The Home Buying Process in Kenya

Home-Haven by Axis Assets

Part 4

The Home-Buying Process

Waking up to the vibrant landscapes of Kenya where the warm sun kisses the picturesque hills and bustling cities, is a dream that holds roots in the hearts of many. The dream of finding the perfect place to call home gets closer by the day. Check out our previous episodes on the “Home-Haven series” to understand the aspirations, challenges, and opportunities there are in the world of Home-Buying in Kenya.

In today’s episode, we explore the process of getting yourself a sanctuary where memories would flourish, aspirations would soar, and a place you will be proud to call home.

The home-buying process is a very exhilarating process, however, most people don’t quite understand it. The following are priority factors to guide your home-buying aspirations and give you a seamless home-buying process.

  1. Clearly outline your budget

Before delving into the home-buying process, it’s important to clearly know your limit in terms of spending. It is also important to figure out all the expenses that will be incurred apart from the cost of buying the house. These expenses include:

  • Stamp duty: This is the payment for the transfer of property from one individual to another. This is typically paid to the Ministry of Land by the home buyer. The stamp duty is at a rate of 2% to 4% of the price of the house.
  • Legal charges: If you decide to engage a lawyer to verify the authenticity of the buyer, you will be charged at a rate of 1% to 2% of the house price. However, this usually varies depending on the lawyer.
  • Valuation fees: This is applicable if you decide to take a loan for financing your house. The lender institution will require you to engage the services of a valuer to get the total value of the house for mortgage purposes. The valuation fees will depend on the rates offered by the valuer and the value of the house.
  • Maintenance and renovation: This will be incurred if the house needs some fixing or some improvements. The maintenance fees will depend on the extent of the work and the materials needed.
  • Insurance: it is important to insure the house from unforeseen events such as fire, theft, or natural disaster. The insurance premium varies depending on the house and its content. It usually costs a minimum of sh 5,000 per annum.
  • Moving cost: It’s important to factor in the cost of moving. This involves hiring a moving company or hiring a moving truck.

2. Decide on your preferred method of financing

There are quite several real estate financing methods. The most used are payments through cash and taking mortgage loans. If you decide to take a mortgage loan, it’s important to choose the best mortgage lender with the best terms and also the best mortgage plan. There are two types of mortgage plans which are fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages.

  • Fixed-rate mortgages offer a fixed interest rate. The borrower pays the same amount of interest throughout the entire term of the mortgage.
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage on the other hand has a changing interest rate. The interest rate of the adjustable-rate mortgage fluctuates depending on the prevailing market conditions.

More on that in our previous blog (Methods of Real Estate Financing).

3. Settling for a design

It is important to settle for a design that reflects your needs. Do you have a big family? What type of house do you want? Are you a fan of backyards? These are all the questions to ask yourself before finally settling for a preferred design. Choosing a design that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle can greatly enhance your homeownership experience.

4. Engaging Experts

Navigating the real estate market can be overwhelming, but fear not! It is an added advantage to enlist the expertise of a professional real estate agent who will guide you all through the process. Professional experts like “Axis Assets Limited” possess insider knowledge, access to listings, and negotiation skills that will help you find your dream home.

5. House Hunting

Now comes the exciting part – house hunting! With your real estate agent by your side, embark on a venture through the vibrant real estate market. Visit properties, explore neighborhoods, and immerse yourself in the many properties available in the market until you find the house that ticks all your boxes.

6. Making an Offer

Found the one? It’s time to make an offer. It is important to make an offer that is within the limit of your budget. The offer should also reflect the value of the property. Negotiation skills come into play as you and the seller strive to find a mutual agreement that will benefit you all.

7. Due Diligence

Once your offer is accepted, it’s time for due diligence. Conduct inspections, verify property documents, and uncover any potential issues. Engage professionals, such as surveyors and lawyers, who will delve into the property’s history, boundaries, and legal status. This thorough investigation ensures a secure and informed purchase.

8. Sealing the Deal

This is the best part. Your lawyer will facilitate the transfer of ownership, preparation of legal documents, and ensure compliance with all requirements. This process will mark the transition from house hunter to homeowner.

In conclusion, the process of owning a home in Kenya is an exhilarating venture filled with excitement. By embracing understanding, engaging professionals, and being financially prepared, you can navigate this journey with confidence. From dream to reality, each step brings you closer to the joy of homeownership.

Check out Part 5 of the Home-Haven series, “Property types in Kenya ” as we continue to empower you through the world of home-buying in Kenya.

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