At the end of April 2023, I started my hunt for a house to let within Kasarani, Roysambu, Claycity, Santon and Ruaraka area. It took me 2 Months to find a quality and fairly priced house that suites me.
I wanted a space where I can comfortably enjoy my stay when I am home without feeling uneasy or uncomfortable. That means it had to have some key features like good ventilation, continuous water supply, easy road access, internet e.t.c
My Journey Started In April And Ended On May
On April 2023, my search for a house around Thika Road began. During my hunt, I spent more than 20 days combined walking around the estates to view all available houses to let.
At the end of my adventure, I had looked at over 100 houses in different regions of Thika road including Thome, Marurui, Roysambu, Kasarani, Santon, Clay city and TRM drive. Out of all these houses I viewed, I only picked one.
PS: More than 50% of the houses that we had viewed had been vacant for more that 2 months. This means, people go there, view the house and find out that there is something missing and then go away never to come back again.
So what made me choose the current house I am renting now over others?
In this article I will share with you six house features that I think many tenants look at when searching for a perfect ‘house to rent‘ in Nairobi.
This post will act as a guide to someone looking for a space to rent in Nairobi and any other place.
Also, it will be a source of inspiration to current and future real estate developers.
1. Convenience To The Main Road
How easy is it to access the main road from the house? Do you have to take a boda-boda to connect to the main road? Even if the house has quality finish and you still spend money to connect to the main road, it is still not economical.
I know you are asking; but it depends with what you do? Well, sometimes the convenience to the road come in handy e.g emergencies, security e.t.c.
Having this in mind when searching for a house to rent in Nairobi will save one a lot of time. You will not waste time going deeper into the estates to look for a house. You will only focus on the ones that are closer to the road.
2. House Design And Ventilation
Is the house design appealing? How is the house ventilation from the inside? Some of the design features that was important to us was the positioning of the toilets, kitchen, bedrooms and balcony.
There is a huge problem with many house designs in most flats in Nairobi. In some, the first thing you will see when you enter the house is the toilets, then Kitchen, then bedrooms then living room then finally the balcony. All the rooms are connected by a tiny corridor. This isn’t in anyway appealing having in mind that you have to pass through the corridor to connect to all the rooms.
Another issue with many designs was ventilation. Many houses we viewed located at the Ground floor had very poor ventilation. There was no natural light coming into the house. This means that aside spending a lot of money on power, its not a conducive working environment if sometimes you work from home.
Finally still on the issue of design, the curtain holders in most houses were ‘box type.’ They have not embraced curtain rods yet. So if one had curtains designed for rods, they had to install the rods at their own cost.
3. Water And Other Amenities’
One of the biggest problem in most Nairobi estates is water. Tenants are not told about the water rationing when they move in. I remember at one time, in my previous rental, we stayed a whole month without water. Thanks to my friend who lived in a house with no water rationing thus I did laundry and showered at his place until the water was back.
But imagine, what will happen if you don’t have a friend you can run to for help when having water crisis? You will buy 20 litres of water at up to 100 shillings. On average, one person needs at least 40 litres of water daily to use in bathing and flashing toilets.
The house design and beauty doesn’t matter if there is no water. It is better to pay for water in units than live in a house without water.
4. Space Size Including The Balcony
How spacious is the living room and bedrooms? In some houses, the bedroom space was very small that it only fits a 5×6 bed. Literally, the whole bedroom is occupied by only the bed which doesn’t make sense.
Spacious living room and balcony is also important. In the balcony, one can hang clothes, relax and bask in the sun e.t.c. This are things that matters to anyone.
In a spacious house, one feels free and flexible. There is a special feeling that one gets when he/she is living in a very spacious house.
5. House Floor Levels and Lift
Which floor is the house in? Is it in 1st floor or 6th floor? In my search, I found 3 good houses in 5th and 6th floor, but what turned me off was the poor ventilation on the stairs and absence of a lift.
Imagine you have gone to the shop and back to the house only to realize you forgot to buy something essential from the shop. You will have to walk down the stairs to the shop and back to the house. In this day and age, that’s a lot of work. That is why its important to have a lift in place if the house is tall.
Anything above 4th floor should have a lift for convenience.
This is the last thing that one looks at. How much is the rent? Some people rarely ask the renting cost if the house didn’t have the features they wanted. If they do, they will do it as a by the way. Some of the houses were overly priced despite having all the features we were looking for in a house.
In many cases, I realized that many landlords are nowadays focusing on the decorations other than the space size thus charging more. There should be a balance.
At the end, like business Tenders, one choses the lowest priced house with good space, water 24/7, security, easy access to the road and is properly ventilated.
If you are looking for a house to let in Nairobi, don’t rush; take you time. It will take time to find a good house that is habitable. A house that you can live in until you are able to have your own home designed to your own taste. You do not want to move into a house and little after moving in, you find a problem and you are forced to move out again.
I hope you found this article helpful.
What are those things you look at when looking for a house to let in Nairobi that fits your taste? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Until next time, bye bye and take care.
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