Real estate companies, building societies among other outfits like to hold open days where prospective clients can show up and have unfettered success to the company projects and find information on whatever is on offer. On the designated days, the company may take the initiative to transport interested parties to the site. Attending such events can be useful. At the very least you will know if a development like that is your scene. You might also find yourself being roped into making an expensive commitment. There are different types of developments from bare land for farming, development and even homes. You will do well to remember that most of the professionals you are dealing with at an open day will be paid on commission and will there put a positive spin on everything. Below are a few important questions to keep in mind before you sign on any paper.
How much is it?
This should be your very first question before anything. This will tell you if the entire trip is worth it in the first place. See, if you are going to visit an open day where the properties are 30 million shillings and you know for sure you could never have enough of that in the near future, what is the point? It is important to know your lane. You should also find out how much of the price is required for bookings. You might decide that this is exactly the thing for you so you want to have a preliminary plan in place to commit yourself. Usually, they ask for 50% of the price especially if the development is complete and ready. Another important thing to find out is if the company will support you while processing financing schemes like mortgages.
How many units are there?
The number of units will tell you just how crowded this place will be. The thing about neighbors is that there is a sweet spot. Too many neighbors and it will feel like you are in a commune cramped in a fishbowl. There will be competition for amenities. If there are too few people then the community may be targeted and it may be insecure. You want there to be just enough people such that it is safe and you can get amenities like schools dedicated to that area. You want just enough neighbors not to crowd the pool at the community health center. Too few might also drive up the prices for services within the community.
When is the development expected to be complete?
Some companies will invite people for an open day as soon as they finish the first few houses. This is usually the case if they are having trouble financing the entire development at once. This situation is not exactly terrible. Some companies are actually genuine and will use the money from down payments to complete the development. Others have been known to collect bookings, take forever to build then eventually just fade into nothing taking with them people’s hard-earned cash. You want to make sure that the company you are engaging is legit and well-reputed. Try to avoid the newcomers.
What amenities will one benefit from?
This is a very important question. You do not want to move to this new development only to have your children travel for a full hour just to get to school every morning. You do not want to be unable to buy a box of matches if you run out at 7 in the evening. You will need a shopping center and a school or two. You will need entertainment spots and accessibility to services. Whether the company has included these amenities in the community or if the development has them in proximity does not matter. All that matters is that they be there.
What is the area’s potential?
If the properties on display are meant for commercial development, you will want to know if the area has the potential for growth in the next few years. Is the government building a major road by the properties? Will there be a landmark in the area? This potential will inform how you will develop your property if you decide to buy it. Before you proceed with anything, you should be able to picture that property in a few years. Will it be your home? Will it be a nice B & B? Will it be a farm? Will you have leased it pout to someone? The future potential of the development will also contribute to the resell value. You want a property with a high resell value.
Is it ready for development?
In most cases, all the legalese will be taken care of. Your job will be mostly verification. You should find out how much there is to do before you are allowed to develop your plot. You should also find out about the user regulations for that particular land. The company will usually give a list of suggestions for what you could use the land for. In a place where there will be mixed-use, you will be advised not to install something too disruptive to the others.
What development suggestions are offered by the company?
You should scrutinize the list of development suggestions given by the company. You should also inspect the user regulations for that property. These might not be amenable to the plan you have in mind for your property. This could be the end of the road for you. These could deter you from buying into the development.
How is security?
Security is an important thing whether you decide to live here or not. Security will protect your construction site if you decide to build. Security will protect you and your family if you decide to make the place your home. Security will protect your plants if you decide to farm. So if there is no perimeter wall you should enquire about this is a plan in the near future. You should also find out about the possibility of guards at the main entrance. This will be especially important if the place is remote.
Is the plot serviced?
A serviced plot is very important. It means that you have easy access to power connectivity as well as a plug into the water supply system. It costs a lot of money to bring these services to the land and quite a bit of bureaucracy. In some cases, it may take you years to finally have your land fully serviced. Another aspect is the road. How well built is that road? Is it an all-weather road or will you sleep in your car when it rains? The thing about a road is that if it is not present before you buy the land, you might always be in a struggle to get road access to your land. Avoid promises of ‘the government plans’.
What is the size?
The size of the property is another important aspect, whether it is already developed or not. See if you are buying bare land, the size will inform how big a house you can build. If you are buying already developed land, the size of your compound will inform what other activities can be carried out on the property. Will you have enough space left to have some cattle or will you only be able to squeeze in your car? You should also have verbal confirmation of the size for when you finally have a surveyor inspect and the title search done. The size contributes to the price significantly.
How is the uptake?
This is about the popularity of the development. See, you will ask and whatever answer you will get will be overstated or completely false. You can, however, tell a lot from the turn out at the open day. You can also tell a lot from the company’s previous successes. You should also look at what people are saying on social media. Sure, some of these companies will have hired influencers and celebrities but in the midst of all the gassing will be an honest opinion or true experience with this company. This is especially important if the company has only been around for about five to ten years. That is not a short time but it is not long for the company to be fully rooted in the company either.
Open days will be informative at least and life-changing at best. You will learn and you will also meet some likeminded people. The company agents will try their darndest to sell you on the development. Some will even promise guaranteed success, be wary of these and proceed with caution. This is not meant to encourage you to attend open days but to help you stay on task if and when you do. All the best on your adventure.