What you MUST consider before you purchase that piece of land

Kenya is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The country’s population is growing and the growth is expected to continue as the government continues to invest on infrastructure. Devolution is a great factor that will make real estate on growing trend. Other factors that will make real estate attractive include the growing middle class ,inflow of Foreign Direct Investments , inflow by foreigners, the country positioning as a regional hub among other factors.

These factors will make the demand for land to keep skyrocketing, a case in point current upward movement of land prices, an acre at upper hill costing 480M and Kileleshwa 250M, Kitengela surroundings 15 to 25M, Kajiado 4M. This means that our young population is being locked out of this very attractive industry.Optiven Limited comes in to help the young Kenyans to own land and later develop it by building.


The question that lingers in Kenyans’ mind is how to buy land, where from, from who and when.

Factors to consider when you want to make decision to Purchase a plot to build.

  1. Availability of social amenities – roads, water, security, schools, hospitals, shops etc.
  2. Trend of development – look at what is coming up in the area. If the development is of good standards, then you sure that your property is in a prime area.
  3. Accessibility – can you reach your house at night? Are there means of transport? What happens when it rains, are the roads passable?
  4. Distance from the main infrastructure – how far is it from the main tarmac or railway station. Is there government water or have the developer’s drilled boreholes to provide water?
  5. Personal preference – Do you like the area? If yes, what is special or what attracts you?
  6. Is the area controlled? – Check with the developer if there are plans for orderly settlement.
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How do I buy land?
It is important to deal with land experts. It is vital to check how you do it. Things to consider

  1. Involve a lawyer when you are buying your property –  The agreement fees ranges from Kshs 25,000 upwards. The legal charges ranges from 1.5% to 1.75%. It’s vital Get a lawyer who understands conveyance as it’s not all lawyers who understand conveyance business.
  2. Check the land dealer
    • Are they registered?
    • How many years have they been in business?
    • Do they have an office?
    • Who are the directors?
    • Is that their core business?
    • If the dealer is individual – check the spousal consent, Identification in comparison with the title deed. Call Optiven  for more information on 0702 83 1083 or email info@optiven.co.kefor more advise and help.
  3. How much do I have to invest?
    • Check if you are ready for investment
    • Ask yourself the reason for investing in real estate – Short of Long term. For immediate building or for futuristic, Commercial or residential investments – Email  for more advisesolutions@optiven.co.ke
    • Ask for investment options from Optiven Limited -who have flexible repayment options.
    • Do you have options to borrow & do you have capacity to borrow
  4. Payments
    • Always pay your property to an account say RTGS
    • Use banker’scheque and avoid cash as there is no paper trail.
    • Always get an official receipt from the company you are buying from, which must be stamped.
    • Ensure you open a file for your property.
    • Always sign the sale agreement
    • It’s vital to see the property you are paying for
  5. Land Location
    • Ensure you know where your property is located
    • Get a copy of the title deed
    • Copy of Registry Index Map
    • Copy of the mutation. (This will help you to trace your property in years to come)
  6. Agreement – Ensure you read through the agreement especially default clause, warranties and the agreement must be signed by all parties. Send an email to ask for sample agreement frominfo@optiven.co.ke
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Who are you dealing with?
Ensure that you know the owner of the property well. Get copies of their ID’s, Photos, PIN and if possible search their ID’s if they correspond with the government records. Check the names on the title deed if they correspond with the ID. If dealing with the company, check the registration, who are the directors? Visit their offices and make your own decision. Always obey your gut feeling.
You can search the company whether they have online presence, in the new technology, you can gather a lot of information. From online search you can also see testimonials from previous clients.

Leasehold and Freehold
Check the property if it is under leasehold or freehold. The leasehold attracts annual rents and rates and freehold does not.

How to do Search?

  1. Get a copy of the title deed.
  2. Present it at the registry and pay a small fee.
  3. The search must be stamped and signed
  4. Do informal search by visiting the sellers offices.
  5. Walk around the property and if possible create a rapport with the neighbors

Sign to show that the property may be questionable

  1. Signage- “Property not for sale” this means people may have been swindled
  2. An agent or land owner pushing you to pay quickly or pretending that they have an emergency “When the deal is too good, think twice.”
  3. Beacons removed or missing completely
  4. Property being guarded by armed securities either with machetes, arrows or guns
  5. Property with a caveat or an ongoing court case
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Can one buy land with a charge/loan?
Yes, charge means the property is funded by the Bank or the owner has a loan facility. When such happens, always pay to the Bank Escrow account so that you get partial discharge of charge as part of the completion document . Get more on www.optiven.co.ke

Escrow account

  1. This is the account owned by the land owner and the bank. The property owner cannot withdraw that cash without the Bank’s authority.
  2. It is where the bank funds the property for subdivision under such arrangement, you pay the escrow and once you finalize you get “partial discharge of charge”. This means your small portion of land cannot be taken back when the land owner fails to honor the loan.

Partial discharge of charge
This is a three page document generated by the lawyer, stamped by the bank and the land registrar . For the bank to sign and stamp, they must see the funds you paid in the escrow account. The partial discharge shows the LR number of your property. Generally people like charged property as they know that it is a clean property and another party (a financer) has done due diligence before funding

Completion documents
These are documents you get after full payment of your property or at the point of exchange of payment. These include

  1. Original title
  2. Copy of title deed plan or mutation
  3. Registry index map
  4. Copy of ID, Pin, 3 passport size photos
  5. Consent to transfer

Confirmatory Search
This is where you search the title deed issued to you by the vendor. For more specific advise write to  info@optiven.co.ke

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