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Professionals who make your home ownership dream come true

Portrait of a confident, young African American woman working in a manufacturing plant. She is standing with arms folded, looking at the camera, in a storage facility or warehouse. She is wearing a white hardhat and yellow safety vest.

If you have a dream of developing property, you will need to employ the services of professionals.

The property agent or real estate manager will assist you in getting a property in the area you want, guided by your budget, choice of location and amenities. The estate agent will charge you a fee in line the law. However, the public is encouraged to engage licensed and registered agents who are members of the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya. They must be registered by the Estate Agents Registration Board.

Then there is the lawyer.  After the buyer meets the seller, an agreement is drafted between the two clients. The buyer will agree on terms of payment at the lawyer’s office. The payment settlement will depend on the availability of all documents like the title deed and seller’s consent.

After buying your plot of land, you will need to engage a surveyor to ascertain and measure the size of the land. The surveyor will also provide

a map of the area. He or she will also put beacons to ensure the land is secured as per the sale agreement.

Don’t forget the valuer. A valuer will assess the value of your property using various parameters. He or she will give you a valuation report after the assessment. With a title in your name and a valuation report, you can take a construction loan to kick start the project development.

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After the land is acquired, surveyed, valued and with funds at hand, engage an architect who will assist in coming up with the plan. You can get an architect through the Architectural Association of Kenya.

The structural engineer will draft drawings on the structure of the building, how the beams will appear, the foundation, slab details and highlight the thickness of steel to be used at every stage. The electrical engineer will advise on electrical wiring that will ensure the building is lighted. You can get these professionals through the Institution of Engineers of Kenya.

You require a bill of quantities that will guide you on the project cost. This is where the quantity surveyor comes in. It will detail the cost of the project, covering boundary walls, foundation, slab, wiring, plastering, roofing, plumbing, windows, doors, lavatories, cabinets, tiling and painting. When all the basic stages of preparation are over, engage a property developer or a contractor who will start the building process.

You can get a contractor through the Kenya Property Developers Association and NCA. Research on previous completed projects to ensure credibility and delivery of service.

If the property development is commercial and the land on which it is being developed in agricultural, a change of user certificate should be obtained and approved by the county government’s planning department. The planner also conducts an environmental impact assessment on the land to be developed.

You will need a landscaper once the building is almost complete and all the debris and building materials is removed from the site. He or she will advise on best plants, flowers, type of grass and trees to plant in the compound, including creating a centre piece if space allows.

People are nowadays more keen on decorative paint, fabrics and the general interior outlook. Engage a creative interior designer and see your space transformed into a haven.

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— The writer is a public relations/communication officer at the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya.

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