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To buy or build a home? Exploring the options


NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – Buying a home is one of the single most important steps someone can take in their lives.

The joy of finally holding the key to your house is magical. But at the same time, the journey towards owning a home can be exhausting. We discussed a few factors last week to consider while looking for a home.

As the middle-class burgeons in Kenya and the urban to rural migration grows, towns and cities are growing at a high rate. Demand for housing has also skyrocketed. UN-Habitat estimates that African cities become home to over 40,000 new residents every day. The number is staggering. How will this housing need be met?

Apart from it being capital intensive, the energy that goes into searching for a house can be summed up as demanding. Location, price, market trends, mortgage rate, security etc are all factors that one must carefully balance.

However, it’s a worthy investment that can alter someone’s destiny; literally.

The property market is awash with many developers. However, there have been cases of dubious traders who fleece the unsuspecting customers. How then do you choose the best property traders out of the sea of options available without burning your fingers?

As you make plans to own your home, the million dollar question is this; do you buy a ready built house or do you build your own?

Buying option

There are numerous benefits of buying an already existing house. First, there is an immeasurable level of convenience that one gets. The whole hustle of looking for materials and managing the project is lifted from your shoulders.

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That way, one is able to focus on what really matters. You don’t have to burn the midnight oil worrying if you are being fleeced or not in the construction. You don’t spend time worrying about the progress of the project and you certainly don’t worry about the nitty-gritty of the project.

You can focus your energies on making extra money for your next projects.

Secondly, it’s usually advantageous to buy a home because of the ability to choose. You can choose which neighborhoods you want to live in, which amenities you want and one is usually spoilt for choice.

If, for example, you wanted to buy a house through Daykio Plantations Ltd, one will be given many options based on their ability to pay. This freedom to choose from meticulously finished projects is not available in the build-your-own-home option.

The biggest disadvantage however of buying a ready house is the fact that you will certainly not get exactly what you want. You may not be totally in love with the floor plan or the ceiling material used. You may wish that there were another bedroom on the main floor, or the beams would have been done differently.

And that leads us to the second house buying option.


While the buy option offers convenience, the build option offers the house buyer the ability to put up what they want based on their resource abilities. Because of the capital intensive nature of building a house, one needs to be able to put together a house that they will feel comfortable living in. From the plan of the house, the quality of materials, the choice of the house, the house builder has control over what eventually stands as a house.

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Secondly, people who aren’t able to take a mortgage or pay cash for the ready house have an opportunity to put the house together at their own pace. We have seen scenarios where house builders take their time to slowly build a house.

Hybrid Option

But some home ownership options are combining the benefits of a controlled project as compared to the advantages of the build option. Daykio Bustani is such a project. During the home expo, we visited their tent to get a glimpse of which projects they are currently working on.

The Bustani projects is a fully serviced ¼ acre plots situated along Kiganjo road, Only 3.5 Km from Thika Superhighway.

The impressive bit is that it is a controlled development where prospective home owners can choose several unique architectural designs.

The biggest drawback of building your home is the fact that managing the project might be stressful. Balancing all the parties who are involved especially for a first time homeowner can be a great challenge.

The Bottom Line

Whether you choose to build or to buy, the one thing that you must adhere to is letting the professionals do their work. Working with qualified and experienced professional e.g. real estate agents, general contractors etc can help to ensure that the process runs smoothly.

Finally, do your research. Read. Ask questions. Find information then make a decision.

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