Renting Out Your Property for The First Time: 8 Expert Tips

Luxurious Home
Image/ Kitisuru Terraces

Renting out a property for the first time can be both exciting and overwhelming. If all goes well, you can use of the rent to for your mortgage payments and gain equity as well as have positive cash flow.

However, becoming a landlord comes with an array of challenges and risks that can jeopardize your chances of success. You need to know of the pitfalls to avoid to protect your investment property while also maximizing your profits.

If you are thinking of renting out a house for the first time, here are 8 tips to help set yourself up as an expert landlord:

1. Understand the Housing Laws

Owning a rental property does not give you the right to just do anything you please with it. You need to understand the legal ramifications of being a landlord. For instance, landlords should not discriminate against tenants based on family status, race, disability, religious status or sex.

The rental property should also be kept habitable and safe. The landlord may face liability from accidents as a result of safety hazards. There are also laws surrounding other rental issues like setting rental rates, tenant eviction, and assistance animals that you should abide by.

Not researching the local, federal, and state Fair Housing Laws can be a costly mistake when renting out a house for the first time. Take your time to learn the landlord-tenant laws. You may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in housing laws.

2. Present the Rental Property in the Best Light

When renting out a house for the first time, remember to present it properly to attract the tenant you want. Make your rental property stand out in the competitive rental market by cleaning it thoroughly and repainting it before showings.

Consider staging it with decor and furniture to help potential tenants envision themselves in their new home. You can also boost the curb appeal of your rental through landscaping, adding flowers and plants, weeding the garden, and keeping the compound mowed.

If you have been staying in the house you want to lease for rent, ensure you remove all personal belongings and clutter from the living room and other storage areas.

3. Screen Potential Tenants Properly

A good practice when renting out a house for the first time is to screen potential tenants. Choosing the right tenants will make your business enjoyable and less stressful.

Bad tenants can cause property damage or they may fail to pay monthly rent. This can quickly derail your profits. By finding tenants who are responsible, you will also prevent evictions, which are costly and time-consuming.

Ask potential tenants simple questions about who they are, their employment, and the reason they are moving. It is also advisable to always set your criteria before you begin tenant screening to avoid being accused of discrimination.

4. Price Your House Right

To get where you want to be renting out a house for the first time, you should price your house right. You should not price your rental property according to perceived value or your expenses.

If you overvalue your house, you may end up with long vacancy periods. To correctly price your house, you should find its market value by looking at rental comps.

5. Have a Lease Agreement

The most important item to keep in mind when renting out a house for the first time is a lease agreement. Once you find the right tenant, you need to put everything in writing.

A lease agreement is a written contract between the landlord and the tenant that sets out the terms of the tenancy and is signed by both parties. The document states the rights and responsibilities of both parties for the rental period. It includes details about who is responsible for property maintenance, rules about smoking and pets, how long they will rent, etc.

In case of disputes with the tenant, the lease agreement will offer legal protection. It is difficult to settle disputes with your tenant without a written lease agreement. If you are renting out a house for the first time, you may want to consider hiring a local attorney to help ensure that the document is valid.

6. Collect a Security Deposit

A security deposit helps to ensure that the monthly rent of the lease is paid and other tenant responsibilities are performed according to the lease agreement, such as avoiding or paying for damage to the rental property.

If the tenant damages the property or fails to pay rent, it will be deducted from the security deposit. This helps to reduce disputes about the initial condition of the house.

The laws pertaining to these security deposits usually vary from state to state. Therefore, make sure you understand the security deposit rules of your area.

7. Have a Good Real Estate Marketing Strategy

No matter how good your rental property is, you will not get tenants if nobody knows about it. Therefore, it is essential to have a good marketing plan to avoid long vacancy periods, which are costly.

With a good marketing plan, you will be able to attract lots of good tenants and lease your property quickly. Take quality professional photos and invest in good advertising packages on popular real estate websites.

8. Get Insurance

Although specific landlord insurance is not a legal requirement, it is prudent to consider it to protect yourself from the risks you may face as a first time landlord. This includes missed rental payments, accidental damage, legal expense, unoccupied periods, etc.

Most standard home insurance policies usually cover only the building and the possessions of the occupant. This does not provide the level of protection that a landlord needs. As a landlord, you need a policy that will protect the rental property, the renters, and the real estate investment as a whole.

You can also recommend that your tenants get renters insurance to protect themselves from any unforeseen losses.

The Bottom Line

A rental property business can be a good source of income that can put you on the road to financial independence. However, if you are renting out a house for the first time, you must constantly learn and adapt to be successful. You need to know how to rent out your house and avoid the traps that most first-time landlords fall into. With the 8 expert tips listed above, you are sure to get started on the right path.

4 Crucial Factors You Must Consider Before Buying A Luxurious Home – Martha’s Success Story


Luxurious Home
Six years ago, Martha – a single mother of three decided to embark on a house hunting mission for a luxurious home.

Sadly, she had just lost her husband a year earlier. As the sole bread winner, the burden of taking care of her young children fell on her.

The rent, school fees, outstanding loans and other responsibilities were now becoming a burden. And with the rent being so far behind, Martha new that she had to give herself and her family the assurance of a good home.

Her late husband was in the process of securing a better home for his family. Martha knew she had to honor the memory of her husband by making his vision a reality.

Wisely, four years ago she had quit corporate Kenya to invest in a car rental and eatery business.

With time and a lot of financial discipline, she started saving enough to clear the outstanding rent arrears, pay the school fees and take care of other responsibilities.

One thing Martha new for sure is that she wanted to get a luxurious home within Nairobi for the sake of her kids.

This Will Interest You >>> Affordable Luxury Homes For Sale In Nairobi Kenya

The home she wanted would have to be located in an area where the roads were good, plenty of amenities, a good school and close to her business located in Westlands.

One day while going through some real estate companies in Kenya, she stumbled on a house that completely changed her life.

Not only was the house located in a safe and secure neighborhood, it had everything she wanted and more!

There was a link road connecting straight to her businesses in Westlands and village market. Moreover, there were at least three very well performing schools her children could attend.

Fortunately, there was an open week and this would be the perfect opportunity for her to get a firsthand account of the property. She did not want to get a raw deal or worse be conned hence the need to see it for herself. More importantly, she wanted to know if she could secure a reasonable payment plan.

During the open week, Martha was able to get a good perspective of the home and need I say, she was NOT disappointed.

The 4 bedroom house was sufficient enough for her kids and herself. Since Martha loves whipping up a good meal, the kitchen was fitted with a pantry and breakfast area.

This meant she had plenty of room to cook meals with her kids and enjoy them either in the kitchen yard or the spacious dining hall.

What about the bedrooms? All master en-suite! Sleep time would definitely be something to look forward to.

Martha also wanted to enroll in a gym as she had put on some weight. However, there was no need to pursue this as her dream home had not only a gym but also a swimming pool area.

The backyard also had a barbeque area. This was perfect because her son had spent many Saturday afternoons preparing ‘nyama choma’ with his late father. What a perfect way to keep his memory alive!

With only two units remaining, Martha just new this home was destined to be hers.

After a week of consultation and paper work, the deal was sealed! Martha was now the proud owner of one of the palatial homes in the Kitusuru Terraces.

Martha admits that she had no regrets purchasing this home and is proud she was able to complete the work her husband had begun.

Looking back, her decision to buy this home was influenced by 4 critical factors.

She evaluated each of these before making a lifelong investment for herself and her family.

  1. Location is everything

If you are like Martha, one of the factors that should influence your decision is the location of the house.

When looking for property listings, ensure that the luxurious home you want is conveniently located close to your business/work.

This will help you beat the dreadful Nairobi city traffic and navigate seamlessly between work and home. Also consider if the location is ideal for your children in terms of their schools.

Just like Martha, make sure there is guaranteed 24-hour security in the area.

  1. Presence of Amenities

Buying a home isn’t just for you. It’s also for your family. You have to think about what schools your children will go to, the nearby hospitals you can visit, shopping centers, good roads etc.

Therefore, it’s not just about you wanting to live in the Kenya luxury real estate, you have to consider how easily you can access basic human needs.

If the property doesn’t meet these needs, don’t invest because you will regret the decision down the line.

  1. Reasonable Payment Plan

Before buying a luxury home always examine whether they have reasonable payment plans.

When working with a bank or any other financier, study the loan interest rates, period of repayment, monthly payments among other factors.

Look for a bank with the cheapest mortgage rates as well as penalties. Also get a bank that has a speedy application process and what additional costs you might incur such as legal and valuation fees.

  1. Size Matters

How big is your family? How many bedrooms will you need? Is the kitchen, living room and yard big enough?

These questions will help you influence your decision to purchase a home. Consider if the rooms are many and big enough to comfortably accommodate each family member.

Additionally, evaluate whether the size of the living room is spacious enough to fit your furniture. The kitchen also needs to have adequate space for food storage and meal preparation among other house features.

In summary…

Buying a luxurious home in upmarket Kenya is a very possible reality. And with information at the click of a button, it makes the process of buying ten times easier.

However, you must be as proactive as Martha and go beyond your computer or phone screen to the actual location.

Remember that seeing is believing. Ultimately, this will help you make the right decision in getting a good house.

Attend our Kitisuru Open Week on 26th August – 1st September and experience the splendor of luxurious living.

To secure your spot, call us on: 0724 – 002 605

Or simply visit our website on: Kitisuru Terraces (under Sigimo Enterprises).

See you then.

Cheers!

Esther Kamau works as a Communications & Social Media Coordinator at Homes Kenya Ltd. To engage with her please email estherkamau@homeskenya.com

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

How to Increase Your Chances of Property Investment Success

Numerous Kenyans have already succeeded in all aspects of property investment. However, stories of real estate triumph do not happen overnight, and a smooth sailing journey is not always guaranteed.

Aside from risks that are needed to be taken, equipping yourself with adequate knowledge is an important step to take before you buy your first property investment.

Following this train of thought, you need to consider these tips when buying properties – especially for those who are investing for the first time.

1. Financial capacity and risk profile

Understanding your own financial position and capacity to buy an investment property is essential. In addition, knowing how much risk can be handled as an investor is an integral step to start the investment journey.

These processes will be made possible with the help of a suitably qualified financial or investment advisor. It is recommended to spend on a sound, honest assessment of your situation, rather than losing money in the long run by going it alone and making costly mistakes.

2. Preferred property markets

Think about the type of location that will best suit your investing plans. Many of the properties on the market at any given time might be ideal for a family home, but they may also not be what is deemed an “investment grade property.”

Qualify potential locations based on the history of capital growth achieved and potential of future capital growth based on the local supply, demand factors, and demographics of the area, specifically the local residents’ ability to keep buying property.

Next, identify the best street in that suburb and the best side of the street in that suburb. Search for areas that have outperformed the long-term averages with consistency.

Do not invest in a place based on whether or not you prefer to live there. Instead, consider if it appeals to a broad owner-occupier and tenant demographic.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Does current or future projected demand look set to outstrip supply and underpin values for some time to come?
  • Is the area undergoing gentrification? Gentrification is a change in the fortunes of a suburb as it is discovered by a higher income demographic which slowly pushes out the lower income residents. The new, more affluent residents invest time and money in improving their new neighbourhood, causing prices and rents to rise.
  • Is there a lot of spending (private and public) on infrastructure upgrades and development?

3. Investment loan options and partners

While there are a lot of options, you must select the right kind of loan that could lift your financial position. It is important to keep in mind that different investment loan options come with different benefits, and the best possible option depends on one’s need.

In other cases, people consider partnering up with their friends or relatives instead of talking an investment loan to start in the industry.

First-time investors need to carefully consider many factors while choosing partners, such as their comfortability with each other and the implications of a partnership agreement, according to a report by Forbes.

Investing can end either on a positive note or in a difficult condition. Hence, it is important to apply smart tips and research about the real estate business as often as possible.

10 Smart Tips for Buying your First Real Estate Property

10 Smart Tips for Buying your First Real Estate Property

Congratulations! You are on the road to securing the purchase of your first real estate property, which is a very important milestone in your life. Some opt to buy property to live in, while others see it as an investment opportunity. Whatever your motives are, you want this significant investment to deliver what you expect from it, but you might feel overwhelmed or afraid because you have no experience in the field.

We have compiled a list of the most commonly given tips by seasoned buyers and realtors to help you go through the process as smoothly as possible:

Related: Top 10 tips to Successful Home Buying

Be Aware of What You Can afford in the market

It is amazingly easy to dream about a home you have seen online, but the reality is usually much different. You have to ask yourself if you can afford such real estate at this stage.

You need to know exactly how much you can afford to spend. That means you should be very familiar with your personal finances, keep track of your credit score and try to improve it as much as you can.

A loan will be approved much more easily if your credit score is better, so make sure you do something about it.

You also need to think about the down payment. As a first-time buyer, you are likely to be asked to put up a higher amount as a down payment, so make sure you have the necessary funds.

Analyze the property Market Carefully

Before you put an offer on a home, you need to have a very good picture of the situation on the market in the area where you will be buying. That means you should monitor the prices for some time and pay special attention to the length of time that most homes in your price range stay on the market and whether there are any major shifts in the asking price.

If you are not sure you can do this properly, the best thing to do is find a reliable realtor to help you.

Calculate Expenses (and Profits)

It is vital to take into consideration all the expenses related to your purchase, which means you cannot only look at the price of the property

You might need to invest in renovating the house, especially if you are planning on renting it or selling it quickly to make a profit. If you do the math correctly, you will see if you can make any profit, based on the expenses you are expected to have and the realistic resale price of the property.

Make sure to leave a certain margin in case there are some unexpected expenses that need to be paid. You should not spend all the money you have on the property since you might need to splash out some cash for works you have not anticipated, which brings us to the next tip.

Make Your First Investment Property a Low-Cost Home

Staying in the safe-zone when buying your first investment property is a sound move. That way, even if you lose some money, your loss won’t be that high and you will stand better chances of recovering from the loss.

Most people do not need to buy an expensive house, especially if they have no experience in the field of real estate. If you stay realistic about your needs and financial ability, you will have much better chances of making the right call.

Pay Your Debts

You need to seriously consider the investment loan options as a new investor and you should by no means carry debts with your investment portfolio. That is why you need to clear all of your debts, such as student loans and medical bills, before starting out in real estate.

List Your INVESTMENT Priorities

When you know exactly how much you can afford to spend, it is time to start looking for a home among the listings in the area of your choice. Chances are you won’t find a place that fulfils every single item on your wish-list, but you definitely need to have a list of priorities to ensure you know what to look for when making a purchase.

Everything else that a house offers is simply a bonus, but make sure you find a place that boasts all the items from your priority list.

Find an Agent

Now that you know how much you can invest and what kind of place you are looking for, it is time to turn to professional help. Find a real estate agent who can help you find exactly what you want.

Real estate agents can also facilitate negotiations with the seller or show you similar properties that fit your budget and meet your needs.

Making an Offer and Negotiate

Your real estate agent will also assist you in making an offer that includes a fair price. It is a wrong approach to make a low-ball offer since it can easily put the sellers off and they won’t engage in further negotiations.

This is why it is important you find an agent you can trust and who is knowledgeable when it comes to the housing market and the rules that apply to home offers.

Organize Inspections and Secure a Loan

Do not skip home inspection as a part of the home-buying process and do not treat it as an expenditure, but rather as an investment. You want professionals to inspect the house you are interested in, since only they can establish if there is some damage or signs of structural wear.

This might have a great impact on your offer and the budget you have in mind. After the inspection and the appraisal of the property, you can secure your loan with a bank or lender.

Submit Paperwork and Rent Out the Property

Make sure all the paperwork related to the purchase is in order. If you are not certain, your agent should help you with it, so that you can focus on getting the property ready for tenants finally.

Once the paperwork has been completed and the seller of the house has been paid, you are free to enter the first home you have purchased on your own.

Your investment can go either way. It can turn into a disastrous experience or you can get exactly what you want and need or even make some profit if you’re selling the place quickly. To make sure the latter scenario applies to you, follow the tips above.

KITISURU TERRACES: Luxury and Allure

Kitisuru Terraces

In a community practically synonymous with flash, Kitisuru Terraces is among the most famously locations in the Country. The quality of life is unparalleled, and residents include dignitaries, expatriates, entrepreneurs, and high-profile investors from all over the world.

Sequestered in the leafy Kitisuru in a hilly undulating landscape, Kitisuru Terraces, which has an open week running from 26th August to 1st September, is an exclusive and tranquil community neighboring Lower Kabete, Kyuna and Loresho.  

The property’s strategic location affords all those who live here, proximity to everything that makes Kitisuru special.

Read more on: 5 reasons to attend an Open Week –Even if you are not Buying

Luxury and Allure

The community is the pinnacle of splendor and luxury setting a new standard of luxury and refinement. It offers privacy with a resort lifestyle that includes lush gardens, fully-fitted gym, a clubhouse, swimming pool plus more.

Featuring 22 units of 4, 5 & 6 bedrooms with self-contained DSQs, the unsurpassed sensational townhouses offer a lifestyle that no other property can.

Within the gated estate, no stone was left unturned to make the townhouse feel extraordinary in volume and luxury. Stroll in and splash up the glow and love that has been put into the homes.

Designed with the elite in mind, the atmosphere is airy, unfettered and incredibly inviting. The sophisticated interior design balances rich classic luxury with a contemporary sleek finish.

Top-of-the line interiors

The voluminous ground floor is introduced by an entrance porch with a lobby, guest cloakroom, guest bedroom, lounge with an ornate fireplace and dining area leading to a covered terrace opening to rear garden. Architectural detailing in the living areas adds character and classic charm to space.

The contemporary designed gourmet kitchen is cozy enough for intimate conversation and well equipped for entertaining. It is fully fitted with inbuilt high and low-level cabinets, double sink unit, 6-burner gas/electric cooker with extractor, microwave, granite worktops, and breakfast area.

You will surely appreciate the plentiful accommodations afforded by bedrooms upstairs – 2 en suite bedrooms and a large master bedroom with an additional fireplace.

The master bedroom is an oasis of relaxation that boasts of a private sitting area with an additional fireplace and a spa-like master bathroom with frameless glass showers and dual vanities. Per the listing, there is also a self-contained DSQ.

Additionally, the wonderful detail and craftsmanship throughout include recessed ceilings with designer LED lighting fixtures, spacious walk-in wardrobes, special porcelain tiles on floors and quality ceramic tiles in the wet areas.

Quality Amenities for Urban Living

This transformational community offers the best of both worlds, with large usable spaces and private areas for entertainment, from the indoor entertainment to the oversized outdoor pool on top of the clubhouse.

Ample outdoor spaces are found throughout the home, from the lounge with fireplace to the covered terrace opening to the lush flat garden. And during those hot summer days, the unsurpassed sensational swimming pool on top of the clubhouse offers a chance to relax or entertain all overlooking extraordinary views.

Read more about factors to consider before buying a luxurious home

Guaranteed security

Residents at the Kitisuru Terraces can live assured that security is keenly provided. A boundary wall with electric fence and 24hr CCTV security system is installed for this. Its close vicinity to the UN Complex is also an added advantage.

Proper Transport and Communication System

Transport to and from Kitisuru is flawless helping you escape some of the gridlock traffic. It boasts of proximity to the new link road that gives it easy access from Nairobi CBD and Westlands.

It also boasts of proximity to the Village Market, The West Gate Mall, and Sarit Centre. Not to mention the best schools around it including the International School of Kenya, Peponi School, and Kirawa School.

And for those who travel domestically and internationally, JKIA is 15 minutes’ drive away. The communication systems are also improved to guarantee the populace a prompt, precise and continued connections.

 If you are an avid real estate aficionado, we invite you to live vicariously and take a tour of these amazing, most opulent and eccentric homes at our Kitisuru Open Week from 26th August – 1st September.

To secure your spot, call us at: 0724 – 002 605

Or simply visit our website on Kitisuru Terraces

5 Common Mistakes That First Time Home Buyers Commit – and How to Avoid Them

You are trading the world of buying apartments and condos for one of the biggest financial commitments of your life – your first home. You have researched form the internet, scoped the neighborhood, found your dream open plan kitchen, custom bedroom and saved for your down payment.

However, as the process unfolds you quickly find yourself confused and overwhelmed – and soon enough your idyllic dream for a first homes turns into a burdensome nightmare.

This scenario could have been avoided had you been aware of these common mistakes and how you can avoid them:

1. Doing It on Your Own

So maybe you have decided to save on time and money by looking for and buying a home yourself.

However, there are some things that you simply need the help of a professional with, and home buying is certainly one of them. Real estate agents have the know-how and will provide you with valuable information about a particular neighborhood, such as average utility rates, social amenities and security.

Beyond helping you while you navigate the twists and turns during the searching process, a real estate will also provide you with valuable resources at a flat rate that end up saving you energy, time and money in the long run.

In addition to seeking referrals, you should do your own research into the agent online. You can learn more about a potential agent through a Google search – allowing you to make a decision on whether they could be a fit or not.

2. Avoiding Budget Talks before Shopping

Discussing personal finances can be an uncomfortable activity for a lot of people – however, it is important to have realistic understanding of where you financially are before looking for your first home.

It is important noting that buying a home requires a serious work ethic, so make sure you have prepared yourself for future costs and you also have an honest view of where you are financially before committing.

Beyond being disappointed by finding the perfect home that you cannot afford, you might also run into woes down the line if you cannot afford the house when all the monthly bills start coming in.

3. Expecting your Dream Home

A lush private garden in the backyard. A fully fitted gym house. An expansive infinity swimming pool. In a perfect world, you could have all this in your inaugural home.

However, chances are that you won’t- and as your search continues, you may want to compromise on those must-haves that you thought were deal breakers. First-time home buyers need to understand that their first home is not going to be perfect.

it is necessary to talk to your agent about your preferred amenities, such as how many bedrooms you want among other preferences. It is also important to attend open weeks to expand your definitions of your home.

>>>Read more here on Tips to successful home buying

4. Opening a Credit Line before the Sale is Final

Hold off on that new furniture set until you have actually moved in. Why? Because most lenders are going to check your debt load before closing, and if you are on the hook for a massive last-minute purchase, it could “kill a deal”.

Most loans are approved based on a specific debt-to-income ratio and minimum credit score. So keep everything status quo. Wait until after closing to open new credit accounts or charge furniture, appliances, or tools to your existing credit cards. Do not about changing your job yet. Pay your bills on time and keep your money tight.

5. Being Emotional Rather Than Visionary

It is likely that you will find an apartment you could buy, simply fall in love with it and decide that you want that home and only that home. This can result in bad decisions. While buyers cannot afford to be overly critical, it is important to consider the long-term usability of a home.

Some homeowners will throw down some serious cash to have professionals come and stage their homes with the intent of having you fall in love with their interior design. Keep in mind, this may be done to distract you from identifying some flaws like the safety of the neighborhood or a less-than-desirable location.

Approach each home with a level head and an open mind, and you should be able to strike a balance between affordability and ingenuity.

Check if the layout of the home works well for your needs, how much your family is likely to grow, the neighborhood before making the final decision. The last thing you want to do is buy a home and find out in one year that it was a bad decision

If you are considering, buying your first home, contact Villa Care Limited – we can help you determine how much home you can afford, help with pre-approvals and ensure you are not falling prey to some of the common mistakes made by first time home buyers.

5 Reasons To Attend An Open Week – Even If You Are Not Buying

real estate listing

Perusing an online real estate listing can be nothing less than addictive. You have probably spent time scouring the internet, ogling homes for sale that you do not intend – or cannot afford – to buy. Because it’s fun!

However, would you ever hop in the car and go attend an open week in person, even if you are not ready to make an offer? An open week is an important step in every home-buying journey – it can provide valuable information for your future home buying experience.

 Whether you are potential buyer searching for homes for sale or you are simply curious, we believe you should attend an open week, even if you are not ready to buy. Here are six solid reasons to hit up an open week;

Open Week gives you home-buying practice

Buying a home is always a big deal, even if you have done it before. It takes attention to detail and time-consuming research to perfect your home-searching skills. However, attending an open week allows you to practice critical home-buying abilities and give you an idea about the ins and outs of the local housing market.

You get comfortable with the home search process and learn what to look for during a home tour. Also, finding out the prices of comparable homes and current trends at open week can be valuable information if you are thinking of buying a house or putting your home out on the market.

You quickly understand the kind of home you can afford

Suppose you are looking for a big, nice home in the neighbourhood of your dreams. You believe it is a realistic goal and you get excited when you see an online listing that meets your expectations.

Asking prices might be in your range. The photos might be eccentric. Unfortunately, you do not always figure what you can afford out until you are really deep in the process of house hunting, perhaps with your heart set on a dream home that will drain your finances and make you house-poor.

However, until you attend the open week, you won’t really know what you are getting for the price. It helps you get a grip on what you can realistically expect to find in your budget.

An open week is an effective way to develop home-buying instincts.

>>>Related: Check out these developments

You get to see the real estate agents in action

If you are not a serious home buyer yet, you probably do not have a real estate agent. When it is time to choose an agent to help you buy or sell your home, your open week experience will help you make a wise choice.

Even if you do not find your dream home, you might actually meet your dream agent. What a better way to interview the candidate who could represent you on either side of the transaction than by seeing them in action?

An open week presents a great opportunity to get multiple face-to-face appointments with potential agents. Be alert to whether the agent engages you when you first come in or he is too busy to acknowledge to help you.

Get a feel of the neighbourhood

If you are looking into buying a house in a new unfamiliar community, browsing for a few months can tell you a lot about the demographics of the neighbourhood and what the area has to offer.

Plus, checking out a bunch of open houses will give you a sense for who primarily lives there – i.e. families, singles or retirees, whether the neighbourhood is abuzz with block parties and other events, or if it is mostly quiet.

You will also get to meet other prospective buyers, and learn where they are relocating from and what they are looking for in their new community.

Of course buyers do some in every demographic, but sometimes the patterns can be surprisingly different.

You get to meet your competition

If you are putting your home on the market, it is important to know the optimum selling price.

Traffic at an open week is the right gauge to determine whether the sellers have found a sweet spot with their price – since a new listing attracts multiple visitors when priced correctly.

Throughout the open week, you can diligently find out what similar homes look like, their condition based on maintenance, amenities and other features.

On the other hand, if you are a buyer, the number of visitors will help you determine how quickly you might need to pounce when you decide you are ready.

An open week can motivate you to start your home buying process

If you plan to buy a home but you have been putting it off, an open week will motivate you into action. There is a high chance you will fall in love with a home during the open week tour. However, you cannot make a legitimate offer without a mortgage pre-approval.

You might not even know how much you can afford. The disappointment, however, should motivate you to be prepared for the next open week.

Our real estate agents can help you find the home of your dreams and make the buying or selling process as easy and stress free as possible. Drop in during our open week at Kitisuru Terraces to have an experience with us. To secure your spot, reach us at:  0724 – 002 605

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.

How To Have A Competitive Edge In Today’s Real Estate Market

The real estate market is rapidly becoming a densely populated field and a fiercely competitive one for that matter.

There will be plenty of competing pressures across your property market and within your territory – other agents chasing your business and your clients; your clients will likely be influenced by the confusing pressures of the market and the economy. 

Facing this growing competition and reduced customer demand, brokers and agents need a huge investment in technology and selling strategies that do two main things for prospects – improve speed and convenience.

There are plenty of ways to get ahead of the game – you just have to be creative and forward-thinking.

Here are a few useful hints to help give your real estate business a competitive advantage and come out on top.

1. Set up a dynamic website for your real estate agency

In this day and age, you are almost certainly losing business if you do not have a company website.

However, simply having a website is not necessarily enough to win your new prospects. To be truly effective, ensure you have a dynamic website that captivates the attention of web visitors within the first few minutes of landing on your page.

Additionally, it must be easy to comprehend and navigate – you want it to easily convey your message and effectively answer any questions or concerns your prospective clients may have.

2. Accelerate research and visits

With more and more properties in today’s market, many potential buyers lack the time to tour buildings in person. A property visit can take a long time to schedule, and more often than not, does not provide enough information for the buyer to make a confident same-day decision.

You can easily solve these time-consuming hurdles in the buyer journey with a few user-friendly, readily available technology tools designed to inform and engage prospects over convenient digital channels.

3D photos and virtual tours, for instance, offer a real-time view of the property before the buyer schedules a visit thus saving you time and doing the job of multiple gents at once.

Eventually, when they do come for a visit, they have more knowledge of the property and better prepared to make a confident decision.

3. Your marketing should never stop

Generally, each organization has at least that one thing that makes them stand out amongst the competition. Do not expect your prospects to automatically know what that is – show them and tell them!

Point out the unique, value-added services you provide and highlight what it is that makes your organization different from all the others. Perhaps it is a more comprehensive start-to-finish service, or that you employ cutting edge software that allows you to provide highly detailed reports on demand.

While factors like reputation and location translate into advantages, so does technology. Agents who employ modern technologies that can save time for prospects, create conveniences in the buying process, and offer a greater level of information about a property will stand out and win more listings.

4. Leverage your property’s visual media

Chances are that you work with a lot of incredibly beautiful properties. Why not showcase some of your best features by sharing them through rich visual media?

Post lots of high-resolution photos and videos on your website, blog, and across all your active social media channels. Go a step ahead and make customized videos in which you discuss some of your services to draw prospects in and show them why you are the property management company they should choose to work with.

5. Provide value

One of the best ways to win new clients and retain existing ones is by continually learning what their needs and wants are and then addressing them.

Understand their questions or concerns and provide them with ample resources to meet those needs. This can be done through a comprehensive FAQ on your website, helpful articles on your company blog, engagement through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter and video tutorials.

The more value and benefit you provide to your clients and prospects, the more loyal they will be to your business.

>>> Search for properties here

6. Offer superior service

Gain that competitive edge by employing tools within your organization that will help keep you and your team organized and on top of things – which is critical in the fast-paced real estate industry.

Tools like property management software will help you streamline business processes, improve internal and external communication and ultimately increase your clients’ satisfaction levels.

Your clients will see that you can meet all of their needs in a timely, professional and organized manner, thus setting you apart from others in the market.

To be clear, winning in this market involves attention to detail, proper guidance and quick action. That does not mean your prices. Your company needs to have some special angle – some compelling value proposition – to stand out and prove to prospective investors that your solution is the right one. That is where your competitive edge comes in.

The 6 Best Practices of Property Management in Kenya Today

If you have been in the property management industry, you know that it is more than just collecting rent, dealing with evictions or preparing lease agreements.

Over the years, property management in Kenya has significantly embraced people and asset management as part of its mandate.

This is why it is prudent for you as a property manager to start using these 6 best practices. These will ensure you effectively manage property whether commercial or rental.

1. Advanced ICT systems

The world is rapidly moving from a traditional to a digital era. Systems that ease workload and simplify complex tasks are being adopted.

More companies and individuals are now investing in understanding the ever-changing ICT systems as a way of marketing and bringing in business.

These systems simplify asset valuation tasks, leads management, acquisitions among others.

By investing in computer-based property management systems, you will have a much easier time managing tasks like collection and record of payments as well as targeted online advertising.

2. Invest In a Powerful Social Media Strategy

How well is your social media helping you acquire new tenants? Do you feel your social media strategy is effective enough as it is?

If the answer is no, then you could be losing out on great leads. Setting up a powerful social media strategy campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest and Instagram will expose your property to thousands if not millions of potential clients.

Investing in targeted advertising by promoting new and existing properties, creating a fan page of property listings and customer testimonials will result in a growing online clientele.

>>> Get to know about existing properties and new affordable listings here.

It is also recommended to invest in social media scheduling and analytics tools. This will help you determine where your audiences are coming from, their age, demographics, best times to post and what time most users are active.  

A good social media marketing strategy should be part of your marketing plan in order to not only attract but keep high quality tenants.

3. Recruit Knowledgeable and Qualified Staff

Having a staff that is competent in property management should be top of your agenda.

A staff skilled in asset management issues such leases, property management laws, overseeing property resources is a valuable addition to any team.

Invest in adequately training your staff on property management but also on customer service skills like communication and problem-solving skills.

4. Conduct Quality Tri-annual Property Inspection

As a property manager, carrying out a routine inspection of property is parallel to increased business and high property rating.

An inspection of property at least three times a year will take care of any repairs and upgrades needed.

Well maintained properties are appealing for potential clients who come for viewing.

Always have an inspection and maintenance schedule that will help you keep a record of renovations made as well as act as a point of future reference.  

5. Attract and Retain The Best Tenants

Arguably, the most important part of property management is ensuring you attract and retain the best tenants.

This practice will help you get tenants who pay their rent on time, abide by the rules of the property and communicate any issues in a timely manner.

So how do you attract these law-abiding tenants?

Whereas there are tens of ways to attract high quality tenants, one of the most successful ways is by putting out an appealing property listing.

Make sure the listing answers questions in the mind of the buyer like the price, location, features, contact etc.

The information should be personalized to appeal to the needs of quality tenants with a very clear call to action such as “only two units remaining, call us now on …”.

6. How Frequently Do You Communicate With Tenants?

You must always establish constant and frequent communication with your tenants.

Tenants are always keen on reaching out to property managers who keep their lines of communication open.

Communication skills are vital for your success as a property manager because you will be able to listen, understand and meet the needs of the tenant.

And even after the potential client has been sold in, maintaining regular communication, payment details, services and so on will ensure the tenants lengthened stay.

That said…

If you can master these 6 profit-oriented property management practices, there’s no reason you should not start making significant milestones.

In this digital era, focus on creating a strong property management brand online. This strategy will not only ease your workload but also edify all your other campaigns.

And if you are looking for top notch customer centric property managers who will help you secure the best properties, please get unlimited information here.