Buying or Building a Home. Which is better?

While the home-buying process involves several important choices, one of the very first decisions buyers need to make is whether to shop for an existing home or build a new one. This is always a huge financial decision to make.

In the Kenyan metropolitan market, it costs an average of KES. 30,000 to KES. 60,000 per square meter to build a home which is much lower than it costs to buy one. However, one needs to consider the many factors that come alongside this decision.

Pros & Cons

Building a house from the ground up allows you to personalize the details to suit your lifestyle and taste. One is also able to take the time to ensure there is no compromise on the expertise and materials being used. New homes will therefore be more likely to incorporate the latest technology like CCTV, alarm systems and Unplasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride (uPVC) windows. The use of new construction materials also makes the home more energy efficient, which translates to lower utility bills overtime.

However, this comes at the cost of acquiring land which can sometimes be a stretching task. The cost of land in Nairobi is one of the highest globally with world experts comparing it to the likes of New York and Milan. Moreover, finding land in Nairobi’s metropolitan suburbs such as Kilimani, Lavington or Karen is much harder than buying an already developed home within these areas.

Another advantage of a new newly constructed home is that the property will not require a lot of maintenance and renovations when you move in. This will save you costs that keep coming up when trying to repair broken fixtures and fittings in an existing home, given that everything is new. Designing and building the home yourself will also strengthen your feeling of ownership and passion over it because you were involved in every step of the process.

However, it is important to consider that building a new home takes time. The average length of time to complete construction on a single-family home is 1.5 years according to data collected from the Kenyan Construction Industry. This does not include the time that it takes to authorize new construction as well as delays in supplies and materials.

According to data collected from the Ministry of Lands it takes an average of 3 to 5 months for a complete transfer transaction to take place. Closing in less than five months might therefore be extremely attractive to a buyer who does not have a year or more to spare waiting for their new home to be built. Access to financial facilities such as mortgages also makes it easier for this to happen.
To counter these factors, suppliers within the real estate market have begun to develop land and add on basic facilities such as boreholes, sewerage, lighting connections, landscaping, and security measures to make this an easier process for those unwilling to buy an already developed unit. Property Boutique has developed partnerships with these suppliers which has seen our clients save a considerable amount of costs and time and therefore maintain their control when customizing their dream home. It also gives our clients access to well-maintained neighborhoods that would have otherwise been tough to enter if this was not the case. It is therefore important to research and weigh out the new options available to you in an ever-evolving real estate industry.

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