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When the deal is too good.

The other day, my friend called me. He sounded very excited. After a minute of catching up, he told me that he needed my opinion. He had finally found land that he could afford. He told me that he had found some land in a County not far from Nairobi that was selling at a very fair price.
He said, “I saw an advert that an acre is going for Kshs 30,000 per acre”. He said that the neighboring land was going for 150,000 per acre.” He went on to explain to me that the only issue with this land is that you had to buy it in bulk, something close to 100 acres. He went on to tell me that if he bought this land, he would sub divide it to smaller parcels and make a killing! He said, “Alternatively, I will build a gated community on it or even a golf estate.” Oh, my friend can really dream!
Then it was my turn to give him my two cents worth of opinion. I started by asking him if the land had a title deed. He said yes, it had. I asked him how comes the land was five times cheaper than the neighbors land. He didn’t have an answer. I asked him why the current owner is not willing to subdivide the land and he didn’t have an answer. I went ahead to explain to him the risks he could be getting himself into.
The reason the land might be highly under priced could be that it’s not genuine. It could be a cemetery or public utility or since this particular county is near the Kenyan border with a neighboring county, the land could actually be in Tanzania. This might be the same reason he can’t sub divide or even sell it at its market rate. Have you heard of someone who sold Uhuru Park? Maybe its ancestral land or community land or even part of a national park.
I asked my friend to be cautious about this deal and if he plans to visit the land, he should go with a friend and tell another friend of his whereabouts. Have you heard about people who eat people?
My friend might not like me very much now, after frightening him off a “good deal”, but I guess that’s what friends are for.

Email: info@kariukiwaweru.com to book an appointment.

Kariuki Waweru

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