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To buy or to build a house in Kenya?


Date Posted: 12/13/2012 1:21:16 AM

Posted By: moff J  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 485

This is one very difficult question to a number of Kenyans, especially in the minds of the emerging middle class who are mainly in their 30s and 40s. These are people who are young adults, many of them having moved out of their parents’ houses and ready to start life on their own, and could as well be having young families. They are earning a decent salary and are in hectic job schedules. The one decision that they have to make is whether to buy a house or to build one.
In this article we are going to give an insight on some of the things that one may consider in making this decision.

The price is one of the major determinants in making this decision. A simple calculation will indicate that building a house is the cheaper option. Reason: the profit margin that the housing developers put on their selling price is no longer there.
However, one might argue that due to the time value of money the cost of purchasing or building a house is likely to be the same in the long run. This is because purchasing a house is a one-off transaction and therefore you are not likely to be exposed to any inflationary pressures that might arise in the future. On the other hand, building a house takes some time and any adverse movements in the prices of the raw materials are likely to inflate the cost of the house.
Despite this argument, there are other factors that one has to consider.

First, many of these houses that one buys are being built in gated estates or apartments. These estates come with some shared amenities such as swimming pools, gym, playing courts, security, generator services among others. These amenities require frequent maintenance. Thus, the developers of the estate

or an apartment charge a monthly fee for the maintenance of these amenities. The monthly charges are really exorbitant in some of the estates.
Hence, when you decide to purchase a house, you have to also put into consideration these monthly charges and ensure that the developer has disclosed all the fees that are subsequent to the purchase of the house.
These charges are avoidable in case you build your own house. Thus, put them into consideration when making the decision on whether to buy or build a house.

Your schedule is also a determinant in making this decision. You may be involved in a very demanding job which requires your attention frequently. Thus you decide to buy a house because the process is without much hustles as compared to building a house. In building, you have to commit a considerable amount of time to visit the construction site frequently to check that everything is going according to plan.

In conclusion, we can say that the decision to build or buy a house is a complex one. There many factors that comes into play. Building maybe the preferred option for me because it is a cheaper option and you get to build a house according to your unique specifications.
Nevertheless, if you want to own a house without much hustles and bustles, then purchasing one maybe good for you but beware of the subsidiary charges that will be associated with the house that you have bought.

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