Syokimau is in Machakos County although it often does not feel like it. It is perceived as a bourgeoisie neighborhood which it could be depending on your definition of the word. People who live in Syokimau like to brag that it is ranked fourth on the list of best places to live in Nairobi. When the rush to the outskirts of Nairobi started, Syokimau was among the first hoods to accommodate this wave. It has quickly grown from the dusty little place with no infrastructure to speak of and sticky clay soil to the vibrant popular hood it is today. One thing is for sure though, there is a great sense of community in Syokimau. Living there is like being adopted into a family you did not think you needed. If you are considering renting a house in Syokimau you should be aware of a few important things.
First of all, find out all you can about Syokimau. Move past the glowing articles by real estate companies looking to sell houses. Do a deep dive and find past instances of crime. Find out about the expensive fruit and all the disruptive construction. Do not go looking for reasons to live in Syokimau. It is more prudent to find reasons not to live there. This way when you do move, you will love the neighborhood regardless of the issues. While at it, find a good agent to lead you through. If you go by yourself you might only see the really expensive boutique sort of apartments and miss out on affordable places.
Cost of Living
Food can be very expensive in Syokimau. This is especially true if you buy your fruits and vegetables at the vendors who set up at the turn off into Syokimau from the highway. You could buy a mid sized melon for 500 shillings. In fact, a few years ago there were no other food vendors but those ones. People suffered through very warm expensive fruit and dusty wilted vegetables. However, over time there are more vendors for the regularly pocketed people who know that an orange goes for five shillings.
The commuting can also be a little expensive especially if you have to go into the CBD everyday at rush hour. Fare at such a time by road will be around 80 shillings. You could get the train instead which costs 100 shillings for a ticket that can be used twice. If you decide to reside then you can get the NCR card as it comes with discounts. As far as commuting goes, you have to plan it well so it remains at a reasonable amount. If you decide to exclusively use the train, think about the congestion. The train gets very congested especially in the morning. However, you will always get from home to town in less than one hour.
There is almost always a new development happening somewhere in Syokimau. The better the roads get, the more buildings come up. Syokimau is the destination for the upwardly mobile. That demand has to be fulfilled. The train service has been around for a while and seems to have accelerated development. Therefore, it will not be difficult to find a place. What might be hard is finding a place if your budget is a bit low. Developers tend to favor high end buildings and projects. This is why you need an agent. It will be easier and more productive that way.
With Syokimau being on the outskirts of Nairobi, there is lots of space. This means that contractors and owners are not compelled to be economic with the space. So you will enjoy spacious rooms regardless of the number of rooms you choose to rent. A to bedroom house should go for about 25,000 shillings while you can get a three or four bedroom mansionette for about 50,000 shillings a month. Although most prefer buying over renting and the hood is mostly perceived as such, the rental options are also just as good.
So many social amenities to choose from. The people of Syokimau pride themselves in being able to arrange proper holiday activities for children as well as family friendly events. For a bit of adult fun you can visit the 254 Lounge or establishments at the NextGen Mall. There are enough options fro entertainment and fun.
- Be wary of construction or developments around your prospective home. There are a lot of these in Syokimau. That means that there can be all sorts of environmental pollution. It can be noisy. Speaking of noise, steer clear of the flight paths. It can be dusty. It can be crowded. There are also some plants set up in the environs. These could bring about a different kind of pollution in the form of fumes. This is actually very detrimental to the health of all people.
- Syokimau is all clay soil. If you choose a more remote place, be prepared to hate the rain. It gets sticky and heavy. If you do not like sticky heavy ground, stick to the tarmacked and paved areas of the neighborhood. Arm yourself with gumboots. During the rainy season, leave the house earlier than usual.
- The further down the road you travel, the more questionable security gets. Instances of breaking into houses might be rare but there have been some instances of people being waylaid. Enquire about the security situation when you are house hunting. Generally though, Syokimau is a pretty safe place.
Syokimau is a great place for business people or freelance workers. It is quiet. There is a sense of community. You can live in an affordable house but still maintain that affluent façade that comes in handy in business. Surely there is a reason Syokimau is the fourth best place to live in Nairobi. Find out. Happy discovery!