Homeownership in Kenya: Lessons Learned From the Coronavirus Pandemic
While 2020 started on great vibes, the year has turned out to be, perhaps, one of the worst in the century. We probably all had great plans spanning from career, personal development to investments. However, as 2020 winds down, the plans and the arising objectives thereof are mostly likely to be a dud. All these, thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic that resulted in a rude interruption to the way we live, work and play. At Squarefoot Real Estate, for example, we had to temporarily discontinue our business at the height of the virus spread in the country.
The year is not letting go with bad news. Medical professionals proclaim that virus may last much longer than we had hoped for and the battle will be devastating with long term effects on humanity. Certainly, life as we know it will never be the same again. We will have an entirely new world. We now have to adjust our lives accordingly to the new normal that now demand different thinking.
Even so, as with any calamity, the pandemic has brought to fore perspectives on various aspects of our lives that previously went unnoticed. One of those is the idea of homeownership. For many, owning a home represents stability, financial success, and the opportunity to live on your terms. However, as the pandemic ravaged the world-destroying economies and jobs in its path, it left large swathes of the population vulnerable to homelessness.
The pandemic disruption, in addition to the prevailing factors like declining salaries, insecure jobs, and poor saving culture among the working populace, meant that most people were found on their back foot; unprepared. Across Kenya’s urban areas, many people are currently not able to make rent while others have been forced to downgrade their living standards to cope with the tough economic environment. Others, instead, chose to return to their rural homes when the living situation got out of hand.
The ensuing housing struggles in wake of COVID-19 disruption and resulting recession has led the majority of the working urban population to rethink their stance on homeownership. Among the many lessons that we’ve all learned during this pandemic is that we need to have our own homes as a safety measure to guard against the perils of losing our feet amidst financial meltdowns.
Buying a home may require a significant capital upfront but it allows you to build wealth and create long term savings. As a homeowner, you could use the additional disposable income that would have otherwise been spent on rent to invest in other well-paying investment projects. This way, you will be promoting your financial stability and you will most likely survive cycles of economic instability. Over and above the financial advantages, homeownership will give you more control of your life, peace of mind and a sense of happiness. You can customize the living environment that you have always wanted. All this would in turn contribute to bettering your health and perhaps you may even live longer.
Indeed the benefits of homeownership are compelling. If there is one thing that we ought to have learnt because of the events that have occurred in the past several months, it is the need to have your own home. This can be in an urban area where you work or at your rural home area. One of the key action points that you can take up immediately is jotting down preferences for your dream home. This includes size, amenities, facilities, location, and budget among others. With this information, you can now start planning your homeownership journey with a clear destination in mind.
If interested in starting your journey, get in touch with Squarefoot Real Estate on Call +254 799 751 740. They have a wide collection of Apartments/Flats, Townhouses, Villas, Maisonnettes, Bungalows and Standalone houses for sale within and around Nairobi Metropolitan area. They also have land for sale in case you want to build your own home at your pace and using your architectural designs.
The views expressed here are of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of Square Foot Real Estate and as such does not warranty any particulars.