“Earth is the best investment on earth.”

That is a statement by Mr Gilbert Kibire, the CEO of Icon Valuers Ltd, a real estate firm based in Nairobi, a statement echoed by his colleague, Mr Martin Cheboror.

“Land is the only asset you can invest in, where its value will almost always appreciate,” Mr Kibire expounds.

Indeed, real estate has proved to be an avenue for creating wealth. Whether it is building your retirement home or buying plots as a group, many of us have dreamt of investing in property at a certain point in our lives.

However, sometimes investing in real estate can be intimidating for beginners due to fear of the unknown.

Mr Cheboror explains that these reservations are legitimate as he has seen people lose millions of shillings and go bankrupt overnight in real estate deals gone awry.

“For smart investors who consult widely and seek guidance from professionals, the industry sure is lucrative, as we have facilitated deals in which people have made millions of shillings overnight,” he says.

Below are 10 tips that will help you get started in real estate and turn investing in property into a lifelong pursuit to secure your financial future.

  1. START SMALL, START NOW

A common truism in property circles is that, with real estate, you don’t wait to buy, you buy and wait.

“Many people lose out on making a fortune because they think the money they have is too insignificant to get them into the real estate business.

They don’t know that there are investment packages and opportunities they can exploit if they seek guidance from a real estate agent,” Mr Cheboror offers.

To drive the point home, Mr Kibire gives the scenario of two individuals with Sh100,000 each, and who both want to own a home in 10 years.

While individual A might think it is better to save until he can raise the capital required to build a home, individual B, who gets into a joint land-buying venture with his Sh100,000, will be better off as his stake in

the venture will have risen over the years since the value of land always appreciates.

“There are many financing options available to people with an interest in the real estate, ranging from bank loans to mortgages and micro-finance savings packages. Just make sure the income or appreciation

value of your property surpasses the interest on the loan to avoid burning your fingers,” advises Mr Kibire

You don’t need to buy an apartment complex right out of the gate. It is okay to start small, even if it is with REITs or partnerships. Just start.

  1. REAL ESTATE IS NOT A GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEME

Most people find the allure of buying property today and selling it after a short time hard to resist. However, the two professionals caution against getting into real estate with such an attitude because, like any

other investment, there is always an element of risk involved.

“One virtue that will prove very vital in this business is patience, which goes hand in hand with the principle of delayed gratification.

A person seeking to make a fortune in the real estate sector should be prepared to work hard and learn over a long time to understand how the market works,” Mr Kibire says.

  1. DO NOT QUIT YOUR REGULAR JOB JUST YET

If you are looking to  getting started in the property sector, quitting your regular job might not be a very sound move, especially if it is the job that provided the initial capital for your investment.

According to Mr Cheboror, people who quit their jobs to concentrate on real estate are oblivious of the fact that they can get professionals to handle the management part of their investments.

“Property agents and land economists have obviously been in the industry much longer, and are thus more experienced in competently managing your investments,” he says.

Relying on professionals saves you time as it only requires you to play a supervisory role.

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