Home Buying Guide shows you how to buy a house and stress-free in Kenya. It’s the dream of millions of Kenyans to own a home. Home buying can turn into a nightmare if not careful about it.
My shout…buy a home you can afford to pay for and maintain. Do it through the right legal procedures, using skilled professionals.
1. Have an idea of your ideal home
What type of home would you like to have?
a) An Apartment:
An apartment is a private house (i.e. self-contained) in a building. A residential building that’s divided into several dwellings.
In Kenya, apartments have one or more bedrooms. The largest apartment has 4 bedrooms. Most storeyed residential buildings contain apartments (referred to as flats in Nairobi.)
Many residential property developers in Kenya have apartments on sale. This is especially in Kenyan cities and the bigger towns like Kisumu.
Many Kenyans are living in rented apartments. How about instead of renting you bought one? How would that make you feel?
Features of an apartment home:
High-end apartment buildings have salient features. Such features are include swimming pools, gymnasiums, ponds, clubhouse, shopping malls, etc.
b) A Maisonette
A maisonette is a flat that usually has a separate door to the outside from other the flat in the same building. Many maisonettes are on two floors. You can live on a ground floor or on the first-floor maisonette.
Most maisonettes have at least three bedrooms. Others have four bedrooms. Where would you find maisonettes in Nairobi? These types of homes are in Buruburu, Donholm, South B, South C, Kitengela, Mlolongo, Athi River, etc.
Maisonettes are ideal for young families due to their price range and functionality. It has a front yard serving as a car park and a backyard.
A bungalow used to be one storey house with front porch but designs have since changed. In this modern era, a bungalow needs not storeyed but the front entry porch veranda remains. There are beautiful bungalow designs in Kenya done by qualified architects.
A bungalow is ideal for a family home because it is spacious and every room is on the same floor – ground. It is good for family members with mobility issues.
d) Luxury Villas
A villa is a large luxurious house for the rich individual and his family. It is in a prime luxury homes location. Luxury villas come furnished and maintained.
Single, individually-owned housing unit in a multi-unit building. The condominium owner holds sole title to the unit. He or she owns the land and common property (elevators, halls, roof, stairs, etc.) with other joint owners. You share the upkeep expenses on the common property with them.
2. Budget to raise funds for home buying
Now that you have decided on the type of a home that you want, do you have the money? If you already have the money that’s good for you. But if you don’t have the money you need to devise a way of raising it.
The best way to raise home-buying money is to create a budget. The result of budgeting will help to know how much is available for purchasing a home.
• What is your total monthly income? Add up your income to know exactly how much you make in a month.
• How much does the household expenses amount too:
List your household expenses to determine where every Shilling you earn goes. And how much is the surplus if any.
• Mortgage – the 25% rule
Calculate homeownership costs because you need to know whether you can afford it. Remember, the homeownership cost should never be more than 25% of your monthly income. Housing monthly payment (or mortgage should never be above 25% of monthly income.)
• Adjust your lifestyle
You need to downscale your lifestyle to accommodate your home purchasing project. It is important to meet mortgage repayments as possible.
• Stay on budget and find extra income streams
To bring lifestyle back to normal find other ways of earning extra income. This will help repay for your home earlier than expected. Thus avoiding mortgage repayment stress. Follow your budget to avoid late mortgage repayments.
Recap on home buying budgeting:
One of the easiest ways to calculate how much home you can afford is the 25% rule. The rule says that your mortgage should not be more than 25% of your income each month.
3. Get Appraisal – get pre-approved for your home loan by your bank
What is a home appraisal?
An appraisal is the unbiased professional opinion of a home’s value.
A home appraisal is an unbiased determination of the fair market value of the home. Done by a professionally-trained third party.
Why is getting an appraisal important:
• It ensures that, as a buyer, you don’t pay more than the home is actually worth.
• It is important for securing financing from your bank
Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all your financial information. And they have let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you.
Leading Mortgage Lenders in Kenya
Housing Finance Group
Standard Chartered Bank
4. Locate a home you want to buy
Home location determined by budget. Because you wouldn’t go window shopping for a home in locations you can’t afford. You already know how much you can afford and how much the bank will loan you.
Search for a house that fits your life. Think about what type of house will fit your life. Don’t go for the biggest house in the neighbourhood. Or the prettiest, choose the one that fits your lifestyle.
Use a Property Development Company to find a home
High-end home sellers in Kenya:
Middle and lower-income earners home developers:
5. Hire skilled professionals – don’t buy from the seller
Buy the home through a real estate agent in the presence of your property lawyer. Buying direct from the seller is risky.
Be careful when choosing an agent. Ask friends to refer you to a good agent. Ask around and refrain from working with the first agent you meet. You can always interview them until you find one you feel comfortable with.
• Real estate agent
• An appraiser
• Home inspector
• Property lawyer
Things always go wrong when you use shortcuts to save money. You don’t want to pay professional fees or commissions. Guess what, down the line, it might cost you a fortune for negligence. Something you overlooked or failed to notice always comes back to bite you.
There are many others. I just gave you a few.
6. Don’t get pressured by an agent to buy
Please, you don’t have an obligation to buy in a hurry because your agent is pressuring you. Be careful. You make Major mistakes when you buy under pressure. Don’t buy a home because your agent says there are other people who also want it. Take your time. Act when you feel its right to do so.
Thanks for your visit.
Plots for sale at Kantafu, Kangundo Road