After working for a little while, you might have some money saved up to do something useful. Taking a vacation to the Maldives is not a useful thing in mind here. A good idea would be to become a property owner. Being a property owner will open up your horizons as well as give you a financial cushion. It is a little risky but after you have broken even, all will be well. There are many benefits to owning property. Below are some of the pros of owning rental property.
A rental property generates income monthly. It will take time until the property has broken even though. Because of the demand in middle-class housing in Nairobi and Kenya in general, it is advisable to focus on that if it is your first time. The middle-class people are usually the biggest spenders. Chances are that your house if properly done and appropriately priced will not go vacant for long in a middle-class area. This investment is also low risk but not completely nil. Many factors might affect your building’s ability to generate a profit. Factors like economy, insecurity in the area and even the kinds of options available as well as how much rent you are charging. All in all, rental property is a good idea for investment. In this town, you need a second source of income to survive.
Chance to diversify
Once you have started earning money from the rent, you will have a chance to do more. You could learn about cryptocurrency and dabble in that. You could buy a car and loan it to Uber for monthly payments. You could even open an import business for things like baby clothes and shoes. You will have the financial freedom to take risky steps. Big risks mean big payouts. These are not steps you can take on a salary, at least not comfortably. Your salary is meant to be subjected to a budget and stringent spending. You cannot invest in forex trading from your salary because you will be afraid to lose what little cash you have.
Gateway to more
Once you acquire your first building, for some reason it becomes easier to acquire the third and the fourth. The more buildings you have, the closer you get to ultimate financial freedom. The first building is sort of a learning process. You learn how to game the system. You learn how to get quality building materials at a good price. For example, while an architecture professional will cost a lot of money. Many will attest to the fact that they end up saving more on materials. In most cases, you will find that the fundis have asked for 30% more materials than they will actually need or use. This means that a lot will be leftover. This is not something you would know unless you have experienced it.
Shelter from inflation
During inflation, prices for everything go up. The citizens of a country have less buying power. If you are only dependent on your salary then you will definitely be able to buy a lot less. However, if you have a rental property you could increase the rent and have a little shelter from the negative effects of inflation. Even if you do not, that extra source of income should help you through these hard economic times.
There are many reasons to get a loan. You could have an urgent medical issue. You could have found yourself a business opportunity. If you have a rental property, in some cases, selling is not the answer. You can use the property as leverage to get a loan. You could also opt to sell half the building or several floors. You would still have some of it left and you would not have to take on a loan. This has the potential to be very messy though. The point here is that a property can and will be your savior when you find yourself in financial quicksand.
Gone are the days when you could rely on your salary to feed your children, pay your rent and even pay school fees in addition to other basic needs. Two decades ago, you could do all that and even save up a little bit after everything. However, in this country, this is not possible anymore. It is even worse for people living in Nairobi as it is one of the towns in the country with the highest cost of living. However, with a rental property, you can supplement your salary with the income from this. You will have financial security.
Protection from the volatile employment market
In the last year or two, companies have been closing down and moving to neighboring countries. That means that thousands of people have lost their jobs. Fewer and fewer companies are opting to start their businesses in Kenya due to different issues. However, a rental property will cushion you. You will be shielded from the stress of a volatile employment market. If the wrecking ball does hit you, you will be fine financially. The stress of possibly losing your job anytime will be alleviated by the second source of income.
One day, you will be too old to work. One day, you will retire from your job. You will no longer have your salary. What will be your plan then? Retirement benefits from NSF, you say? At the rate corruption is taking over the country, you should not put all your eggs in that particular basket. A rental property should help you out. If retirement benefits do come through you will have more. If they do not, then the rental income should cover it.
This means that there will be a certain amount of hazard that comes with relying on only one investment. The remedy for this is diversification. However, the problem with this is that first-time property owners are usually so financially strapped that they cannot diversify while also building their rental. A typical Keyan person can only concentrate on one investment at a time. No matter the investment they decide to go with, there will still be a measure of concentration risk. However, more often than not things will align for you in the market and your building will do well.
Having bad tenants is one of the biggest risks in the real estate rental sector. There might be some tenants who drive others away. Some tenants might ruin and damage the building. They will then leave before the house has been properly inspected. These same tenants will have used their deposit as rent for their last month in the building. After they leave, you will have to dig into your pockets for repairs or the unit will remain vacant for a while. No one will want to live in a dilapidated house.
Not passive income
You will need to take time occasionally to attend to issues in your building. You will need to show up and respond to tenants’ issues as well as inspect the building for damage. This is especially true if the caretaker hired is not exactly trustworthy or committed to ensuring everything runs smoothly. You will also have to remain present because of the above mentioned problematic tenants. Unlike stocks and such other investments, this is not passive income. It could be semi-passive but not in most cases.
You will need to renovate and repair issues every time they come up. If you do not do this then your building may remain vacant for extended periods. These periods of renovation may be considered reinvestment. This is yet something else that might distinguish this investment from stocks. You have to occasionally spend money to keep the returns coming.
If your rental package is inclusive of the power and water bills then you may suffer if the government decides to increase the cost of utilities. One option is to let the rent remain as it is and absorb the increased expense on your own. Suffer in silence, so to speak. Another option is to increase the rent or have the tenants pay for that particular utility on their own. This may drive some tenants to move out of the building leaving you with vacant units which may remain as such depending on how the market looks.
Despite all the obvious downsides, owning rental property is a good thing. It is beneficial. The economy of this country is not making things easy on Kenyans. Therefore, it will be useful to have a nest egg or safety net. Something you can fall back on when things go awry. Good luck!