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1 Going it alone: Buying a house is probably the most intricate and time-consuming thing you will ever do. While, for instance, buying a car only requires a sale agreement and a couple of handshakes between you and the seller before the log book is transferred to you, a house requires a lot more than just that cushy mutual consent.

Statutory requirements demand that you seek professional help, especially when it comes to drafting the sale agreement, doing the land title searches, conducting a valuation study, and filling land transfer forms.

Unless you have some magical ability to read between the lines, you cannot afford to go it alone in this case.

The easiest and most convenient way to go about it is to identify a law firm to guide you through the process.

Lawyers who deal with conveyancing are particularly good at this and may save you a pretty penny in the end.

If you are buying the property through a mortgage scheme, the financiers are likely to link you with reputable valuers.

While some buyers choose independent valuers who are not accredited to lending institutions, for mortgage purposes, reports by such individuals are not encouraged and may not be accepted by some banks.

 2 Operating on the basis of faith: They say faith is taking the first step even when you do not see the whole staircase. However, when it comes to real estate deals, you cannot afford to close your eyes and assume that all will be well. You must not just see that staircase, you must also climb it.

Isaiah Opiyo, a personal financial consultant, once told the Business Daily that, as Kenya’s real estate sector basks in the glory of an unprecedented boom, many people “are being conned daily in the name of buying property or land through bogus land buying companies”.

So, before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you are clear on whether the land has any encumbrances such as caveats and family wars, and verify whether it has proper documentation.

The bit on family wars is important. While many only seek to confirm whether the title deed is valid, spousal consent in the discharge of a property must be confirmed, especially with the new land laws that, among other things, insist that a spouse is deemed to be a co-owner of a property even when not on the title.

That means that, where land is held in the name of one spouse “but the other spouse has contributed to the productivity, upkeep, or improvement of the land”, the contributing spouse is deemed to have acquired an ownership interest in the land.

One cannot, therefore, sell, transfer, lease, or charge the land without their spouse’s consent.


Read more at: http://www.jambonewspot.com/buying-house-in-kenya-10-blunders-to-avoid/


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