Amid cries by many Kenya in recent past as a result of being shortchanged in purchase transactions of off-plan house development, we look at the “Question” on – What should you look into when buying Off-Plan Housing, or House Unit?
Below are the area to look into while purchasing an off-plan Housing Development in Kenya.
- The first step should be to carry out dues diligence of the project and the developer. The due diligence should include checking the track record of the developer, as well as previous works that he or she has undertaken, including past relationships with previous buyers, and project consultants.
- You should also review the Contract agreement with your lawyer before signing, to understand the legal terms of the contract and their implications in safeguarding your investment interest in the project or property. This shall reveal clauses in the contracts that may work against you.
- The other things you should look into or review is the Schedule of Payment in the sale offer agreement or contract, to make sure that it is commensurate with various delivery benchmark of the house or development, as well as stages of the construction. Off plan projects should allow installment payment up to the end of completion.
- On quality of works, you should inspect or review the quality of previous works by the developer, in past projects that have had occupancy of more than six (6) month. In this case, you should make a point of talking to the occupants about quality. You may also hire the services of an independent Architect or Structural Engineer, to help you get a professional opinion on quality of works by the developer.
- The other aspect to look into or review is the cost of the house, to tell if it is within the Market Rate whereby you may find some development houses in the market that are lowly priced, against the construction budget. This should raise eyebrows when the price of the house is not practical as to accommodate the cost of land, construction costs, payment to professionals, and developer’s profits. This means that cheap is not always practical.
- You should also get to know the land-use position of the property. This is to make sure that the project is not on illegal land or allocation, of which would result to your financial loss in the future. The property should also be recorded or registered in all other documentation at the land registry including on the Survey Map and Registry Index Map, besides the property having a title deed. You may seek the services of a lawyer or a surveyor for these verification, which should include verification of legal ownership of the property by the developer.
- Finally, get to know if the developer has met all the planning and development regulations, besides having approval drawings. Make due diligence to confirm that the developer has hired qualified and licensed consultants required for the quality delivery of the project, who include: Project Architect, Quantity Surveyor, Structural Engineer, and Mechanical and Electrical Engineer. This will provide you with guarantee on the quality of works to expect in the property that you are purchasing.
WRITER OF THE ARTICLE:
This Article is written by Buildafrique Consulting Group, Kenya multi-disciplinary consultancy, that offers END-TO-END DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANCY, REAL ESTATE, and PROJECT FINANCE solutions through specialized subsidiaries. Among our solutions includes:
- Feasibility Studies and Market Research.
- Project Finance and Capital Raising.
- Project Management.
- Investment Design Appraisal.
- Quantity Surveying
- Construction Cost Consultancy
- Physical Planning and Planning Permissions
- Environmental Management and Impact Assessment
- Real Estate Development and Structured Investment Solutions
- Property Valuation
- Marketing and Property Sales Agency
- Property Management and Facility Management