Real Estate Investment in Kenya is dynamic and one needs to understand it first before, here are the reasons;
Like in many other countries, buying land in Kenya is a significant investment that requires careful consideration. Land keeps increasing in value everywhere in the world, and that’s why its purchase process attracts many fraudsters. You need to be aware of many pitfalls as a buyer so you don’t find yourself in endless court battles. Here are 11 important things you need to know before buying land in Kenya:
1. Categories of Land Ownership
Kenya has various land ownership categories, including freehold, leasehold, and customary. Freehold land is owned indefinitely, while leasehold land is held for a specified period. Communities typically own customary land and are subject to specific regulations.
2. Land Title Deeds
Ensure that the land you intend to buy has a valid title deed. Verify its authenticity by conducting a search at the Ministry of Lands or through a lawyer. There are many title fraud cases; the safest way is through a search.
3. Land Size and Zoning
Understand the land’s size and its zoning regulations. Zoning dictates how to use the land for residential, commercial, or agricultural purposes. You don’t want to buy land for building a home only to be told it’s in a commercial zone.
Land Ownership Restrictions
Foreigners are permitted to own land in Kenya through leasing. There are also several other restrictions based on the type and size of land they can acquire. For instance, they cannot own land for agriculture or first-row beach properties. Check the relevant regulations and requirements if you are a foreigner.
5. Land History and Ownership
Investigating the history of the land you intend to buy before making any payments is critical. Ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the piece of land and that the title deed is under their name. Additionally, find out if there are any land cases, disputes, encumbrances, or land-grabbing issues. For clarity, you can engage neighbors or a real estate agent within the area. These two will offer all the information you need.
6. Land Survey and Boundaries
Many pending cases at the Ministry of Lands in Kenya are associated with boundaries. Consider hiring a professional land survey to establish the boundaries of the land accurately. This helps prevent boundary disputes in the future.
7. Land Rates and Taxes
Land in Kenya attracts land taxes and rates, and it’s good to be aware of them. You’ll be required to pay some land rates and taxes, including property tax, land rent, and land transfer fees. Before buying land, find out if the current owner has been paying for these rates and taxes so you don’t buy land with debts.
8. Infrastructure and Services
Assess the area’s availability of essential infrastructure and services such as water, electricity, roads, and sewage systems. These factors will greatly dictate your comfort if you want land for building a home. You don’t want to settle where there is no water or electricity. Your loved ones may suffer a great deal.
9. Land Accessibility
Consider the accessibility of the land. Especially if you want the land for commercial purposes or resale some years later. A well-connected location is likely to have better prospects for development and resale.
10. Land Price and Negotiation
Before buying land in Kenya, it is important to check the market. Start by researching comparable land prices in the area to ensure you’re paying a fair price. Many land sellers or agents take advantage of buyers, especially if they know you do not know the market prices. Knowing the current market price will give a better ground for negotiation with the seller.
As mentioned earlier, land buying is not a walk in the park; hence, you must engage a qualified lawyer. A real estate lawyer will guide you through the legal land-buying processes in Kenya and ensure the transaction is conducted legally and transparently.
Additionally, consider working with reputable real estate agents, surveyors, and land professionals knowledgeable about Kenya’s local land laws and practices. Always conduct due diligence and seek expert advice to make an informed decision when buying land in Kenya.
We believe with the above knowledge you are well-guided and that your land-buying process will be smooth. At Denver Group Limited, we have amazing plots both for residential and commercial purposes. Visit us at our Kamulu offices and actualize your land owning goal.