Estate living is one of the fastest growing property trends in Kampala. Boosted by the demand for a quality lifestyle in a secure environment real estate investors have since constructed a number of luxurious apartments for the more affluent homeowner. One of those luxury properties is the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) housing project known as The Citadel Place located in Mbuya.
Although the 40 apartment residential complex might be a little bit on the high end, like many of its kind, it offers a variety of communal facilities . Valued at Shs650m, the 170 square metre apartments have become popular among the middle income earners and Ugandans living in the diaspora.
Value for money
Aggrey Nuwagira, sales and estates manager at National Social Security Fund Uganda reveals so far more than have of the apartments have been bought or booked. Asked why they have attracted so many buyers in less than two months, Nuwagira says because the buyers know they are buying value for their money.
“Everyone wants to sell their house for its maximum value and all too often the maximum value is unfortunately not the actual property value. This can be a big mistake because word get round so fast in this industry and potential buyers will be put off by an overpriced apartment even before they have stepped foot inside it. Knowing these facts helped us come up with a price that makes both the seller and the buyer happy,” Nuwagira explains.
Arthur Kagale, a property valuer, remarks that while there are many luxurious residential houses being constructed in the city only a few of them are accurately priced. “It is an unfortunate fact that some of the apartments are exorbitantly priced that is why there is a continuing housing crisis despite the massive construction going on. A buyer does not want to feel cheated of their hard earned money by ending up with a property unworthy of the cost,” Kagale notes.
He recommends buyers to always consult valuers before closing property deals because it is easy to get blindsided by the superficial aesthetics instead of focusing on the things that really matter.
“A real estate agent’s job is to sell property so although in most cases, the agent will be telling the truth it is also possible that they will definitely hype the great things about the property and downplay the negative ones. Whereas a valuer should give you all the facts so that you make an informed decision,” he says.
Whether buying or selling, every property should be accurately evaluated because it helps getting the right insurance policy, getting a mortgage deal and determining market value among others.
The market value of a property is the price that would be negotiated between a buyer and seller.
The commonest and easiest way to value a property is to compare it to properties that have just sold in the last six months in the area. For a more accurate comparison.
Kagale says the properties should be as similar to the property you are interested in as possible. The properties should also be in the same location and offer similar sizes.
“For instance is the footage size similar? Are there the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms and car spaces? Are both properties of a similar standard? If they are not, then you are comparing apples and oranges,” the valuer, remarks.
Another important factor in determining market value is the market performance for the last three months. If you have been viewing many different properties, then you should have a good feel for what the market is like in your area.
“For instance, you will know how fast the properties sell and the quality of people buying them. Some buyers increase the market value of an area while others affect it negatively,” he says.
In addition to the quality of the demographic is the quality of the local amenities. “So of course these are things such as how close it is to the road and the condition of the road, accessibility to good schools, health centres, upmarket shops and restaurants. To put it simply an area with premium services will attract the affluent demographic willing and able to buy at a certain rate and makes the area even more desirable,” Kagale relates.