking is required of you. Your long-term plans must be clear in mind.
A few questions may be worth asking of you: for example – are you getting married? Or having children? And such things.
Owning a home is a prestigious thing. It is a huge financial statement one can make and only a few projects would overhaul the magnitude of such a project.
Given the heavy financial involvement, no one wants to make any hasty or rash decisions and choices only to be hurt in the end.
Thus, it is imperative to follow through a clear plan right from letter A to Z. Be extremely cautious in this project.
Don’t end up getting what you never wanted as there are houses for sale everywhere but good, secure deals can be a hard thing to land. Hope this article helps your course.