Why you should buy property only during the rainy season
Wahinya Henry and Milliam Murigi
Do you know that the rainy season is the best time to buy your plot or house if you want to invest?
For the last two months, we have been receiving excess rainfall, which has rendered many roads impassable, farms and many homes inaccessible.
Property owners in areas such as Kamulu and Ruai estates in the outskirts of Nairobi are counting losses in millions of shillings after heavy rains recently caused Athi River to burst its banks.
Moses Muriithi, CEO Fanaka Real Estate says though most land buying and selling companies go silent when it starts raining, this is the best time to sell properties because investors can see how the topography of the area is affected by mudslides and/or flooding.
“Most real estate dealers slowdown on advertising and taking clients on tours of their projects during the rainy season compared to the dry season.
This is because of some parcels of land are situated along waterways, on riparian land and flood-prone areas, ” he says.
Fanaka is based in Ruai, with different projects along Kangundo Road, one of the worst-hit areas by flooding, so Murrithi knows the area.
“The best time to buy land should be during or immediately after the rainy season.
This when you can tell whether roads to the property are cut off by floodwaters, bridges overflow or the land is vulnerable to erosion,” he says.
Additionally, buying land at such a time helps one to understand the flow of rainwater and whether the site you are eyeing can be affected by storm waters and whether it's accessible.
Peter Wangai, CEO Silverstone Properties says that this doesn’t only apply to those who want to buy land but is also effective for those buying ready houses.
“When it is raining, you can know whether the roof leaks, the quality of the drainage system for your house as well as for the whole area and the quality of the construction materials used. You can also get a true feeling of the house itself,” says Wangai.
“When buying a house, you need to remember that you will not be staying in it only in good times or nice weather but also during heavy rains. Therefore, I believe that one should go to take a look at the house they want to buy during or immediately after the rains,” he adds.
Owners in parts of the area about 30km from the CBD in Kasarani Constituency, now dread the day they rushed to buy plots hyped by land sellers who dubbed the plots as maguta maguta (hot cakes).
Property worth millions of shillings has been destroyed after homes and institutions were sub-merged, and gardens and livestock washed away by floods.
The plots offered at affordable prices have left owners dumfounded after it dawned on them fraudsters hoodwinked them.
The rush for plots in Kamulu, Ruai, Joska and KBC areas along Nairobi- Kagundo Road kicked off in earnest after the completion of the Eastern Bypass in 2012. Before 2002, the area was bush.
Other centres such as Kamulu, Mutathia, Joska, Koma, Tala and Kantafu have also come up along the way.
A daylong tour of the area by Boma established that most commercial and residential plots sold to unsuspecting buyers were either demarcated from riparian land or open quarries filled with soil.
Beacons have also been washed away, creating an avenue for potential disputes. “Some bought quarries filled to the brim with black cotton soil during the dry season.
But flash floods swept away the loose soils,” says Ngundu Senior Assistant Chief, Benard Kanzika. “Several homes have been-sub merged and occupants advised to stay away,” he added.
Majority of the estimated 24,000 residents who have borne the brunt of the flash floods, said Kanzika, had settled on riparian land along Athi River, Reflector and Athi villages.
Frederick Kamande bought a 40ft by 80ft plot at Sh650,000 ten years ago. “Little did I it was a quarry until last week when the house I built was swept away,” he said.
Kamau Waithaka just missed being swept away by the floods last Friday. “I came home some minutes to midnight to find my new neighbours on their home’s rooftop. A police helicopter later picked them up,” said Kanzika.