Yes, you heard that right – I want to be single again!! Why? So I can make the quaint and cosy one bedroom apartment I discovered in Lavington my home. Picture this – a security check with the very friendly askaris who gladly usher you in after confirming you are expected and direct you to the designated visitors’ parking. As you drive in, you suddenly feel the stress of the Nairobi traffic exit your body as you are ushered in by the whistling trees swaying to the gentle breeze as little colourful birds chirp away. You park your car and step out to be greeted by a sea of green – a lovely landscaped garden where Kikuyu grass seems to be thriving like a “covid-millionaire.”
You walk down the stairs that look like the Spanish Steps in Rome, because of how wide they are, and you can already tell that what you will find inside the set of three apartments will be nothing short of glorious. At the bottom of the steps, a lovely lady called Mercy is waiting for you. She smiles at me – I am home! Can I move in already?
The entrance to the building is secured by a lovely metal and glass door and the floors are finished with a lovely grey granite stone. Mercy tells me the granite is mined locally in a little town in Ukambani called Mavoloni and the company that mines it is called Mavoloni granite (what else would they call it?) It is not common to find granite floors in Kenya unless you are in an office building, so I am already quite impressed. The door to the apartment is the icing on the cake – a lovely hard wood door that even Hercules would struggle to break. It completely defines the entrance.
Have you heard the term Location! Location! Location! when it comes to property? Well, it is true what they say, the location of your home determines the value of your home. But what about location is important? Below are a few things to consider:
Location in relation to essential services like schools, hospitals, police stations and shopping facilities
Location in relation to functional infrastructure like roads, water services and electricity
Location in relation to places of work i.e. employment / business hubs
Location in relation to auxillary services e.g. airports, railway stations etc
Well, today you are in luck. I have found you the perfect property that is not only pocket friendly but also checks out on the four areas highlighted above.
A beautiful 3 bedroom house, master ensuite in a gated community at Pine City Estate is now available for sale and you can make it your home.
Essential Services: Pine City Estate is close to the newly opened Nova Pioneer School (https://www.novapioneer.com/kenya/athiriver-primary/) that has come in to change the landscape of education facilities in the Athi River/ Mlolongo area. Imagine your kids walking to school from home – no worries about extra costs related to bus transport or having to wake up at 4:00am to prepare your kids to attend school in the city. Pine City Estate is also close to hospitals in the area and is 5km or less to three shopping malls i.e. Coloho Mall, Signature Mall and the newly built Crystal Rivers Mall that was developed by Safaricom.pic from the Nova Pioneer School
Functional Infrastructure: Save for the 300 metres close to the property, the road leading to Pine City Estate is full tarmacked. The estate has a functional borehole and is served by water from Mavwasco. Additionally, the landlord has invested in additional storage tanks and if you have lived in Kenya you know that water storage in your home is critical given that council water does not flow in daily.
Employment/Business Hubs: With the growing infrastructure in Athi River, the area has attracted many new businesses and the growing traffic and housing developments in the area is testatment to that. Regardless of what your field is, I can guarantee you that you could find employment or a business to provide services too less than 10km from your home. In short, you no longer have to rely on Nairobi to earn your income – you can do so close to home and away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Auxillary Services: You will be pleased to note that SGR station is only 8.5km from Pine City Estate and JKIA is only 11km away. I mean, what else do you need? This home is close to everything you need when you need to step out and spacious, secure and green when you need to stay home.
My oh my…when did we last catch up? Well, I don’t know about you but this COVID-19 self isolation has re-ignited old passions. So, to kick us off on a new exciting journey I’d like to introduce to you this lovely home I came across that is available for sale.
Location: Green Park Estate, Athi River. I don’t know if you have driven around the area lately. It is fully built up and everything they promised when they began construction over ten years ago has been built ie. bungalows, townhouses, apartments even the hotel and a retirement facility. The estate’s lovely landscaping carries through which makes the green a beautiful oasis in the middle of a seemingly dry Athi area.
The House: Beautiful townhouse with 3 spacious bedrooms (master ensuite). What is particularly nice about this house I am selling is the little touches the owner put in. From gypsum ceilings to tasteful light fittings, you will notice immediately you walk in that this home is uniquely different from all the others in the estate.
The other thing I particularly like about these house is the lovely landscaped garden and the fact that you can walk around your house. The house sits on an eigth of an acre making the space big enough to be private and beautiful but small enough to easily maintain. Continue reading →
Image courtesy of Coldwell Banker article in the Nation
The above catchy headline caught my attention too when I came across the story on Nation Online. Not sure if this a post President Obama visit to Kenya benefit or just a timely awakening to Coldwell Banker and other American companies that Kenya really is a hotbed of opportunity especially for those who are in real estate. In case you were doubting that real estate is big, last week social media was abuzz when the Nation published that Centum was paying its 90 employees a bonus payment of 1.1 billion shillings (approx.USD 11million). Now, if you know Centum well you will know they are big on real estate and infrastructure. Some of their projects include The Two Rivers in the UN diplomatic zone of Nairobi and The Pearl Marina project in Entebbe among other investments. Such bonuses are unheard of in companies of that size hence the buzz but such news affirms those looking to enter the sector that real estate investments continue to outperform the market year in year out (please note however that there are those who have lost tons of money in real estate due to a lack of sound fundamentals and good research).
Back to Coldwell Banker. A quick peak into their global website gives a little history of the company as: Continue reading →
If ever I doubted that 8years is a long time, living in Kilimani has taught me that a lot can change in 8 years. From a relatively lower density predominantly residential neighbourhood in 2007, today (September 2015) the area has transformed into this mixed use, commercial cum residential hood.
Twin Oaks Tigoni Road
Take for example Tigoni road, the crescent road connecting Chaka Road to Argwings Kodhek . In 2007 there were only 4 blocks of apartments i.e Prime Executive Court, Duncan Court, Touchwood Apartments and The Gables. Today, we have an additional 5 high rise apartment complexes (Twin Oaks, Fedha Residences, Glenbroke apartments, Tigoni Towers, and one other whose name I forget and apparently even Google doesn’t know it) plus one hotel under construction. Two residential houses in Cedar Court have been converted into a legal office MK Advocates. A mama mboga round the corner has set up shop and is doing booming business selling tomatoes at twenty shillings a piece (USD 0.2) when you can walk down the road to Yaya and buy two for the price of one but somehow she is still in business. And last but not least, a once quiet neighbourhood café has been converted into a church with daily services and a Kindergaten.
Let me put this change to Tigoni Road, Kilimani into perspective (aside from the blaring daily noise from the church): Continue reading →
I don’t know about you but I have always wondered what the difference between a Condo, an Apartment and a Flat is. Well I am fibbing a little. Along the way I kinda figured out that the Apartment vs Flat debate was an American vs British English story but this Condo vs Apartment thing???? Someone please clear the air.
Now, I recently visited the land of the free – you know the one with the red stripes and white stars, that one! Fantastic trip. It was on this trip that I got an education on this topic. One fine Summer evening as we were sipping on Margaritas a friend of mine mentioned that he was finally closing on a condo in Florida and two minutes later he was on the phone telling his sister to bring him a gadget he had left in his apartment?? Just like that he had mentioned condo and apartment in less than a minute….voila!! this was my moment….an enlightening moment it was so please bear with me because I really feel the need to share this knowledge with you. Here goes….
Nakuru is my shaggs – proudly! This is one town that never ceases to amaze me – its people, the businesses, the henging, the farming but most of all its potential. Located only 2 hours away from Nairobi, this town is perfect for a country escape with a city touch. But, despite all this, Nakuru until now did not have a proper gated community. Most homes seem to be individually developed and the few developments that have come up in the recent past are either apartment complexes with no more than 48 flats per project or small scale townhomes. This is why this project by seasoned developers, Tamarind Properties, catches my attention.
According to the developers website, this project will cost the developers a whooping Kes. 1.2 billion (approx. 12 million USD) and the starting price for individual 3 bedroomed units is Kes. 10.2 million (102,000 USD). I am yet to visit the site i.e. Free Area in Nakuru but if what I am reading is anything to go by, I would urge you to stay tuned for updates on the one project that will begin the wave that will change the housing landscape in Nakuru.
I love Kenya, I really do – but occasionally I wish I lived in the States. Take for example a day like today when I decided to go mortgage shopping. A bright and warm Saturday it was (very odd for July) and I was in good spirits until I met the bankers. Boy was I in for a shock!!
Walk into Bank no. 1 – the rates were 12.9% and the lady at the branch informed me that the Central Bank had recently raised the Kenya Bank’s Reference Rate (KBRR) to 9.87% up from 8.54% (see report here) which means, she said, “this may affect the mortgage price in the next month or so ie. mortgage rates will rise again.”
I have never really thought much about bungalows until I set my eyes on Olchani – a lovely country home in Nakuru. There is something about this bungalow that is just breathtaking. On visiting their trip advisor page, I noticed that one guest had reviewed the place as ” Lovely SPRAWLING bungalow” and right there it hit me….you can never use the word sprawling for a maisonette. Maisonettes tend to be small and gain their square footage by going upwards. Typical of city homes. Continue reading →
I just got back from an official trip to Seychelles that included a bit of touring. I thought I was well travelled and had seen it all until I set foot on this beautiful island. Nothing prepared me for the magnificent views and turquoise blue sea water (I always thought those images we see on the internet were photo shopped), what I saw was simply amazing.
view of the island from Mahe Island
I will save my touristy Seychelles stories for a different blog and focus my story today on Eden Island – the masterpiece development that broke ground 6 years ago. Although the house plans are relatively standard, the masterplan is like nothing I have seen before. To begin with, this is a man-made island developed on reclaimed coral reef and converted into this green sanctuary with a mix of homes ranging from one bedroom apartments to 5 bedroom villas with private moorings and private beaches. On the commercial side, the project is backed by a lovely mall with lots of restaurants e.g. The BoardWalk, Maharaja and many others. I must say we had the best icecream ever at this little icecream shop that was facing the commercial yacht bay. Continue reading →
Check out this master bedroom floor plan – the ultimate luxury i.e his and hers bathrooms including separate toilet…..his and hers sinks are so last decade…step into the new luxury people. #ifyouknowyouknow.