FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A LAND
By Solomon Njane
Land has always been one of the most important asset in Kenya. This is for the fact land has continued to increase its demand due to increasing population. The fact that land appreciates in value with time, makes it possible for speculation for future increase in value. Its therefore important to do a due diligence of what you require to check before purchasing a piece of Land.
The following points discusses what you need to consider before buying any piece of land.
- Accessibility – As a good investor, you should always check what means of transport you will need to access to the piece of land you intend to buy. This maybe use of rail, roads, boats in case of lake or oceans etc. You should always buy a piece of land to where you know you will access quite easily using your means of choice. One should also check if those means are in good conditions for use. This applies to both Land for investment and that of residential.
- Water supply – Water resource has always been a major factor to consider before buying any piece of land. Water ensures proper sanitation and therefore it’s prudent to consider buying a piece of land. It’s advisable to buy land where you are sure there is water than where you know there is only rumors of water supply in future. Other means of water generation which includes man-made dams, rain water harvesting, rivers etc. should too be considered. Water is used in all kind of investments which may include Land for agriculture, Industrial Manufacturing activities etc.
- Know the climate – Investors may want a land for agribusiness activities. They should always check the kind of climate where they want to buy the land. Some places have good climate for agriculture while some don’t. It’s always good to evaluate what you intend to use the land for before buying. Climate affect a lot of business activities not only agriculture. In case of a residential land, one should also consider climate in case someone has health issues like asthma. People with breathing condition should not prefer very cold places.
- Safety from bushfires and flooding– Some places are largely affected by bushfires and others flooding. One may decide to invest in such places where he or she is willing to put on control measure e.g. man-made dams to control floods. If you are not willing to put on control measures, you are advised to find a place where there are no such factors in order to mitigate future risk.
- Soil quality and composition – For an investor who is willing buy land for agriculture purposes, he or she should find a land where its soil composition is made up sandy loam soil. This is one of the best soil for most plants to ensure optimum growth. In most cases, you’ll need to amend the soil with compost to make it more productive. However, if you intend to buy land for your own residential house or for a real estate investment, you will need to use loamy soils which an intermediate soil halfway between sand and clay. This soil typically has a mix of organic material, sand and clay. Loamy soils are considered by builders to be adequate for building on, which means that they are better than clay but worse than sand.
- Utility access – This is availability of basic things that satisfies human wants. These utilities are water and sanitation, electricity, security, healthcare, education facilities etc. it’s ideal for you to consider the above things before purchasing a land.
- Zoning Laws – This are laws put in place to control use of land. This land use maybe divided into Recreational (fun, non-essentials like parks), Transport (roads, railways, and airports), Agricultural – (farmland), Residential (housing) and Commercial (businesses and factories). It’s always ideal to consider what you intend to use the land for before you purchase. That plan for land use will help you to consider the place where the land has been permitted for your intended purpose.
- Size – This is always a consideration. According to the size of your pocket, you can easily get the kind of land you want. Different people have different purposes; you should check the size available in the place you want to buy from. This ensures that your land desires are met. You can’t buy a 50*100 piece of land and you intend to use it for a large scale agriculture production.
- Environment – Environment generally means the conditions around you. People prefers to buy land where they are comfortable with the environment. Classy people are more likely to prefer to purchase land where other classy people resides. Some people prefer some quiet environment. They will probably go buy a land where there are less number of people (scarcely populated). However, some people who want to set up their businesses might prefer where people are so much populated so that they may sell their products to the people around the business. In short different people prefer different environment according to their different preferences.
- Location – Location is a very crucial factor to consider. People considers a lot of things when coming up with the location where they want to buy the land from. This may be roads accessibility, security, water, electricity etc. it’s advisable for you to consider the kinds of facilities that you want to have in the place you want to buy.
- Price – Price has always been a major important factor to consider. A price that is expensive to me might be cheap to you and vice versa. People buy lands according to the size of their pockets. One should buy a land to where he or she perceives to be affordable.
- Future Plan – People do buy land according to the plan they have set. A person who intends to have his/her own residential home will prefer to buy a land where the land permit is approved for residential use. He/she should also buy it where there is higher probability of people building houses now or in future. Other people buy land so that they may do business in future. They therefore prefer to buy the land at the center or near the center. People intending to do agriculture in future find it important to buy land in remote areas because it’s affordable and there are good spaces.
- The hidden Cost Involved – Most people consider the cost of purchasing the land only in evaluation the amount of finance you need to occupy a land. Therefore, they leave out some important hidden costs that one need consider too. This cost may include additional site work, impact fees, permitting etc. its therefore recommended for you to plan for all cost that will be incurred; both visible and invisible costs.
Land is among the best investments opportunities available in Kenya. People invest in land for various reasons. Some invest for their residential homes, other for business purposes and others for speculation purposes. There are other crucial factors to consider apart from the ones mentioned above. For instance, some people sell land with fake title deeds and others sell land that they don’t belong to them. Its therefore important to include various institutions before buying the land. This maybe a Law institution to confirm the right owner of the land you intend to buy to mitigate the risk of fraud. To be on safe side, it’s very important to open your “third eye” before purchasing any real estate’s assets to avoid trouble in future.