About three million Kenyans live in diaspora and most of them have a desire to invest in property back home. In this article, we walk Kenyans living in the diaspora through the steps to find property, including choosing the best location, getting affordable prices and how to do proper due diligence to get genuine deals. These steps are still helpful for local investors as well.
When buying land, you need to consider a number of things. For starters, the location of the land, the entity selling the land, availability of proper documentation and its proximity to, say, town centre and/or other amenities. Dormitory counties around Nairobi namely Kajiado, Kiambu, and Machakos are some of the best places to invest in real estate.
In Machakos County, for instance, satellite towns along Kangundo road which include Kamulu, Joska, Malaa and Komarock are some of the fastest-growing residential and commercial hubs within the Metropolis.
When investing from the diaspora it is essential that you get it right when doing your due diligence. So, how do you ensure that you are get value for your money while playing safe?
Where to buy land
One of the biggest puzzles when buying land and investing in real estate from the diaspora is identifying the right entities to acquire the land from. Check out Fanaka Real estate, one of the leading real estate players within Nairobi Metropolis.
Many investors have been conned or duped in land dealings. Most fail to do proper due diligence to establish the legitimacy of the sellers and ascertain that they are in indeed the actual owners of the land.
For this reason, it is recommended you buy from an incorporated company that specializes in the selling of land. As opposed to an individual, it is easy to conduct a company search to identify: i) the proprietors of the company ii) its location iii) When it was established.
Also, unlike buying from an individual, most real estate companies do value-addition to the property by providing graded roads, perimeter walls, water, and electricity, making the property more valuable and ready for development.
How do you identify a reputable real estate company to invest with?
1. Online visibility
A good real estate firm should have a well-established online presence. This will include but not limited to having a nice and detailed website, and active social media profiles – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
Social media pages and a well-managed website are nice ways to directly get in touch with a land vendor without having to go through third parties. Most companies will share images and even virtual tours of the areas via short videos.
2. Physical site visits
Videos and images alone are not enough. Before you commit to pay for a property, it is important to have a physical site visit. From the diaspora, you could do this by sending a representative. Most real estate companies offer free site visits to the property to confirm the actual sizes of the land and amenities. It is also a nice way of confirming that the land actually exists. Your representative should act as your eye on the ground and offer an alternative opinion to what you might be looking for.
3. Online land search
The next step is performing a land search of the title deed to establish who actually owns the land, its size and whether or not the land is charged or used as collateral for a loan. The cost of title search is about Ksh500 and is done at the county with the jurisdiction of the land you seek to purchase.
For instance, if you want to purchase a plot along Kangundo Road in the satellite towns of Kamulu, Joska and Malaa your land search will be carried out at the Machakos County land registry. A genuine real estate company should be able to facilitate this by providing the title deed for the property.
4. Sale agreement
Once the search is done and you are satisfied, you can now contact the company to make the purchase. At this point, you will have to execute a sale agreement, a binding contract that indicates the terms, conditions and payment method that has been agreed upon.
It is here that you are able to negotiate the flexibility of your payment options based on the real estate company’s policies. Some companies like Fanaka Real Estate offer flexible installment plans that can run for as long as 12 months.
On signing the agreement, payment is made depending on terms of the sale agreement with the company. At this point, you have two options which are to pay via your representative or to pay directly to the company’s bank account.