Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Buying and Selling Costs of Real Estate Transactions in Kenya

As would be expected, there are several transactions involved in buying and selling property, which attract fees and taxes. In Kenya, you incur charges from the moment you begin searching for feasible investment ventures.

While some costs are set, such as registration and requisite search fees, many costs associated with buying and selling real estate in Kenya are highly variable and based on:

  • The type of real estate
  • Location of the property
  • Commissions and fees charged and earned by the various professionals (which are also often based on type and location of the property)
  • The type of transactions
  • Documents you want or need

The estimated sum for round trip transactions can range from 4.5% to 6.8% of the selling/buying price of the real estate.

Real-estate Agent Fees

  • Searching fees: rates vary depending on the type, size and cost of property with an urban apartment in upmarket neighborhood costing as much as Ksh5,000
  • Viewing fees: varies among real estate agents but usually ranges between Ksh500- 1000 for residential houses and over Kshs5,000 for commercial properties
  • Listing Fees: varies depending on size and location of property with landlords paying from 2% the value of the property
  • Agent’s commission (buyer & seller): 1.25% of the sale price

Property Requisite Search Fees

  • Preliminary requisite search fee: Ksh500
  • Costs of obtaining requisite completion documents (seller): Kshs500

Registration Costs

  • Registration fees: Ksh500
  • Banker’s cheque fee: Kshs600
  • Land rent clearance certificate: Kshs 7,500

Stamp Duties

Stamp duties are taxes tied to documents and real-estate sale/purchase transactions. It’s usually based on the sale price of the property.

  • Duly signed sales agreement: Ksh200 for original copy and Kshs20 for each copy
  • Property transfer (properties within municipalities): 4% flat rate
  • Property transfer (outside municipalities): 2% flat rate
  • Mortgage: 0.1% of the amount of mortgage
  • Property leased for less than 3 years: 1% flat rate
  • Property leased over a duration of 3yrs: 2% flat rate stamp duty

Taxes

  • Income tax (non-residents): 30% of gross rental income
  • Income tax (foreign companies): 37.50% flat rate
  • Annual property tax: varies across locations and property value but is usually 1% of the property value
  • Land tax: varies by location of the land and is most costly in major towns such as Nairobi with rates as high as 8%

Legal and Mortgage Fees

  • Legal charges related with taking mortgage

    • Depends on amount of mortgage you take (higher mortgages mean higher fees) but mostly the rates are between 0.5-1.5% of the value of property
  • Property insurance: varies with duration of loan repayment and lender
  • Mortgage life policy: charged at 0.3% and 0.6% of the mortgage loan per year
  • Mortgage negotiation fees: although it varies, most lenders ask for 1% of the mortgage amount
  • Mortgage indemnity insurance: often ranges between 5 – 10% of the value of property
  • Legal fees related with lawyer overseeing sale process: 1.5%

Other Important Costs

  • Survey fees: Ksh 5, 000 consultation fee.

    • Survey fees are determined by the survey work done
  • Valuation charges: usually Kshs5,000 consultation fee

    • However, the actual valuation fee depends on property value. For instance valuation charges for urban properties valued Ksh10 million means Ksh40,000
  • Residency permit fees: accompanied by non-refundable processing fees and the fees vary depending with the type of permit you need. For instance:
  1. Class D- Kshs200,000 annually with 10,000 non-refundable fees
  2. Class I- Kshs5,000 with Kshs1,000 non-refundable fee
  3. Class A- Kshs250, 000 and 10,000 non- refundable, etc.

Company setup costs: depends on type and size of company and its location

Utility reconnection fees include

  • Electricity deposit fees: standard Ksh2,500
  • Water deposit fees: standard Ksh1,000



Source by James E Harrison

An Introduction To Real Estate Property Management Software

The real estate market is a booming industry. The success of the industry is a result of competition and the intervention of modern technology. Most people in the business prefer to use real estate property management software to stay ahead in the race. This software has been designed to cater to commercial and residential property, office buildings and apartments.

Real estate property management software is an effective and easy-to-use tool. This software helps people understand the real estate business. It is a quick response application that can store each detail of every transaction. This helps study non-payments and full-payments of rent, and maintains a detailed report of rent receipts and invoices.

Property owners are able to key inputs as and when required. The secured system is intelligent and allows changes from authorized personnel. Real estate property management software can evaluate an unlimited number of properties and units simultaneously. The software stores detailed data related to rent payments for all individual properties. This systematic approach eliminates any problems due to taxation.

Real estate property management software generates automated reports in cases of wrong payments and non-payments. The software does away with the practice of owners waiting for rent payments. All maintenance expenses or any extra revenue statements are regularly updated. The software also stores tenant information.

Residential property managers must select property management software that is most suited for their work. These applications are available with one-month money-back guarantees.

The residential property management system is considered to be time- and cost-effective for a manager and resident. The application can create a personalized website for an individual company in a relatively short time. This allows prospective and existing customers to visit the web site. This is a convenient method to view pictures of property, pay rent and submit maintenance requests.



Source by Josh Riverside

Calculus Applications in Real Estate Development

Calculus has many real world uses and applications in the physical sciences, computer science, economics, business, and medicine. I will briefly touch upon some of these uses and applications in the real estate industry.

Let's start by using some examples of calculus in speculative real estate development (ie: new home construction). Logically, a new home builder wants to turn a profit after the completion of each home in a new home community. This builder will also need to be able to maintain (hopefully) a positive cash flow during the construction process of each home, or each phase of home development. There are many factors that go into calculating a profit. For example, we already know the formula for profit is: P = R – C , which is, the profit ( P ) is equal to the revenue ( R ) minus the cost ( C ). Although this primary formula is very simple, there are many variables that can factor in to this formula. For example, under cost ( C ), there are many different variables of cost, such as the cost of building materials, costs of labor, holding costs of real estate before purchase, utility costs, and insurance premium costs during the construction phase. These are a few of the many costs to factor in to the above mentioned formula. Under revenue ( R ), one could include variables such as the base selling price of the home, additional upgrades or add-ons to the home (security system, surround sound system, granite countertops, etc.). Just plugging in all of these different variables in and of itself can be a daunting task. However, this becomes further complicated if the rate of change is not linear, requiring us to adjust our calculations because the rate of change of one or all of these variables is in the shape of a curve (ie: exponential rate of change)? This is one area where calculus comes into play.

Let's say, last month we sold 50 homes with an average selling price of $ 500,000. Not taking other factors into consideration, our revenue ( R ) is price ($ 500,000) times x (50 homes sold) which equals $ 25,000,000. Let's consider that the total cost to build all 50 homes was $ 23,500,000; Therefore the profit ( P ) is 25,000,000 – $ 23,500,000 which equals $ 1,500,000. Now, knowing these figures, your boss has asked you to maximize profits for following month. How do you do this? What price can you set?

As a simple example of this, let's first calculate the marginal profit in terms of x of building a home in a new residential community. We know that revenue ( R ) is equal to the demand equation ( p ) times the units sold ( x ). We write the equation as

R = px .

Suppose we have determined that the demand for selling a home in this community is

P = $ 1,000,000 – x / 10.

At $ 1,000,000 you know you will not sell any homes. Now, the cost equation ( C ) is

$ 300,000 + $ 18,000 x ($ 175,000 in fixed materials costs and $ 10,000 per house sold + $ 125,000 in fixed labor costs and $ 8,000 per house).

From this we can calculate the marginal profit in terms of x (units sold), then use the marginal profit to calculate the price we should charge to maximize profits. So, the revenue is

R = px = ($ 1,000,000 – x / 10) * ( x ) = $ 1,000,000 xx ^ 2/10.

Therefore, the profit is

P = R – C = ($ 1,000,000 xx ^ 2/10) – ($ 300,000 + $ 18,000 x ) = 982,000x – ( x ^ 2/10) – $ 300,000.

From this we can calculate the marginal profit by taking the derivative of the profit

DP / dx = 982,000 – ( x / 5)

To calculate the maximum profit, we set the marginal profit equal to zero and solution

982,000 – ( x / 5) = 0

X = 4910000.

We plug x back into the demand function and get the following:

P = $ 1,000,000 – (4910000) / 10 = $ 509,000.

So, the price we should set to gain the maximum profit for each house we sell should be $ 509,000. The following month you sell 50 more homes with the new pricing structure, and net a profit increase of $ 450,000 from the previous month. Great job!

Now, for the next month your boss asks you, the community developer, to find a way to cut costs on home construction. From before you know that the cost equation ( C ) was:
$ 300,000 + $ 18,000 x ($ 175,000 in fixed materials costs and $ 10,000 per house sold + $ 125,000 in fixed labor costs and $ 8,000 per house).

After, shrewd negotiations with your building suppliers, you were able to reduce the fixed materials costs down to $ 150,000 and $ 9,000 per house, and lower your labor costs to $ 110,000 and $ 7,000 per house. As a result your cost equation ( C ) has changed to

C = $ 260,000 + $ 16,000 x .

Because of these changes, you will need to recalculate the base profit

P = R – C = ($ 1,000,000 xx ^ 2/10) – ($ 260,000 + $ 16,000 x ) = 984,000 x – ( x ^ 2/10) – $ 260,000.

From this we can calculate the new marginal profit by taking the derivative of the new profit calculated

DP / dx = 984,000 – ( x / 5).

To calculate the maximum profit, we set the marginal profit equal to zero and solution

984,000 – ( x / 5) = 0

X = 4920000.

We plug x back into the demand function and get the following:

P = $ 1,000,000 – (4920000) / 10 = $ 508,000.

So, the price we should set to gain the new maximum profit for each house we sell should be $ 508,000. Now, even though we lower the selling price from $ 509,000 to $ 508,000, and we still sell 50 units like the previous two months, our profit has still increased because we cut costs to the tune of $ 140,000. We can find this out by calculating the difference between the first P = R – C and the second P = R – C which contains the new cost equation.

1st P = R – C = ($ 1,000,000 xx ^ 2/10) – ($ 300,000 + $ 18,000 x ) = 982,000 x – ( x ^ 2/10) – $ 300,000 = 48,799,750

2nd P = R – C = ($ 1,000,000 xx ^ 2/10) – ($ 260,000 + $ 16,000 x ) = 984,000 x – ( x ^ 2/10) – $ 260,000 = 48,939,750

Taking the second profit minus the first profit, you can see a difference (increase) of $ 140,000 in profit. So, by cutting costs on home construction, you are able to make the company even more profitable.

Let's recap. By simply applying the demand function, marginal profit, and maximum profit from calculus, and nothing else, you were able to help your company increase its monthly profit from the ABC Home Community project by hundreds of thousands of dollars. By a little negotiation with your building suppliers and labor leaders, you were able to lower your costs, and by a simple readjustment of the cost equation ( C ), you could quickly see that by cutting costs, you increased profits yet again, even after Adjusting your maximum profit by lowering your selling price by $ 1,000 per unit. This is an example of the wonder of calculus when applied to real world problems.



Source by Michael Frick

Automated Real Estate Software – The New Trend in Investing

The value of real estate has appreciated in the last few years. It also shows great potential for growth. Hence, now might be the best time to look at an investment in property. However, if you’ve spoken to someone who already has his knees deep in real estate investing, you will realize that a lot of things are easier said than done.

It requires skill and experience to scour the market for high value properties.

Then comes landing good buyers.

Finally, there’s a humongous amount of paper work to handle.

This is where real estate investing softwares might lend a hand. They automate the entire process of real estate investing. If you would like to know more about such applications, here’s a low down on some of the common features they offer.

Lead generation –

At the click of a single button you are able to find a comprehensive list of buyers and sellers scattered across the country. The information elicited includes names and mail addresses of buyers, owners of properties, the type of property (bank owned, foreclosed, low and high equity, absentee owner etc.) and amount of cash paid.

Website creation –

Every business needs a website, especially if you do not have a physical location from which operate. Not all of us know the technicalities of writing HTML codes and designing a website. The real estate softwares can help you create targeted and user-friendly websites that you can use to showcase your business.

Direct mail generator –

Marketing is the soul of a real estate business. The more you network the more leads you can generate. The direct mail generator feature helps you setup a highly productive and efficient mailing system. You can send out emails, newsletters, posters and flyers.

There are a range of pre-made email templates you can use to send out messages to your leads. Autoresponders make sure you can keep in touch with sellers and buyers even when you are not physically present to answer their queries.

This feature is a highlight feature of most real estate software given that the savings in time and money are large.

Investing tips –

This is a section that most newbies can benefit from. Most applications include a resource library with info on the basic aspects of the trade. An open community of members can also give you an opportunity to interact and build your resource with real-time knowledge about making, building and closing a deal.

Diverse user base –

Modern-day automated real estate investing software applications cater to a varied group of investors. It includes those who buy, fix and flip properties. If you are a landlord, it can increase the convenience of managing your properties including finding tenants and repairing and renovating properties between subsequent deals. There are also features that rehabbers and builders of new constructions can use.

Contracts and paperwork –

Real estate investment also means a lot of paperwork. Most applications offer tools to generate contracts. Features such as auto-fill enable you to fill personal details into letters, contracts and other property-related documents. You can sign them online, and then email or fax them free of charge.

There is one thing – you need to be realistic. Real estate softwares are tools you can use to streamline your business. You should have a real estate business to start with and some basic know-how on investing.



Source by Jovia A. D’Souza

How to Identify Emerging Real Estate Markets

If you are interested in making a career out of real estate investment, it is important to have the ability to spot emerging markets before they reach their full potential. This allows you to get in early and support the growth of the market, while also ensuring that you are in a position to make as much money as possible form your initial investment.

Of course, that sounds far easier than it actually is, as it is not always easy to see where the next market is going to emerge and it can often be difficult to get all of the pieces of the puzzle to align so that you can take advantage of it.

Here we will look at a few tips that will serve you well when you are considering your investments.

Take Away Personal Taste

If you are looking to invest in property, the first thing that you need to do is take away your own personal tastes. After all, the property isn’t intended for your own use, so what you think about it is actually not all that much of an issue.

Instead, try to consider how the property fits into the surrounding area and if there is going to be a demand for what it has to offer. Cheap apartments, for example, may not be to your personal taste but they may well serve a purpose to the area in which they are being built. Put your business head on and try to see the big picture in terms of how the market looks in a particular area.

Get In Early

The term “emerging” is important to consider here, as your investment will be worth less if you jump on a bandwagon that is already well-established. Keep your eyes open for news of potential investments and try to get on board at the earliest possible stage, so that you can reap the largest rewards at a later date.

Of course, this doesn’t just mean that you should invest in everything that is just starting up. Consider the reputations of the people behind the project and their previous successes. Be sure to meet with them to discuss their plans and the research they have put into the project, and be very wary of anybody who is not willing to speak to you directly but still wants you to invest in their venture.

Know The Local Market

The property market is extremely complex, with national cycles not always matching up to the way that the market is going in various localities. As such it is extremely important that you do the research into any area that you are looking to invest in and, just as importantly, you keep on top of the changes in that market that are always bound to happen.

Simply put, you are not going to make any money if you invest in a project where there is no demand. Find out if the area is a renter’s market, or a comfortable place for people to purchase a first home and look for upcoming projects that will satisfy that demand.



Source by Bill Len

What Does a Real Estate Consultant Do?

You may be wondering if the title of real estate consultant is a meaningful one, and if it indicates anything different from the same old licensed real estate brokers with a vested interest in the fate of a property. While it is true that anyone can call himself or herself a consultant, the term is not meaningless window dressing. For those who take their real estate consulting business seriously, it represents a different model, a different approach to real estate practice.

The first and most important difference is objectivity. Whereas a real estate broker typically is paid contingent on an outcome-in other words, they receive a commission-a real estate consultant is paid solely for their expertise. They have no stake in the outcome. Salespeople are paid only for getting a result-a sale. Real estate consultants are paid for their expert advice only, and by design have no stake in achieving a particular outcome to a particular transaction. This gives them the capacity to be more objective and inherently more trustworthy than a traditional real estate salesperson. Think about it-even the most honest salesperson will unconsciously try to steer you toward a sale. After all, that’s where their pay comes from-from selling! The consultant is paid the way other professional advisors or service professionals like CPAs are, with a retainer regardless of outcome.

Consulting can involve a variety of skills and areas of expertise. You can hire a consultant for legal advice, market research, or to locate possible properties to invest in, among other things. Since they are paid as much for their time if they advise you that there are no properties in an area worth investing in as if they advise you of dozens of viable properties, they have no stake in anything except giving you the best advice possible. After all, their future business depends on word-of-mouth endorsements from investors like you.

If you are looking for properties to invest in, a real estate consultant can tip you off to developer closeouts and bulk opportunities, equity partnerships, joint ventures, and possibly even some very unique and profitable turnkey investment opportunities. The consultant is selling information and expertise, and therefore can provide you with a layer of insulation between you and the people selling the properties. They can work out a lot of the details and business prospects of a property before you have to talk to a salesperson. Once you face the salesperson, you can approach the negotiation fully armed with an array of appropriate information, and thus avoid being bamboozled and negotiate from a position of strength.

If, on the other hand, you are selling properties, especially if you have a lot of properties to sell, a real estate consultant can help you create a strategy to sell the units before you get involved with actual salespeople, which can have many advantages. For example, you can sell a lot of properties in a relatively short time without creating the appearance of a bulk sale by having a real estate consultant distribute the properties among several different sellers.



Source by Peter Vekselman