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Home / Investments

Dos on buying an apartment

 Ruth Kanyi, a realtor who buys and sells rentals (Edward Kiplimo,Standard)

Ruth Kanyi is a realtor who buys and sells rent apartments. She talks about what you must do to get an ideal flat.

Who is Ruth Kanyi and what do you do for a living?

I am a realtor; it has been my line of work since 2008. I work for a property developer, Diamond Homes, where I sell and rent apartments.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to invest in buying an apartment?

There are a number of things that one should consider before committing to buy an apartment. To begin with, look at the location. Do your groundwork and visit the site to find out if the location is convenient for you.

Some apartments are located in areas that are inaccessible without a vehicle, while some are removed from the bus stop.

Also, find out whether the area you are buying the property has security and water, and whether it is near a school, supermarket, gym, parking, hospital and other social amenities.

Another important thing to assess is the structure, design and finishing of the apartment. Is the apartment designed in a way that you have access to natural light, or is it one of those apartments where lights have to be on throughout because it is too dark?

Ensure the design and arrangement of the apartment works for you. If you are going for a modern look, ensure the apartment is built with modern-day fixtures, and with up-to-date architectural provisions.

Before committing to work with a project developer find out about other projects that they have worked on previously.

Visit the actual site for previous projects and ask those who have bought the property what their experience was with the developer. In addition, find out if they delivered what they promised and kept to the agreed deadlines.

 Before buying a property, assess is the structure, design and finishing (Shutterstock)

What other steps are necessary to ensure the rights of a buyer are protected?

It is important to get a registered valuer and an advocate before committing to buying anything. A registered valuer will help your identity the actual location of the development project, and the exact parcel number.

Indeed, the location where the developer claims or believes the property will be developed, may not be the correct location. It is possible for mix-ups to occur either intentionally or unintentionally.

There was a case where a developer developed someone’s land, the investor only found out later that the land belonged to someone else‘s.

A valuer also gives you a comparable cost for the area you want to buy your apartment.

Hiring an advocate ensures you are protected legally as a buyer. An advocate helps with ensuring that the owner of the property is the rightful owner and that the terms of the sales agreement protect his clients. They basically provide relevant advice and documents when buying an apartment.

What types of apartments can you buy in the market?

There are three kinds and include the off-plan, ongoing with a showroom, and a complete or on plan apartment.

Buying off-plan involves buying an idea of an apartment that has not been actualised. Ongoing means that although your apartment is not complete there is at least a showroom that is complete for viewing.

Off-plan and ongoing apartments are usually cheaper and are most popular in today’s market.

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