Long-distance property investment is possible in Kenya, but with the proper guidance. It's possible to contact everything from property search to closing the real estate deal while you are abroad. You donât have to book tickets to return home to facilitate a property-buying procedure.
Following the correct guide like this one can significantly help you avoid unnecessary losses after falling prey to fraudsters. Most Kenyans in the diaspora have bought homes, commercial properties, rental apartments, land for development, and other properties without visiting home.
The internet is good leverage and should help you get the best location to buy your property. Keep reading to learn how you should invest in property while abroad.
Guide to Diaspora Property Investment in Kenya
To succeed in long-distance property investment, you should start by joining diaspora Kenya investment groups on social networks. These groups could help you leverage the best locations to buy property in the country. Recently, Kenyans in the diaspora launched the Kenya diaspora investment fund to discuss investment ideas back in the country.
Research the best location.
The success of a real estate business largely depends on location. In addition, if you need a home to settle in when you come back, you should choose the best site with adequate security.
Consider areas with:
For your residential or commercial real estate to thrive, you should consider buying in areas with high employment potential. As you all know, employment attracts many people from rural and semi-rural areas. As a result, the migrants will need residential houses to rent during their employment term. In addition, it's rare to have vacancy rates in these areas.
Growing colleges and universities
Colleges and universities attract businesses to the area. Therefore, a commercial or residential property could do well in these areas. Alternatively, you can invest in mixed-use property in these areas.
Places with high population
Investing in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, and other big towns in Kenya with huge populations could see you succeed in your property business. Remember that these locations have a high house demand, so the returns are also good.
Proper distribution of social amenities
No one likes to stay in places with poor distribution of social amenities. Parents would love to take their children to nearby schools. They would also like a steady water and electricity flow in the area.
Therefore, research on the internet about where you want to buy your property. A good location with a complete set of evenly distributed social amenities will attract more people to the area, hence more developments.
What is the vacancy rate of the current houses in the area?
Always research the number of vacant houses in the location you want to invest in. If the vacancy rate is high, research the reasons, and if you can improve your houses to fit tenant needs, you can try it. If the vacancy rate has to do with the distribution of social amenities, forget about that area.
After choosing the best location, contact a licensed property agent in your preferred area. Property agents tend to know more secrets about listed properties than anyone else in the business. The truth is they have handled many buyers and sellers, and they understand why each property is listed for sale.
Contact your preferred seller.
After getting the best property to buy with the help of a real estate agent in Kenya, you can contact the owner. You could involve a trusted family member like a spouse to meet with the owner and assess the property's condition.
You hold the cards here, so you should get pictures and videos of the houses you are about to buy. Set up Skype or Zoom calls to ensure that no one is playing mind games with you.
Ask the seller to send you the title deed document via mail. Afterward, open your eCitizen account and run a title deed search to ensure you are buying the right property.
Talk to your Kenyan bank.
You should contact your preferred Kenyan bank if you are getting a mortgage to buy your property. Most banks have special mortgages for Kenyans in the diaspora. In addition, you get a bank representative to reassess the property value to ensure no one is overcharging you.
Alternatively, if you will buy the property with cash, you can make the transaction online via your bank's online portal.
Get a property attorney in Kenya.
A property attorney ensures that all legal proceedings of property transfers are intact. Always contact a renowned legal firm to help you get the most experienced and trusted property attorney.
An attorney can represent you in court if anything is wrong with the ownership of the property. Since you are away, an attorney should ensure that the property is successfully transferred to you.
Let your attorney close the deal.
The real estate attorney will close the real estate deal on your behalf. You can ask a family member to be present while signing the transfer documents if you wish. However, you can sign the documents electronically and send them your copy, thanks to the internet!
This is the time you should do the funds transfer if you are buying in cash. If it's a mortgage, your Kenyan bank representative should handle that.
After the successful transfer, request your attorney to send you the ownership documents to you electronically and to your diaspora physical address. The papers will be much safer with you than with anyone else.
Now you own the property, and you have the documents. What next?
Hire a property manager.
You should hire a Kenyan property manager with experience in the real estate sector. Your diaspora Kenya investment groups should help you get the best property manager from their recommendations.
Once you get your manager, your attorney can help you draft an employment letter and let the manager sign it before starting to work.
Market your property.
With the help of your property manager, bring your property into the eyes and ears of potential tenants or buyers. The manager should supervise local advertisements like posters and word of mouth.
You can also hire experienced copywriters to write social media Ads that will attract many clients. The good thing is you can monitor your Ads while you are abroad.
This stage is the most interesting in Kenya's diaspora property investment journey. Everyone loves to reach this stage as soon as possible. However, following the correct procedure is the only way to get you here.
Good tenants can help you get to the peak of returns on investment faster. After getting reliable tenants, Let them send their rent to your Kenyan bank. You can hire a virtual accountant to help you balance between expenses and help you determine your cash flow.
Another thing you should do is install CCTV cameras in and outside your property. You can get local installers with a simple Google search. The good thing with technology is you can get live feed on your computer or a phone while you are outside the country.
Indeed, it's possible and easy to venture into property investment in Kenya while you are away. All you need is a perfect guide to help you actualize your investor dreams.
Join diaspora groups of people who have invested successfully in the country. This way, you will get real estate mentors to help you in the journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do I need to invest in property in Kenya while in the diaspora?
This depends on the quality and size of the property you are buying. Big properties need a huge mortgage downpayment of 20%.
Is real estate investment in Kenya a good choice while in the diaspora?
Well, for it to be a good choice, you should research the best and most trusted property attorney to help in property transfers on your behalf. Real estate investment in Kenya is a good investment strategy to help you retire with a reliable passive income stream.
What real estate is most profitable while abroad?
Commercial real estate is a good investment strategy that has the highest returns in the real estate market. However, location determines everything, including the occupancy vs. the vacancy rate. Remember, you'll get higher returns with minimal vacancy rates.