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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

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.

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
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