5 Things to Consider When Buying a House in Kigali

5 things to consider when buying a house in kigali

The new year brings excitement towards the prospect of new beginnings and further success. Whether you are getting married, relocating to Kigali, or looking to invest in real estate, buying a property is a rewarding journey. Investments in real estate are usually life-changing, and some properties can be passed down to generations. These are often the places we call home and the places where we create memories. We do not take this investment lightly, and we at Vibe House are committed to ensuring you overcome any obstacles that are sometimes associated with the process. We have therefore compiled a guide on the top considerations before signing that contract. Read on for our five tips for a successful investment.

 1.  Have a clear picture of what you want

Searching for a property without specifics is like going to the supermarket without a shopping list. So many things can go wrong. You will either wander around and buy what you don’t need or get frustrated and leave without buying. We suggest focusing your search. Narrow it down to the location you are interested in and the size or number of rooms of the property. Some other questions to consider are: How much can you afford to spend? Do you prefer a house or an apartment? Where is closest to where work? Where do you want to send your kids? Is proximity important for you? With research showing that first-home buyers spend an average of five years in their home, it is essential to consider your future plans. 

This will also help you carry out your online search as you consider what agency to work with. Kigali neighborhoods are distinct. Gacuriro is very well known for luxurious properties such as these. Similarly, Kagugu has a variety of villas and duplexes with big gardens that are ideal for a family. For those looking to buy land, the quickly-urbanizing Kabuga is also an excellent choice.

5 things to consider when buying a house in kigali

2. Do your due diligence

You will probably have to go on five or more house visits before you find a good fit. Rushing the process may increase the chance that you settle for a house that isn’t the perfect fit for your needs. Once you have found a home you are ready to buy, give yourself some time for a second visit to rule out any surprises. After all, this is not a light investment. The more properties you look at, the more you will know what you like and don’t like and what works and what doesn’t. 

It is imperative to understand the zoning regulations of the piece of land you are interested in buying. The Kigali Master Plan has already established zones. These regulations include residential areas,  agricultural and protected areas, industrial zones, and a mix-use zone. Depending on what you intend to use your property for, it is important to check the zoning regulations of the house you are interested in buying. This is information your real estate agent can inform you about, together with the UPI of the property. The website of the city of Kigali is another useful resource. A revision of the 2013 Kigali Master Plan has been going on, and the final master plan is expected to be released in February 2020. 

3. Check the quality of construction

You are very likely to see a construction site every few minutes as you move around Kigali, and while this is good news to the current housing deficit, it sometimes means something else for the quality. If the house was built by a developer you do not know, try to get as much information about when the property was built, whether it was renovated, and any other insights that can give you quality assurance.

Once you have good options that have passed your checklist, don’t forget to inspect the house thoroughly. As a future home, you need to ensure that the plumbing works and that the house doesn’t leak – take advantage of a rainy day to schedule a visit. If you prefer buying new, you should consider buying off-plan. The benefit of buying off-plan is that you can choose a trusted developer, monitor the construction process, and get a house you will be happy with. It is also suitable for your financials because you will most likely pay in installments, and most developers work with banks to offer discounts to their clients.

5 tips to consider when buying a house in Kigali - buying off-plan

Villas for sale off-plan

4. Budget for the unexpected

Let’s face it, in real life, you will have to tweak things a bit to get your ideal house, whether it is renovating the bathrooms or changing the floor. Unless you are buying a house off-plan and customize it to your liking, you usually will need to invest a little extra to get your house ready. With a good deal, your real estate agent can negotiate for the seller to take care of the expenses, which is why the next point is crucial. 

5. Get expert help

You may be tempted to go at it solo, especially if you have a small budget, but DON’T DO IT ALONE. Invest the extra buck and get a trustworthy and professional real estate agent. These are the people who understand the industry and can help you avoid a mistake that could cost you your life savings. They know if the seller is in a rush, which can increase your chances at a better deal. You can trust them to sort through the hundreds of listings available online to give you suitable options. 

5 tips to consider when buying a house in Kigali

Do you want to get a feel for the market? Take a look at current properties for sale in Kigali at Vibe House, and get in touch with us at 0788639023 or info@vibehouse.rw. Happy house hunting!

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