Kenya Real Estate – Top 6 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Piece of Land

Kenya real estate investment offers you numerous options. Buying land is one of the, Here are some factors that you need to look into before you buy Land in Kenya.

Developmental Outlook:

Are you buying land for residential or commercial purposes? Do you want to build your home, flats to rent or shops to let? Your answer to these questions may determine the location of the land you should buy. For instance, if you want to build flats to let, consider areas with close local facilities such as supermarkets, schools and health care facilities. Many families prefer to live only a couple of miles from their children’s school. This will therefore affect where they rent a house.

Location:

You have heard it before – location, location, location. It affects price considerable. Half an acre of land may cost 10 times more in Runda compared to Embakasi area. However, Embakasi is closer to the airport compared to Runda. The location of the land you wish to purchase should indeed conform to your Kenya real estate development objectives.

Distance from the Main Road:

The further out you go from the main road, the cheaper the parcel of land. However, security may also be compromised. If you are buying land with the objective of building rental property, you may have to contend with lesser amount of rental income if you build far out from the main road. I was looking for a house to rent recently and I settled for a smaller property that was closer to the main road rather than a bigger one further out.

Access to Water, Electricity and Telephone Lines:

Some Kenya real estate areas such as Kitengela are not very developed and may lack electricity and telephone lines as well as piped water. Lack of these facilities makes the land cheaper though, but at what cost. My mum bought a couple of acres in Kitengela and had to sink her own borehole and pump water into the house. She also had to apply for electricity from Kenya Power and Lighting Company. Luckily for her, it turned out to be a hassle free process. It is cheaper to buy land in such areas but you must be prepared to bear the extra costs and delays. Sometimes, like in my mum’s case, it proved worthwhile.

Soil Texture:

Well, believe it or not, soil texture does affect Kenya real estate value. Areas with black cotton soil tend to be cheaper as compared to red soil regions. For instance, parts of Mombasa road have black cotton soil and can not be compared to red soil areas such as Karen, Muthaiga or Runda. Soil texture also affects building costs.

Sewer Location:

Some areas have sewer restrictions and thus not suitable for certain types of Kenya real estate development. Developments along the famous Ngong Road have been restricted dues to the overloaded sewer. If you intend to build an apartment complex for sale or to let, you have to check the sewer restrictions as well as other planning restrictions issued by the local council.

With this factors are all put in consideration, purchasing land in Kenya should be smooth sailing.

No Money Down – How To Buy Property With Nothing Down

If you have ever watched TV after about 11:30 at night, you’ve seen people talking about courses on buying real estate with no money down. They show vacation paradises, gorgeous girls, fancy cars, and huge mansions. All of this is promised to you if you buy their course on making a million with nothing! If you want you can spend “only three payments of $99.99” to find out about this exciting area…OR…I’ll just tell you for FREE!

One thing I must mention first, however, is that ANY information, combined with NO action, produces NO result. If I came over to your house and showed you everything in person and answered all of your questions, and then you did NOTHING…..it was a waste of time. Yours and mine!! On the other hand, if you combine information with hard work, persistence and, most of all, GUTS, you will be successful, whether you buy the courses, read the books for free at the library, or get the information from me, right here!

I mentioned GUTS because there’s a price to be paid for everything. If you had a million dollars, you could buy an apartment building without hardly any difficulty. Just pick out one that you liked, had a good return, and passed a building inspection.

If you DON’T have a million dollars, what are you to do? Well get ready for some hard work, searching for the right deal. Get ready to have a whole slew of offers rejected, and maybe even laughed at. Get ready to hear some pompous real estate agent tell you (as one told me) “Son, I’ve been in the real estate business for thirty years now, and let me tell you, there’s no such thing as a no money down deal.” Get ready to work on a deal and spend time on it only to have it collapse.

You’re going to put in your down payment in the form of “brain sweat equity”. You’re going to pay by acquiring more knowledge than others in the area of creative real estate, and by searching long and hard to find MOTIVATED sellers, ones who want to get rid of their properties desperately and therefore are willing to help you out. Most of all, you’re going to pay by enduring the inevitable “start-up glitches” that ANY business or enterprise has. If it was easy to do, then everybody would be doing it, and there would be no properties left! It is this difficulty that makes it EASY, once you know what you are doing!!

OK, so here we go, but first you need to know ONE thing: IN REAL ESTATE EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE!! Let me say that again, because it is the linchpin of the way creative real estate works–in real estate EVERYTHING is negotiable!

What does that mean? Are there any boundaries? NO!! Can you get someone to carry an agreement for sale for 25 years with little or no money down and no credit check? YES!! Are there ten ads in the paper offering just such an agreement, or one? Probably none! What does that mean? EVERYTHING is negotiable! If you find a motivated seller, one who is paying every month to own that property, one who doesn’t have the skills to fix it up, one who moved out of town, or the country, then he MIGHT go for it! Notice that I did not say WILL go for it, but MIGHT!

Think of yourself when you had a car that you wanted to get rid of, because it was a piece of junk. If someone approached you and asked “how much?”, you’d say “$1000, firm”. But you knew deep inside that you just wanted to get rid of the headache!! And if you ever had to wait for a month or two with no one buying your car, suddenly you were not quite so firm on the price! And if the alternator had to be replaced before the car could run, pretty soon you just wanted it OUT of your hands!! NOW, you’re ready to accept monthly payments, maybe hold something as security, etc. You just want it GONE!

It is the same with real estate properties! They go from being our pride and joy to an albatross around our necks–then we’re ready to do WHATEVER it takes to get rid of it!

These people aren’t going to jump up and down and say “I’m willing to take a no money down deal for my property”! They are going to be depressed, just like the fellow with a clunker in his back yard, sitting there for months. They are going to need some convincing, but if you find the “DON’T WANTER”, the most difficult part is done! Then you make offers, look closely at each property to see if you can make a go of it (that’s a whole other report!) if you can get the property–sometimes you don’t want it either! Then it is just a matter of making offers, either in person, or through a realtor, until you find someone who is

ready to deal. The first time is the hardest, because no matter how many times I tell you (or the TV guys) that it CAN be done, you are going to think “not for me, not here in __________, not any more, not with my areas laws and zoning regulations, not with my personality, not with my brains, etc.”

Don’t you believe it! Look at all the people in the TV commercials-all types and shapes-they have ONE thing in common–they went out and DID IT!

ALL IT TAKES IS GUTS AND PERSEVERANCE!!

Here’s the “stream of consciousness” of ideas on how to buy with $000.00 down, but keep in mind the whole time that IN REAL ESTATE EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE!

1) The simplest way to buy with no money down is to get the seller to carry an agreement for sale. Monthly payments for 25 years are possible if the seller has no need for the money, and can be convinced to get his 6,7,8% return secured by his house instead of buying a 4% bond.

2) If you have good credit and want to put no money into a property, try a first mortgage, Vendor carries a big second for remainder. Seller gets , say 75%, and carries 25%.

3) Again with good credit, try first, smaller 2nd, and a Personal Line of Credit for remainder–especially if the gap is only $10-15,000. This can even work for low priced properties where the first mortgage is combined with a PLC for the remainder–be smart enough to go to another bank for PLC and tell them that you’re going to make an invstment with money–and don’t tell ANY bank that you’re doing a no money down deal!

4) Payment over time-seller wants $5,000 down, for example. How about $400 per month for a year? You’re still paying it, but over time-maybe the property will generate enough extra money to pay this!

5) Back taxes-I’ve done deals where I’ve taken over back taxes due–you can pay them off at your own speed, within reason!

6) Free rent-I’ve done deals where the seller had office space in the building and took 2 years free rent as down payment! Can also work for multi family.

7) Upon closing there are adjustments for that months rent–close on the 2nd or 3rd to maximize this-and for damage deposits, taxes to be paid for the period owned by seller, utility bills to be paid, etc. These can add up to a large amount!

8) Since the bank starts mortgage payments one month from closing, simply by paying an interest adjustment of 2 weeks allows you to use the first months rent and apply the second months rent to the mortgage payment.

9) Borrow on insurance policy, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. If you allow the bank to secure the collateral they will be very accommodating.

10) Rack up your Visa, Mastercard and American Expres cards. A bit crazy, but I assume its a great investment!

11) Borrow from friends, relatives, boss (holiday pay?) Maybe even cut them in as partners!

12) Partners are a surefire way to get accepted for big bank loans, create enough down payments, etc. Always look for people who are interested in this area, and ask them what prevents them from buying investment properties. If its time, expertise, etc–then you have a fit! All that’s preventing you is money–and you have found this great property haven’t you?

13) Syndicate a group of people–say 9 investors and you get the last tenth for putting together the project–they will provide the financial strength for the loan, and maybe even the down payments! Anything is possible, remember? This is a lot of work to find these people, but VERY lucrative! Start with dentists and doctors, lawyers, everyone that you deal with!

14) Rent to buy–maybe you make payments for 3 years and then have built up the downpayment–meanwhile the property can go up in value, rents rise, and so on.

15) Option to buy–Seller keeps title and gets all revenue. You simply pay a sum for the right (make it REALLY legal!) to purchase the property at a certain sum in X years. There could be a trade for this option, example trade an item or service for the option.

16) Lets make trading an item or service for down payment its own idea!

17) Foreclosure property–maybe just before it goes into foreclosure you offer to keep up the payments and give seller SOMETHING, SOMETIME for his equity. (In a short while he’s not getting anything!) Lots of work, lots of books and announcement services available.

18) Fix up damaged property–work deal with bank–example: as is it’s worth $75,000, with clean up and fix up its worth 100,000–bank offers 75,000 mortgage based on future value–you have to do fix up–similar to sweat equity.

19) Lease property (ie an office building) from owner and sub lease it to tennants–must be very legal and usually needs strong rent up effort!

20) Pay someone to cosign for a loan

21) Get realtor to carry his commission as a note–they HATE this, but if its needed..

22) Balloon payment–nothing down, balance due in three years

23)Private money from mortgage brokers–ask them about it! High rate of interest, but..

24) Refinance property either before you assume it, or after

25) Find a partner where he takes writeoff for negative cash flow and you manage property–this can even work with buying your personal residence–investor is happy with $200 per month negative cash flow in return for your taking care of property, always a tennant (you) and investor splits profit when selling.

That’s going to be enough to start some gears running in your head. The most important part is to keep trying, and to be creative. Combining parts of one idea and another, and always probing for what the seller wants will lead you to solutions. Always probe for ways to make both of you happy. Everyone wants all cash, right now–not everyone gets it! Think of the junker car in the back yard and look for ways to HELP the other person–they want to sell!

Most of all, keep looking! It is not a failure on your part if someone is clinging to the hope that they’ll get a certain price, or certain terms. If they can-great!! If not, check back in a few months. Many properties are still sitting there and with a MUCH more receptive seller after they have the property “sitting in their backyard, rusting” (or racking up negative cash flow and maintenance and property management headaches). Try and try again!

Check online for new info and more opportunities, network with other investors, ads can be used to signal what you are looking to find, partners wanted, etc. Go to your public library for more real estate and business information. Keep your mind working and searching–keep looking for properties and more information–one idea can be worth a fortune to you –go to seminars when they come to your town–and the total adds up to the “Eureka!” screamed in the middle of the night.

Buying with a low down payment is obviously much easier than buying with absolutely nothing down, so be sure to save up your money to make it easier for you. Even a no money down deal can require cash for legal fees, closing costs, etc.

Best of luck!

Real Estate: Why You Should Spend A Night In A Property Before You Buy It

We all know that our economy as of late is not stable. Finding and keeping a job is even harder. Therefore, you should really take care of your hard-earned money. If you do intend to buy a home, you should make sure that it’s going to be worth your investment. Because of this, potential home buyers are encouraged to take advantage of the rent before you buy option given by real estate agents and homeowners. Why should you grab this opportunity?

As stated in the previous paragraph, you should be fully aware if your investment is worth your every penny. By staying for a night or two in the property, you would know if it’s the perfect fit for you. You can spend a few days assessing the property and the entire neighborhood. You can even arrange a small party and invite your future neighbors over. Talk to them and ask questions about the community. Gather as much information as you can and use this when you make a decision.

When you spend a night in the property you want to buy, you’re given the opportunity to have a first-hand experience of the house. You will be able to properly inspect it. You will also be able to check things that you may miss if you just stay there for a few minutes or hours. You would know if the house is indeed what the real estate agent and the owner said it would be. In short, you would know if it’s in perfect shape.

This is what smart home buyers should do. If car buyers get the chance to test-drive cars they want to buy, shouldn’t you be given the same opportunity?

If you want to find properties that you can rent before you buy, talk to your real estate agent. Ask them if they can find you a property that offers this option.

Sometimes, home owners would deduct the cost of the rent from the principal amount of the house when you do decide to purchase it. This is a very common practice. However, you still have to make sure that this is how it would be. Talk to your agent and the home owner about the arrangement. As for the rent, this usually varies. It can be as low as $50 a night or it can be as high as $500 a night. It usually depends on the home owner.

Realtors Vs The We Buy Houses Cash Companies

When deciding to sell your home you have two options. You can either use the services of real estate broker or you can sell it yourself to a “We Buy Houses Cash” company. Each scenario has its pros and cons which we have outlined for you below. Every situation is different and we want to make sure you make the best decision possible. We have also outlined some key questions you should ask yourself before making this big decision.

Realtors. Realtors are the best source for selling your property. It’s a proven fact that realtors will get at least 10-20% more for your property than you would if you sold it yourself. It is also a proven fact that you will sell it 50% faster using the services of a local real estate agent. Since most agents are current on up to date trends they will be able to guide you in what items need to be addressed in order to get maximum price for your house. With an agent who specializes in your neighborhood they may have connections to buyers through colleagues and past clients that you do not have access to. An agents network is a very powerful tool to getting your house sold fast. I recommend using bigger cooperate brokers such as Berkshire Hathaway or Coldwell Banker Gundaker.

With any service provider their is a cost of doing business. The average expense for a realtor is 6-7% of the sales price of your home. For example if you sell your home for $200,000 it will cost you anywhere from $12,000-$14,000 at closing. If you decide to use a real estate professional to sell your property then you will more than likely be dealing with financed buyers which means you might possible have to pay seller commissions ranging anywhere from $3,000 – $5,000. Selling to a financed buyer also means once you sign a contract to purchase you will usually have to wait anywhere from 30-60 days to close. Let’s also not forget the cost of inspections. Most cities require the house pass an occupancy inspection. When the city sends there inspector out there may be items that don’t meet city requirement which may get costly to fix. The potential buyer will also hire a private inspector due to there own due diligence to see what the house may need. This can also get costly if the buyer has high demands before deciding to move forward with the purchase. The extra money you make hiring a real estate professional may cancel out with the expense of broker fee’s and inspection expenses.

We Buy Houses Cash Companies. These companies often get a bad wrap in the area. They are often thought of as scam artists or dishonest people when in reality these companies can be of great service to people. Just like anything there are pro’s and cons to taking this route. Since these ugly house buyers are investors they are not going to give you full price for you home. They are usually buying properties anywhere from 50-60 cents on the dollar.

But before you kick these guys out of your house take a moment to think about the benefits of selling to a cash investor. Fast Cash! In most cases these buyers have the cash to buy the property immediately. Not only will it be a cash sale but you don’t have to worry about paying any seller concessions. Often times they will even cover your closing costs which will save you additional money. These cash buyers will also save you on those hefty realtor commissions. Since your property is a for sale by owner there will not be any broker involved. No broker = NO FEE’s! Did I mention there will not be any inspections done. Since it will more than likely be an AS-IS cash sale the buyer will not bring a city or private inspector through which means you don’t have to do any repairs to the property. So even though you may not get full price for what you think your home is worth you will be saving tens of thousands of dollars in fee’s and repairs. It makes the deal even sweeter knowing they can close in as little as 7-10 days if needed. The best part about selling to a cash investor is that you can leave the unwanted items in the property so you can save even more money on moving expenses.

This is a big decision that should not be take lightly. There are some questions you need to ask yourself before deciding which route to take.

1. Does the home need repairs?

2. Is the home outdated to today’s standards and what other similar homes look like?

3. Do I need to sell immediately?

4. Is the repair list too much for me to handle right now?

5. Will a fast sale take the burden off my shoulders of dealing with this property?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above then you will probably want to consider selling to a local real estate investor who has the cash to close right away. A fast cash offer with no realtor fee’s, closing costs or hefty moving expenses may be the best fit for you. If the home has been kept up and maintained pretty good over the years and you can afford to sit on it for a while then your local real estate agent will be the best option for you and your bank account.

Click the following for more information on Berkshire Hathaway or Coldwell Banker Gundaker.

How to Buy Commercial Real Estate

The first question to ask is ‘what for’? Are you buying commercial real estate to use in your business? Will you be an owner/occupier? Or are you buying as an investor?

While your answer will separate the buyers into different camps, the advice to both is pretty much the same. Proceed with caution. Be as sure as you can be about the chances of the occupiers doing well. Rely on expert opinion.

Owner occupier

Again we can differentiate between a newbie and an experienced operator. If you are seeking to buy commercial real estate to house your brand new business, you need to be sure you don’t buy too big, expand too quickly and pay too much. Mind you that applies to almost everyone in business.

But if you already have a business and wish to relocate or even expand, again be aware of the economic times and don’t over-extend yourself and your business.

Investor

Buying a commercial property worth a great deal of money can be a risky venture. What if you can’t find a tenant or tenants? Of course if the property is already occupied with strong leases then you are on far more solid ground. But buying the property requires detailed and informative research with, if necessary, the help of experts.

Your expert team

The local chamber of commerce, your lawyer, accountant and even the state’s economic advisers are all capable of helping you make the right decision. Some of the advice will be free, some will cost you. But if it helps you make the right decision then it will be time and money well spent. Rely on those who are experts in the areas you are not.

Finance

It’s the same deal, well almost, for someone buying a one bedroom apartment. You have to get the finances right. Foreclosure applies equally to commercial real estate as it does to residential properties. This is just one area where your accountant is essential but knowing your banker and getting good advice from your lending authority is likewise invaluable. One of the main causes of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown was greed on behalf of certain lenders. Borrow wisely from reputable sources.

Owner advantages

In some ways it’s like owning or renting your apartment. If something goes wrong with the building, as the owner, you have to fix it and pay for the repairs. As a tenant, that’s not your responsibility. Be aware of this as you consider buying. The operating costs of a commercial building are not cheap. But then the lease income can be substantial. Get advice from those who know before you take the plunge.

One of the major factors in any commercial real estate purchase is you. It’s largely about your credit worthiness, your business reputation and your ability to know what you want. When you are strong and reliable, your business will often follow suit.