aving been in real estate for four years now, Moses Muriithi, the CEO of Fanaka Real Estate better understands nuts and bolts of land buying in Kenya, especially in Nairobi where finding genuine sellers is about as hard as finding honest lawyers.
Business Today asked Mr Muriithi some of the mistakes that many prospective land buyers, more so first time purchasers, make and he looked at it differently and offered tips on what to consider before purchasing land. It turns out, ignoring these tips often results in these big mistakes.
1. Work with a budget: Gauge your financial muscle and pick what you can afford and whether you can do that on cash or installments. Many people save up and do a one-off buy while, as it’s done at Fanaka Real Estate, you can put up a deposit and pay up in installments.
The downside of saving is that by the time you hit your target the value of the property will have risen. What this means is that you should be able to pay for the land without putting too much pressure on your finances. Go for a seller offering competitive prices and flexible payment terms.
2. Identify the area: Location is important as it determines many other things including price, security and distance from key towns and cities. That is transport and communication.
Meanwhile, the land should have basic infrastructure such as roads, mobile network, power and water, whether you are looking to build your home, buy and sell or set up a commercial enterprise. For those seeking to buy and sell, this plays a big part in the appreciation of the land’s value.
“Some places you can buy land and you can’t get someone to sell to,” says Mr Muriithi. “Others you buy today and prices increase tomorrow. Look for areas that are cosmopolitan as they attract buyers faster.”
3. Find companies offering best deals: Check out company’s record by talking to past buyers and people in the neighbourhood. You want a company that will get you titles and the necessary documents with cat and mouse games. Besides, do your due diligence right.
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“I recommend purchasing land from a registered real estate company as most companies will service the land by providing roads, electricity, and water,” he says. “It is easy to do your due diligence on a company than it is on an individual and you get a variety when buying from a company. Most people who are getting conned often have bought from individuals.”