What to Consider When Buying a House in Nairobi

by | Jun 24, 2022

Buying a house is a good investment option for anyone with disposable income. It is also a very popular one, given the high rates of house buying and selling happening every day in Nairobi. As such, you can never run out of choices when you are looking for houses you can buy in Nairobi.

It is a lucrative city with endless options as well as a lot of potential to make money. However, there are many home buyers who end up making poor investment choices. Depending on the choice you make, your new house could earn you extra income. It might also result in you making losses in the future.

Here are a few things to think about before buying a house in Nairobi.

Ideal location

First, think about where you want the home to be located. That will be influenced by a number of things, starting with what you plan on using the home for. If you want to live closer to your place of work or where your children go to school, think about living as close as possible. It would save you a lot of money and time in terms of your daily commute. Moving to Nairobi and still living far from where you work will add to your transport expenses. That is an extra cost in a city that is already expensive to live in. So, if you work in Westlands, consider buying a house in Parklands or Kileleshwa. These houses are situated just a short drive or walk from Westlands.

Beware of fraud

Next, be sure to conduct enough research and do your due diligence during the house hunting process. Do the same when you are making the purchase. Home buyers in Nairobi are frequent targets for fraudulent sellers because the market is very saturated. Before choosing a listing, ensure it is listed by a verified agent or home seller. You can check the website owner and the house specifications, including the photos. Authentic listings tend to have several clear photos and the representative’s name. Genuine real estate companies in Nairobi include Pam Goulding Properties and Knight Frank Limited.

Make smart financial choices

Sometimes, home buyers need to look for different financing options because they do not have all the cash required, at that moment. This is yet another consideration you need to make carefully as you try to own a home. Sellers and third-party finance institutions have various arrangements when it comes to completing the payment on a house. You need to look at all of them and pick the smartest choice.

Homes in Karen, Kitisuru and similar Nairobi neighbourhoods can cost hundreds of millions of Kenyan shillings. If you are considering a mortgage, remember that interest adds up very fast and the loan will take years to pay off. Consider starting with a less costly home or making some money using the house by renting it out.

Look at amenities

Think about the features and amenities of the house as you plan the first purchase. While there can never be a perfect home, the house you purchase in Nairobi should meet all your needs. It should also allow you to live as comfortably as possible during your stay. For example, if you are buying an apartment, think about all the essentials that will make your life easier. A borehole and a backup generator are key amenities which will provide you with electricity and water even during blackouts or shortages.

Look for an apartment building with elevators and ramps. This is to accommodate all visitors and allow for efficient movement within the building. You can find apartments with these amenities and facilities in Kilimani, Westlands, Gigiri, and other neighbourhoods near the city. They cost about Kshs 10,000,000 and thereabouts for a three-bedroom house.

Conduct a house visit

When you narrow down on your options and pick a few homes you would be interested in looking at, plan for site visits alongside your agent or the representative you are working with. Going to look at the house in person is one of the most exciting steps of the buying process. At this stage, there are a few things you should keep in mind to help you make the best decision. For instance, it would be ideal to make the visit alongside someone who can inspect the house structure and look for any flaws in its construction.

For older homes, a closer look at the fixtures and fittings should help you determine whether the home pricing is fair. Evaluate how much it would cost to renovate which will alter your overall costs significantly. In neighborhoods like Ruaka and Pipeline, poor urban planning has resulted in houses collapsing and buyers losing their investments. Do your best to ascertain the safety of a home before you buy it.

Budget for everything

Speaking of investment choices, remember that the total cost of buying a home in Nairobi will be a lot more than the price of the house. First time buyers may not have a complete picture of how much it will cost to finally be able to own a home. For instance, aside from finding a listing on the internet, you will need to verify its ownership. You can do this by checking the latest land records as provided on eCitizen, a service that comes at a small fee. You will also have to pay stamp duty to the Ministry of Lands because a house purchase involves transfer of property. Every homeowner also needs insurance to provide them with financial protection against unexpected damage to the house.


While buying a home in Nairobi is becoming a necessity for many people today, a house can be an asset or a liability. That is especially true when the home is in Nairobi because the real estate market in the city faces some unique challenges that potential homeowners should be aware of. If you are representing yourself during the sale, it is more important you educate yourself on the process before making a purchase. If you are working with a real estate firm or an agent, it is likely that they will be aware of these issues while guiding you through the process.

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