One of the loyal readers, Let’s call her “Mrs W”, on this blog reached out to me with a very interesting request. She would like me to cover the story about buying their land and building their home.
I asked her to answer a few questions to bring us up-to speed with their project.
The objective of this series is to educate you our readers about the process of home acquisition.
We begin with the process of acquiring the plot.
How did you decide on the location?
Having lived in Kikuyu since we got married, we have loved the location. We love the convenience, the climate and more so the red soil… We were advised it makes construction easier. In addition, being only 20km from CBD it offers convenience to wherever you want to go. The southern bypass makes it accessible to town via Mombasa Road, Lang’ata Road, Ngong’ road, Lower Kabete Route and even Ruaka. We also like the hilly and the trees climate that we can easily head home and get that home experience.
With that in mind we narrowed our locations to Thogoto, Ondiri, Gikambura and Ndumbuini. We checked the land and properties there and settled on Ondiri. Ondiri is an area in Kikuyu is named after a swamp. Read more about the swamp here
What surprises have you met along the way?
The plot was charged to a bank, so the process of acquisition and discharging was supposed to take 2 weeks. It took about 3 months to get the title back from the bank.
A charge is an interest in land securing the payment of money or monies worth or the fulfillment of any condition. So when you take a loan with a bank and you use your land as security for that loan, the title deed of the land is said to be charged to the bank. In case you don’t pay back the loan, the bank will auction the land to recover the money it lend you.
Discharge is removal of the charge.
We met with the seller through a land agency. Then after negotiation and deciding on the price, we got into a sales agreement that was commissioned by a lawyer. Mr. Joachim Njagi, our advocate ensured the agreement terms were favorable. Thereafter, we went through the land board to get consent from the Kikuyu land control board to sell. Interesting how they only sit once a month. There is also an option where they convene a special board at higher fees but we opted for 3 regular land board meetings.
The first was to discharge the title from the bank- at this stage, the bank confirms it no longer has any interest in the title and the mother title is released from the charge.
The second was to get a consent to sub-divide the land (we bought from a large land owner) at this stage we had a surveyor come to divide the land based on our agreement with the owner. The mother title was surrendered and the smaller titles were issued.
The third was consent to transfer the titles. Once the final consent to transfer was released by the board, we signed the transfer form and submitted them to the Kiambu lands office. Thereafter, the property needed to be valued by a Government valuer for stamp duty valuation. There is a new law that will allow private valuers to carry out stamp duty valuations. Read more about it here
Stamp duty is a tax charged by the Government on transfer of buildings and land at the rate of four percent in towns and two percent in rural areas.
It took over 2 months to get the acknowledgement slip which we would then use to pay stamp duty. Once we paid stamp duty, the next issue came in franking the documents by the Ministry of lands to confirm we had paid the required amounts. There was an issue with the franking machine in Kiambu, Juja, Limuru and Thika, so we took our documents to Ardhi house in Nairobi. It was the peak of COVID and we encountered a further delay as the place had been closed for a few weeks for fumigation. Eventually we had our documents franked then we took them back to the lands office in Kiambu for generation of title deeds in our name.
Next week we will look at the initial stages of the house design and how Mrs W got a team of consultants .
I appreciate your feedback. Please reach me on 0723477035 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Valuer Kariùki, MRICS
Registered & Practicing Valuer
Chartered Valuation Surveyor.