Why you should outsource property management.

Owning property has always been on the minds of many people at some point in their lives, becoming a landlord seems like a great idea with only positives and very few negatives.

The truth is that most of the new landlords come to find it’s a nightmare having to deal with rude tenants who were angels during their negotiations of the property, Unreliable handymen are also an issue because they are always inflating the cost of repairs, not showing up on time and are never within the agreed upon timetable for repairs.

You need not worry about such problems because the simple answer is a property management company. Here are some of the reasons why you need a property management company.

Tenant screening

One of the key responsibilities of a property management company is to screen all the tenants that apply to rent a property. They check whether the potential tenant has any legal matters following them as well as their credit score and tenancy history. This can save you a lot of hustle as well as any potential legal bindings.

Determine best rent rate

Knowing the value of the property in the market as well as the yearly rends is crucial. Property management companies ensure you are always within the correct rent bracket to guarantee you a competitive edge.

Property inspections

Understanding what to look for after a tenant leaves or before a tenant enters could save you a lot of money and time. Property management companies such as Homes universal have professional inspectors that carry out a thorough and in-depth investigation.

Evictions

One of the realities of leasing a property is that you may have to evict a tenant at one point or another. Its never an easy task and requires a delicate but professional approach. Which a property management company can handle for you .

Marketing property

Property management companies have a wide network that they use to market your property across multiple channels increasing your visibility as well as number of offers.

Rent collection

Property management companies ensure a consistent and reliable rent collection schedule so that you are able to collect hustle free and should there be any issues it is they who handle them.

Client List

Property management companies have a ready client list for any property because they screen all potential tenants looking for property. This ensures you get serious offers faster.

Property taxation

Property management company help you understand which deductions to claim, and organize the necessary forms and documentation to make those claims

Maintenance and repairs

Hiring a management company give you access to their in-house maintenance staff, systems, as well as their contractors who have already been vetted for good pricing and quality work.

Free up your time 

Property managers give you the freedom from having to be hands on running the day to day of your property. They handle all the heavy lifting and consult you only on issues that are critical and need your approval
Overall hiring a property management company offers a better experience in your property ownership journey.

Do you have a property you would like managed?  Call us for a presentation

A NEW CONCEPT IN DESIGN ARCHITECTURE AT VALLEY VIEW BUSINESS PARK

Nairobi’s skyline has evolved and now more than ever, there are new concepts evolving by the day that show creativity and bring out the changing trends in real estate developments. As property developers scour the Nairobi suburbs in search of areas to put up housing, there is a new clique of developers that are targeting the commercial arena and are going all out to showcase unique and show-stopping designs.

One such concept is Valley View Business Park – Located in the upmarket suburb of Parklands and nestled by residential homes overlooking the City Park – a major hallmark of Kenya’s tourism landscape, this new development is built to cater to the needs of the fast rising economic landscape. FINAL4

Valley View Business Park is the only commercial property in Nairobi that boasts’ of “two revolving towers” – yes – hard to imagine. Up till last year, the only building that had a revolving tower was the Kenyatta International Conference Centre – now here comes a new concept in real estate, where a private developer has built a business centre that has 2 revolving towers.

Construction of Valley View Business Park commenced in 2012 and is now ready for occupation. This project has had the fastest turn-around time in terms of construction. This development comprises an 11-storey twin tower with two revolving restaurants nestled in the serene suburb of Parklands, along Limuru Road, right behind Caltex Plaza, a perfect location for a quick drive to work.

The second tower is eight stories high. It is bordered by the Mathare River and the lush Muthaiga estate on one side, the proposed M15A highway and City Park Nature Reserve. The facilities provide 600,000 square feet of prime office space with magnificent views of the leafy Muthaiga and the greenery of City Park Forest. It features three levels of basement parking with a capacity of 600 cars. Built with the highest environmental standards in mind, the green surrounding of the development creates a calm aura, excudes luxury and offers a perfect business environment away from the city’s hustle and bustle.Valley View

One can only imagine setting up an office or restaurant in one of the towers – get to enjoy the magnificent view of the Nairobi skyline as you perform your day to day business. A restaurant or hotel can set base here and appeal to the businesses housed at Valley View Business Park.

Owing to its’ unique design and architectural concept, the ultra-modern Valley View Business Park, the complex has various architectural features that are designed to offer a calm and serene working environment – not to mention the location.

Design architecture in the real estate market is delving into the future of real estate developments in Africa. As more and more investors and international look to Kenya, as the investment destination of Africa, it has become imperative that real estate developers and marketers think out of the box to appeal to the growing number of discerning and established businesses and brands.

The business park that is being solely marketed and sold by Villa Care Ltd, is designed to appeal to the person that is not looking at home investment opportunities. This person is actively and aggressively penetrating the commercial investment areas and has gradually changed the face of Nairobi. While investing billions of shillings into the thriving and most promising Kenyan economy, this investor is responsible for the continuously changing Nairobi skyline.

Change is already sweeping through the Nairobi suburbs namely Parklands, Westlands, UpperHill, Adams Arcade, Hurlingham and Mombasa Road. These areas are now home to the newest and most conventionally designed world class hotels

It is not hidden that internationally renowned developers and architects have set their sights on Nairobi as the regions commercial investment hub. For most people coming from the West, Central and Southern African regions of Africa, when exiting or entering the continent, Nairobi is the central convergence zone. Africa has fast positioned itself as the next frontier and, Nairobi is set to lead the way. Going by the new architectural standards, building design in Nairobi is at its peak and no investor wants to be left behind.Night2

If you would like more information regarding Valley View Business park, kindly get in touch with:

Moses Owuor, Commercial Manager, Villa Care Ltd

Email: moses@villacarekenya.com

 

 

KENYA HOMES EXPO TO OFFER FREE EXHIBITION TICKET TO SMES

grow-money

Kenya Homes Expo to offer free exhibition ticket to SMEs

Nairobi, 7th April 2015: In a move to empower start-ups within the housing sector, Kenya Homes Expo has today announced plans to reward the best-selling entrepreneurs at the exhibition. The organizers plan to offer a free exhibition ticket to any start-up that emerges top-seller during any of the expo event.

Speaking during an exhibitor’s breakfast held today at KICC, Kenya Homes Expo co-founder Mr. Daniel Ojijo observed that the homes show has become a major stepping stone for start-ups in the housing sector hence the current move to recognize them.

“Our aim is to show small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) currently grappling with the high cost of marketing that there exist inexpensive promotion tools they can exploit,” said Mr. Daniel Ojijo.

He, further added, “Starting with the incoming 21st edition of Kenya Homes Expo, any start-up that makes the highest sales by customer numbers, will receive a free stand in the following edition.”

Currently, SMEs account for 50percent of all the exhibitors that takes place at Kenya Homes Expo –that is held in April and October every year.

“It estimated that 75percent of new businesses fail within their first three years and this is why we are supporting start-ups within the industry to avoid being part of the statistics. The growth of such SMEs is as essential for the long term growth of this sector as it is for our economy,” said Mr. Daniel Ojijo who is also the CEO Homes Universal Ltd.

Over 100 SMEs are expected to take part in the 21st Kenya Homes Expo slated to start on Thursday 16th and end on Sunday, 19th April 2015, according to Ojijo.

“We have achieved in excess of 50,000 visitors per edition and we believe that this relevant crowd is a good bet for small businesses wishing to introduce themselves to potential buyers of their products and services,” added Mr. Ojijo.

Nancy Gwaro, the CEO of Miale Furniture Limited, is one of the exhibitors who lauded the move by Kenya Homes Expo to support upcoming entrepreneurs saying that the show provides an excellent platform for entrepreneur who would like to introduce themselves into the market.

“I got my first client at the expo two years ago. I also obtained numerous sales leads and recommendation and that why I know others too stand to gain from the plan,” said Ms. Gwaro.

Since its humble start in 2005 with 40 exhibitors, Kenya Homes Expo has grown tremendously with over 200 exhibitors taking place in each edition of the four days event.

“The increased traffic from both exhibitors and visitors has seen the expo take up two halls (Tsavo and Aberdare Lenana) comprising of two floors and the courtyard here at the biggest conference and exhibition Centre in East and Central Africa,” Ojijo said.

East Africa Portland Cement Company is the diamond sponsor of the 21st edition while the Chinese firm, Boleyn Magic Wall Panel Limited, Sadolin East Africa and Tononoka Steels limited are the Gold sponsors.

The expo is endorsed by Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and is organized by Homes Kenya magazine.

“Our theme for the 21st Kenya Homes Expo is ‘Ignite your Creativity’ depicting the innovative ideas and concepts that will be showcased at the expo, giving the visitors solutions they never thought were available,” said Mr.Ojijo.

Visitors to the event are charged Sh150.

PRECAST CONCRETE FACTORY IN KITENGELA, KENYA

Housing sector

A chinese firm already to opened a Sh3billion precast concrete factory in Kitengela, a technology that promises to cut the cost of building a house by 20 percent.

The precast concrete building solutions will help reduce the cost of homes by 20 percent upwards depending on the size and location and also offer  solution to Sh1.4billion lost annually through collapsed buildings.

This is in refence to the communication below.

Nairobi, March 2015: A Chinese firm based in Nairobi, Boleyn Magic Wall Panel Limited (BMWP), has today announced its readiness to introduce precast concrete building solutions in the country after the completion of its Sh3billion modern precast housing factory in Kitengela along Namanga Road.

The factory with a production capacity of 20, 000 units of houses annually will start selling its products from May 2015 and provides part of the technology the ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development has approved to help bridge the current gap in the supply and demand of housing. The precast technology is also expected to reduce the cost of homes by 20 percent and above will as well provide homes for low and middle income segment of the housing market.

Speaking during the signing of a sponsorship agreement for the incoming 21st Kenya Homes Expo, BMWP Managing Director, Mr. Jack Liu said the precast concrete building solution is not only a precursor for lowering the cost of homes but also a step in the right direction in taming substandard construction that lead to occasional collapsing of buildings in the country.

“Our factory will manufacture products like wall panels, half slab, hollow core slab for flooring and roofing, columns, pressurised beams, road barriers, railway sleepers, highway and bridge double T beams and staircases,” said Liu adding on that since precast concrete is manufactured in a controlled casting environment it is easier to control the mix, placement, and curing hence the quality of the construction can be controlled and monitored much more easily than in site cast concrete.

“Since a precaster can buy materials for multiple projects, quantity discounts can lower costs hence the estimated reduction in cost of homes,” added Liu.

According to Daniel Ojijo, CEO Homes Universal Limited, the precast solutions reduce construction period and labour by up to 60 percent and overall capital investment by over 4 percent.

“This is a blessing for many developers who are grappling with the long time it takes to finish the construction of their projects as the precast slabs only require assembling at the site which can take 8 days to fully complete a two bedroom house,” said Ojijo.

The technology can be used to construct high rise apartments, standalone houses, large scale housing units like those needed for the police and army, schools, churches and others according to Mr.Ojijo.

BMWP will first showcase the precast concrete solutions to the public at the incoming edition of the Kenya Homes Expo slated for 16th to 19th of April 2015 at KICC.

“We are optimistic that many Kenyans will adopt this technology as it is affordable and as well create better quality products compared with cast-on-site concrete. Additionally, precast concrete is strong to resists impact, blasts and natural catastrophes like earthquakes, tornadoes and floods better than cast-on-site concrete,” said Mr.Liu.

Precast wall panels or floor/roofing slabs is a construction product produced by casting concrete on a steel pallet in workshop which is then cured in a controlled chamber, transported to the construction site and lifted into place for installation.

The precast building solution has been widely applied in Europe for the last 100 years and in the Middle East for over 30 years now and it’s said to be the current international construction trend likely to face out convention building systems.

According to Liu, if widely adopted, the precast walls will help Kenya reduce losses incurred through collapsed buildings estimated to be worth Sh1.4 billion a year.

BMWP has recruited and trained about 100 Kenyans to help run the Kitengela factory and will create employment for about 500 others before end of 2015.

 

Authored by Nathaniel Ndegwa

Published by John Baraka

 

PREFAB HOUSING : WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Did you know you could easily build an exquisite and affordable home or develop a property for sale in Kenya, in less than a fortnight?.

You could easily drop and assemble a modular home in just a few days, thanks to prefabrication technology compared with a challenging months-long schedule for a traditional mortar and brick home.

Prefabrication basically refers to the design and manufacture of units or modules, usually in a controlled environment remote from the work site and the installation and permanent assembly at the site. Prefabricated homes commonly referred to as prefab or modular homes mainly use the expanded Polystyrene (EPS) technology and more recently in Kenya, precast cement wall panels.

The materials can either be pre-assembled or completely assembled away from the site. This is how it can be distinguished from the traditional brick and mortar building practice that involves transportation of all the building materials like timber, brick and cement for construction at the site. In prefabrication, only the foundation is made this way. “If most Kenyans welcome this gesture then housing rates might reduce tremendously” says Mr Ndara, Marketing Manager at Villa Care Ltd.

Since most of the work is done at the factory, construction ceases to become such a headache. It speeds up construction time and saves on labor costs and is much more convenient compared to the conventional method that usually takes months if not years to complete. A lot of the problems associated with construction are therefore eliminated and one can be guaranteed of quality control, worker safety and reduction of construction waste. Such technology can be used to make affordable houses for sale in Kenya, enabling the ordinary Kenyan to own a house.

Prefabrication technology is certainly not new and has been in use for centuries. One notable structure is the Sweet Track (England) built in 3800BC. It is the world’s oldest known roadway which used pre-assembled timber.

However in Kenya, people are reluctant to embrace prefab housing because of a misconception. “Many Kenyans assume that prefab housing may not be durable since it is cheaper and takes a shorter time to construct” says Mr Ope, Project Manager at Mentor Group Ltd,

Prefab houses are common in many areas in the world, especially in the US, Malaysia and other South Eastern countries.

Most recently in the Kenya real estate arena, Koto Housing shocked many when they first proposed to build a 3 bedroom house in 14 days for less than 2 million shillings. They have since entered into a partnership with Jamii Bora Bank to see the construction of 3 and 5 bedroom units for customers in Kenya.

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Prefab housing in Kenya

The biggest challenge to prefab housing is the cost of transporting a prefabricated building and heavy-duty cranes from the factory to the construction site. This could cause quite a dent in the budget of those wishing to build their own prefab home.

“Prefab housing technology in Kenya may not really be time and cost effective. The challenge is finding the right technology for your project as well as skilled labor to pull it off. If they are learning on the job then might take just as much time as the traditional method.” This is according to Senior Architect Michael Odindo of Spectrum Architects.

At a time when the demand of housing in Kenya is at 200,000 units annually at a supply of only 40,000 units, this may be the lasting solution to the biting shortage experienced in affordable housing in Kenya today.

 

Have you read about the precast cement wall panels? Read about it here

Authored by June Siakwei

GIVING MADARAKA A NEW FACE OF AFFORDABLE LUXURY

Madaraka, a middle class suburb nestled in between Karen to the north and Westlands to the east, is fast rising as a homely environment for the rising middle to upper class.  Long established as an area playing home to civil service employees and with a majority of the land owned by the Nairobi City County, Madaraka and Nairobi West is fast changing to become a more vibrant and modern living environment.

MALIBU COURT- MADARAKA

MALIBU COURT- MADARAKA

Real estate developers and investors are now looking to Madaraka to put up residential spaces that meet the needs of the urban population that is now more exposed to real estate trends and aesthetics.  Taking the lead is Malibu Court, an impressive development of 56 prime 3 bedroom master en-suite apartments.

Malibu Court has indeed changed the face of Madaraka with this development that’s already attracting the interest of Kenyans with purchase power and expatriates alike.  With Kenya gaining global interest as the investment destination of the continent, real estate has proved a guaranteed investment avenue.

The exclusive Malibu Court – home to these spaciously built apartments, an array of elegant homes with contemporary finishing meets the highest standards in home design.

With breath-taking views of the new Northern bypass, and overlooking the Nairobi National Park, Malibu Court gives a guarantee of security coupled with serene living.  The 3 bedroom homes each with master en-suite appeal to the high end market and cater to the needs of the rising middle class. The apartments are the only ones in the area that have a swimming pool on the rooftop, giving home owners that exclusive privacy when swimming, having barbeques with their guests or just enjoying an evening chill out.MALIBU COURT- MADARAKA

Conveniently located minutes from the Central Business District, and close to all social amenities, Malibu Court offers the astute home owner absolute luxurious living.  Located close to Strathmore University, and in close proximity to Gertrudes Garden Hospital, T-Mall and Capital Centre, the development offers competitively priced houses that do not compromise on space.  The 3 bedroom master en-suite prestigious apartments have well lit, spacious lounges fitted with large windows that have modern designed wrought iron curtain holders.  The kitchens are fitted with granite table tops and each room has ample storage facilities.  The apartments have a self-contained guardhouse with intercom and CCTV surveillance to ensure total security for home owners.

Salient features of the houses include:

  • Self-contained servant quarters
  • Boundary wall
  • Electric fence
  • Landscaped garden
  • Cabro paved driveway and parking
  • Swimming pool
  • Self-contained guard house
  • High speed lifts
  • Borehole
  • Gym
  • 3 level basement parking

An investment in Malibu Court is one of the best one can make, a living environment that offers all the conveniences of a metropolitan lifestyle that integrates work, life and recreation.

BELLCREST GARDENS

THE RISE OF ‘URBANITES’

Real estate developers are now slowly turning to these kinds of building environments and Sigimo Enterprises Limited, a fast rising real estate player is one innovative and trend setting developer that has taken the first step to provide such homes for the already established urbanites.

One such development is Bellcrest Gardens in the tranquil Kileleshwa suburb, a relatively fashionable urban location that appeals to the rising middle to upper class Kenyan.  The suburb is also a favorite of expatriates, UN and NGO employees.  This is a unique attribute of boutique apartments, as the intention is to build them in intimate locations with an enveloping atmosphere.  The mere fact that Bellcrest Gardens is set in the unique locality overlooking the famous Arboretum forest makes it an ideal setting for these kind of building set ups.

Bellcrest Gardens is designed with precise attention to luxury and space.  According to the CEO of Villa Care Limited, the marketing agency of the properties, Mr. Daniel Ojijo, upmarket apartments continue to shine and the appeal is now greater than ever.  He continues to add that the apartments highlight strong architectural elements and are an ideal showcase of design at its utmost element with warm accents across the rooms.  The apartments are designed with a coastal feel with the balconies overlooking beautiful lawns, built to encourage relaxation and comfort.

With convenient proximity to schools, shopping centers, hospitals and other social amenities, Bellcrest Gardens offer unrivaled spacious and modern 4 bedroom apartments and penthouses with 4 bathrooms with large airy kitchens with utility area.  Each house offers a spacious lounge and balcony with an uninterrupted view of State House Gardens and the Arboretum. The houses encompass a spacious master bedroom with an inbuilt walk in closet.  Finishes incorporate ceramic tiles and granite worktops in the kitchen.

These are twenty eight modern and spaciously built 3 bedroom apartments master en suite + self-contained Dsq measuring 170sqm.

Amenities include:

  • Swimming pool
  • Lift
  • Clubhouse
  • Gym
  • Backup generator
  • Excellent panoramic views
  • Ample parking
  • Perimeter wall with electric fence.
  • General Amenities
  • Backup generator
  • Dsq
  • Electric fence
  • Gym
  • Perimeter wall
  • Interior Amenities
  • Lift

THE KENYA HOMES EXPO

This year’s second Kenya Homes Expo will run from October 22 to 25 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi. It will be the event’s 22nd edition since it was inaugurated 12 years ago.

Organized under the theme, “Secure your Dreams”, it aims to recognize the range of products and services in the real estate, finance, construction and interior décor and design industry.rsz_dsc_8159

According to Mr Daniel Ojijo, the CEO and founder of Homes Universal, the real estate consortium that owns the Kenya Homes Expo, the exhibition gives individuals and companies the opportunity to develop clear perspectives, network; strike business deals and makes contacts. And through the exchange of ideas and information, they are able to keep abreast with the trends in East Africa and beyond.

“Having grown from humble beginnings 11 years ago at the Sarit Centre, the expo has maintained the lead as the most authoritative in East Africa, thanks to the strategy and expertise in the industry.”

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REALTORS INCLUDED

The exhibition has already secured over 150 exhibitors, and is expected to attract more than 250 exhibitors this time around.  Among the companies participating are Housing Finance, Anchor Properties, Bobmil, KCB Mortgages, Azizi Realtors, Crystal Valuers, Cube Movers, Sollatek, East Africa Security Options and NIC Bank.

The international exhibitors include Global Chinese manufacturing firm Avic International, which will be participating for the first time.

The expo also has a good number  of exhibitors from the United Arab Emirates, among them Touchwood Furniture, a leading furniture manufacturer from Dubai, and Damac Properties, a realtor, also from Dubai, which deals in the development and sale of high end luxury properties.

The expo will incorporate realtors, building and construction companies, finance and  mortgage institutions, potential and existing homeowners, interior décor and design companies, home furnishing and  accessory companies and contractors, among other influential service providers in the industry.

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The expo is held twice every year in order to keep up with the ever-evolving trends in the industry. Its success has been partly attributed to the real estate boom recorded in the last few years.

The sponsors of this year’s event include East Africa Portland Cement Company, Tononoka Steels Ltd, and  BMW Precast Housing Solution.

 

TRENDSETTING BOUTIQUE LIVING IN THE HEART OF LAVINGTON

Boutique living is no longer a story we read on the glossy magazines from international markets.  As more and more people gain purchase power, the need for outstanding designs in residential properties has taken center stage and as now more than ever, new developments have to keep up with the new trends.   DUCHESS PARK - LAVINGTON,HATHERU ROAD

Step into Duchess Park, home to one of the most unique design statements in property developments in East Africa.  Located in suburbia on Hatheru Road, Duchess Park is a sight to behold.  From the exteriors, all one can see is an endless high rise building, but once one sets foot inside the spacious and elegant interiors of the apartments, one is left in awe at the beauty and majestic allure of Duchess Park, a homely, luxurious community of spacious 3 and 4 bedroom all ensuite apartments and 5 bedroom luxurious duplexe apartments fit for a queen.

As the Kenyan real estate market looks towards the rising upper middle class, the likes of Duchess Park are a sure investment for the discerning home owners.  In the fast changing real estate market which does not seem to soon experience a boom, the trend has changed to building apartments and condos built like boutique apartments.  To begin, a boutique apartment is described as a home setting that is intimate, unique and luxurious.  The Oxford Dictionary defines the word boutique as a business or entity that serves a sophisticated or specialized clientele.

This now begs the question, if a boutique is a sophisticated establishment, what then encompasses a boutique apartment?  In urban Nairobi, the middle to upper class Kenyans are now looking for more sophisticated living environments, which can afford them the luxuries of a hotel while still enjoying the comforts of a home.  No longer is it exciting to just own or live in an apartment in the city that just resembles an old school flat – now it is about living in utmost luxury and comfort.DSC_0101

Real estate developers are now fast turning to these kind of building environments and Sigimo Enterprises Limited, a fast rising real estate player is one innovative and trend setting developer that has taken the first step to provide such homes for the already established urbanites.   Built on a generous plinth area of 440 sq. m, the duplexe apartments at Duchess Park are fit with exclusive facilities including 2 lounges, private gym, bar, sauna and steam room.  One can walk around multiple high rise developments across the city, and not find anything closey familiar to Duchess Park.  From the top floor of the majestic apartments, the view of the Karen plains and the awe inspiring Ngong Hills is one to die for.  Where else in the city does one afford such views?  Nowhere, we can assure you.

Sigimo Enterprises, having observed the building trends in the country, opted to make a difference by building homes that have a unique aspect and leverage on the unique attributes of environments.  Sigimo Enterprises develops homes that produce a characteristic personal feeling in every space and develop one of-a-kind homes with an independent attitude – these are what can be defined as boutique apartments.Duchess Park

Property Features

  • Spacious 3 bedroom all ensuite apartments sitting on 210 sq. m with elaborate master bedroom with balcony and self contained domestic servants quarters.
  • Lovely 4 bedroom all ensuite apartments sitting on 230 sq. m with spacious master bedroom with balcony and self contained domestic servants quarters.
  • Luxurious and spacious 5 bedroom all ensuite duplexes with 2 lounges, bar and private gym among other amenities.

Duchess Park provides home owners with the ultimate luxury of having superb recreational facilities in the vicinity of your own apartment.  Unwind in the serene luxury of your home at Duchess Park, everything you ever wanted in an apartment.

Authour: Kelai Wamjiru

 

 

 

 

 

MUNENE NYAGA’S LUXURIOUS HOME

Munene Nyaga’s home is a work in progress. A journey that began in April 2009 has culminated into a work of art and a life-long dream realized. This is just the beginning, Munene insists, because what today stands as an eight-bedroom mansion in Athi River’s Sabaki Estate is just half of what he dreamed about. No expense has been spared in putting up this mansion, which has cost him Kshs 15 million already, but the proud owner is only warming up.

 

While the mansion has several unique designs, the highlight of the day goes to the semicircular observatory glass house on the first floor that magnificently stands out. The glass house, Munene explains, was inspired by the office atriums he always admired. Inside the glass house, is a bar counter where he can serve drinks to guests, or better yet, serve as a Deejay’s deck.  Made of simple windowpanes fitted onto iron frames, the glass house not only gives a perfect view of the sky, but is also his guests’ favorite spot in the house.

 

“In the afternoons, it gets really hot. But that heat comes in handy at night because this glass house is the warmest place in the house. My guests prefer to sit here and enjoy the view of the moon and stars at night,” he says.

 

But on a good, relaxed weekend, you will most likely find Munene seated at the huge balcony right after the glass house,

probably enjoying a beer with a couple of friends. The mansion might not yet be fully furnished, but this does not stop

Munene and his friends from using it as their ‘weekend home’ when they have had enough of the city’s smoke and dust. The 49 square meter living room is complemented by yet another bar downstairs. The downstairs bar is uniquely decorated in Mulberry- a deep purple and white with stripes of channel blue. This bar. This is me. This is Munene Nyaga in his element. I wanted a unique concept. I wanted a cozy bar where my friends and I can buy drinks, listen to music and party all night,” he says. The downstairs bar has a unique secondary ceiling with a snake light and neon lights that complement the coal

black tiles on the floor. Of the eight bedrooms and six bathrooms, the one that speaks volumes of Munene’s outgoing character ought to be the master bedroom. Almost as huge as the 49 square meter living room, the master bedroom upstairs boasts of the largest bathroom and an additional balcony.

 

“My idea of a master bedroom was a room that I could even put a couch and have a mini-living room or a small office. Who knows, even a baby cot (laughs). This bathroom will be the only one with a Jacuzzi. This master bedroom is basically going to be my safe haven,” he says.

 

Other notable aspects of the mansion include the underground water tank that cost him close to a million. But why not?

The tank can hold up to 80,000 liters of water, and since Munene discovered the secret in water harvesting, the tank comes in handy during the frequent water rationing periods.

 

So exactly how did Munene manage to put up such a home?

 

Before starting the project, he saved Kshs 3 million with his employer’s trust fund, which was enough to kick-start, his project.

He sketched the house himself one Friday afternoon and handed over the sketch to an architect who realized his plan.

“I thought I was loaded. I thought that at 2 million, I would have finished. How wrong I was!” he says.

Munene put a labor contractor in-charge of the project, as he was busy with his career and could not manage the project by himself. They would then agree on how much he would pay the contractor at every stage.

 

Contrary to his expectations that Kshs 3 million would suffice for his project, the and generally living large. Defying convention, Munene still drives an old Toyota and resides at Old Racecourse, something that comes as a shocker for

many who would expect him to keep up with the trends, if not set them. “It takes a lot of sacrifice. For instance, in the past 4 years, I have not taken a holiday. All my leave days are spent here, watching my project. People think I drive the worst car in the industry, but I think I have the best house in the industry,” a grinning Munene says.

He says this is his biggest and most memorable feat so far and it was worth every effort, every dime and every sacrifice.

 

“Whenever I lay my hands on some cash, I always explore all my investment opportunities and my conscience cannot allow me to spend for social status. This has got to be the most exciting project of my life,” he says. So does he intend to live here?

“I don’t intend to live here,” says the 40-year old. “Because I think it would be wasteful. Being a bachelor, I want to lease it out for people travelling in groups and would not want to stay at a hotel. I want to finish and furnish it, and open it up to the public as a getaway from the bustle of town life; a place where they can come cool themselves and just enjoy the Athi River breeze,” he continues.

 

Story courtesy of Homes Kenya Magazine