Saturday, June 22, 2024

Rural vs. Urban: Where Should You Build Your Dream Home?

Are you considering building your dream home? Whether you are looking for a quiet or vibrant lifestyle, you will always get something that suits your needs as a person or family. There are many discussions around this topic some factual others mythical, however, the decision on whether to build should always be critically analysed.

One of the best ways to narrow down to the best option is by looking at the pros and cons of each option. For example, what are the advantages and disadvantages of building either in the rural or the city? Which options suits your priorities, preference, tastes, and immediate and long-term needs? If you can answer these questions, you can ahead and build.

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General data shows that most retirees in Kenya settle in the rural areas in search of calmness, safety and a healthy lifestyle. Further, the rural area seems to give most of the support system needed at that age.

However, could this trend be changing and the upcoming generations start considering retiring in the city? Well, whether this is changing or not there are factors that come into play when one is deciding where to build.


There are many reasons why people build dream homes including having a place to live, for investments, for retirement, for status and prestige, for retirement etc. However, in the African culture most people especially men build homes in the rural area as a “cultural requirement” because ideally, a man should have a house in the village or in their ancestral land.

Reuben Kimani: How you can own a house with a monthly salary of Sh. 30,000

Sadly, most of those who have built, end up campaigning against it after realizing they spend most of their time in the city with the nuclear family and less time, a week or less, in the village. The interesting fact is that most of those who have yet to build in the rural areas believe it is a good idea while those who have built are against it. In as much as everyone will make their decision, it is important to consider a number of factors.

The first key factor is your family priorities, this means asking yourself what your immediate family needs now. Do they need a rural house or an urban house at the moment? How often do you spend time in the rural areas? Between a rural house and urban house which one serves your family best? If you are able to answer these questions you will comfortably know which house to prioritize.

The second factor is your goals and objectives, this means analysing carefully what you need to achieve. The easiest way is to answer the questions, Why are you building? Is it a house to live now, a retirement home or a vacation home? Your answers will help you decide where to build, either rural or urban and when.

A real estate expert Reuben Kimani who is also the CEO of Username Investments opines that when it comes to building

“The decision of whether to build a rural home or an urban home is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer and the best choice for you will depend on your priorities, individual needs and preferences. If you are still undecided, it is a good idea to talk to people who have built homes in both rural and urban areas”.

He adds that

“Building in the city improves your day-to-day quality of life with your family because you spend most of your time, weeks and months in the city. However, those who build in the rural areas view it as a home with no exchange value or economic benefits per se.

However, if you can afford, it is okay to build a house both in your rural area and urban area. But it is important to overcome the pressure from culture or peers to invest in an area that will not benefit you as much”.

He adds,

“If you are working in Nairobi, you can consider purchasing properties in Juja, Ngong, Kangundo etc. because these are places you can live and access your workplace conveniently. Later on, you can build a simple rural home where you can be visiting once in a while with your family”.

In conclusion, no matter where you decide to build your home, make sure you do your research and plan carefully. Building a home is a huge investment and you want to make sure you get it right.

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