The choice of whether to buy, construct, lease or rent a home depends on several factors. The key ones include; ones financial position, the emotional connection one wishes to have with their home, life stage, future use, return on investment purposes, how much time one has , job mobility, length of residence in a given town or country to name but a few.
Renting is a good option when starting out in life when one’s financial position may not be sufficient to cover the costs for constructing or buying a home. It is also an option when one is relatively new to a country or town. Before one decides to make a capital investment in the form of home ownership one must have information on the best location to purchase or construct a home information that one needs to gather over a reasonable period of time. Also for those whose jobs or businesses call for frequent travel and change of geographical location renting is a viable option.
Before one embarks on signing that lease one must ensure that their finances are sufficient to cover the cost of rent. General rule of thumb is that rent should not exceed more than a third of ones income. One must also ensure that the prospective house must have the bare essentials that one cannot do without. In this day of online or digital interactions one must ensure that they have done a physical inspection of the house and its general location. One should ensure that one knows their prospective neighborhood as it is whether by day or by night. A prospective tenant should also expect lots of questions from the landlord as a form of background check.
The tenant agreement basically contains the name of the landlord and tenant, how much deposit is needed and the rent to be paid, address for the landlord or agent who will be looking after the property. The onus of maintenance of the rented house falls on the landlord. The tenant should not engage in illegal activity. In most cases for the property to be used for business purposes, sublet, altered, the tenant should seek permission from the landlord.
In Kenya, the choice of whether to build or buy a house depends on several factors. In Kenya, Building a home is relatively cheaper but for the venture to be successful the future home owner must dedicate time to ensure that construction is going on as per specification. Building a home also ensures that the house is built according to ones personal tastes and preferences. However, one should be prepared for unexpected costs that may arise along the way. For example inflation will increase the cost of construction materials and labor.
Buying on the other hand is hassle free and one can shop around to get the best deal possible. The main disadvantage of construction is that one is not at liberty to choose all the features and sometimes there is no guarantee of actual quality as the home buyer was not involved in the selection of material. Because the burden of constructing a home is not borne by the home owner, one must pay for this service by a relatively higher price in comparison to constructing a home. Buying and construction however give an investment advantage which renting or leasing does not offer.
Factors to bear in mind when building ones dream home include; budget, whether to do it yourself or use contractors, plan the purchase of materials correctly, get all the necessary approvals, energy and water conservation, waste disposal.
The initial costs of buying a house in Kenya are generally high. This has been compounded by relatively high mortage rates. Alternative options like sacco loans exist that depend on the amount of shares one has and the availability of a guarantor.
Consider the following when buying a house; finances available and those that are needed, location, use the services of a professional real estate agent and lawyer, the neighborhood, future needs of the house e.g. a growing family may mean more bedrooms, return on investment, when shopping around consider the prices of similar property in the neighborhood so that one gets a good bargain, inspect the home prior to purchase.
The following are the steps to purchase of a home in Kenya:
Find a registered real estate agent.
Find a house that meets your desired criteria.
(Offer to purchase and sale)Agreement of purchase and sale.
House inspection tour.
If one needs loan or mortgage facilities one should get prequalification.
The title is closed when the lawyer reviews the contract and does a land and property search.
Now that we know the factors to consider and steps to follow in choice of our houses, the most exciting part begins; creating that unique décor that turns our houses from physical structures into homes!!!
Kwambie Nyambane is a Sales Force Effectiveness Manager in a leading bank in Kenya ‘by ', a passionate inspirational blogger 'by night'; and a wellness enthusiast championing healthy lifestyle choices. The founder and lead writer of this blog is a Bsc. Food Science and Post -Harvest Technology graduate of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya, holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Nairobi and is currently pursuing a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Nairobi. Kwambie is a member of Bloggers Association of Kenya. She believes in taking life with a big spoon, seeing the cup always as half full, and enjoying the scenery in this journey called life. Kwambie is mother to one beloved son nicknamed "The Champ";, sister to Marci and beloved auntie to the A & Z girls. She and her family make Nairobi City, Kenya their home. This blog is dedicated to her parents Moraa and Nyambane for their awesome inspiration in her formative years, for being her pillar of strength through life, her siblings Marci and Joash, and to her son "The Champ" and her nieces who represent the generation that came after her. May the nuggets contained in this blog serve many generations, the world over to come.