Written By Anguzu Derrick
Buying a plot has never been easy. One morning, I went out to buy my very first plot with two friends. Of course, the excitement of a dream come true was not only felt, but it was also visible all over me. In a comfortable saloon car, the four of us set off, including the nephew to the seller who was our sanctioned guide to the land in question.
Our initial itinerary briefing by our designated guide on the land being in Kiwenda with a projected 15 minutes’ drive from the main road at Gayaza turned out to be inaccurate. We drove for about 35 minutes to the land off the Gayaza road. By the time we arrived at the supposed land for sale, I had already lost interest in it.
The remoteness of the place struck first. Then came a herbalist, armed with freshly extracted green plants. As he [the herbalist] approached and spoke, wild nightmares and the imagery of horror about this place looked real. When we finally met the supposed landowner, things couldn’t get any worse; he told us the land wasn’t titled and that we would only be entitled to the surface of the land upon buying. Whatever he meant by that, I didn’t want to know as I’d stomached enough frustration for the day and made up my mind to abort the mission. As we drove back, we could think of nothing more than estate plots. Fast forward: today we all own organized titled estate plots.
It’s from this experience that I decided to outline a few points on why I hold buying estate plots in high regard compared to non-estate plots (unplanned landscape). Here we go:
- Organized neighbourhood– buying estate plots means well-planned landscape in terms of how plots are arranged, roads within, drainage system, etc. unlike unplanned plots where sometimes it calls for village sitting to define access roads within the community or to your own house.
- It brings together people from different walks of life– this can have its own pros and cons but I prefer to dwell on the brighter side. People coming from different ends of the earth to a particular Centre point can breathe in a new life and energy and lead to faster growth and development. Many areas in Kampala and surrounding areas like Mukono, Namugongo, Kira, Naalya, etc have people from different walks of life and this clearly shows the dynamics in these areas.
- Integrated with like-minded people– buying estate plots means you are most likely going to be integrated with people of a similar mindset in terms of development and status. Everyone would love to stay in an environment in which they feel comfortable. In order to stay in harmony, it’s necessary to integrate with people with whom you share a lot of values in terms of behaviour, thoughts and attitude to change, etc.
- Property Development and appreciation picks up evenly and much faster. Buying estate plots mean your plot will appreciate as the development around.
- You are less prone to land grabbers. Though some people have fallen victim to some estate companies selling to them untitled plots with the promise of issuing it to them in the near future only to realize that the issues with the original owner have never been settled, due diligence is required and emphasized in all circumstances to ensure that when you are buying estate plots, they are already titled for your own protection.
- Payment flexibility– these companies tend to provide flexible payment terms. For instance, Sema properties can sell to you plots at 6m for cash or can offer at 7m for those interested in paying in instalments. This still gives one ample time to organize themselves to acquire the plot of their own desire.
- Just like a coin, there is always the other side to everything. There are different estate rules and arrangements provided by the estate management. For instance, there are those who will only sub-divide the land into plots and sell without showing any further interest in how the estate is organized beyond that. Then there are those estate owners who will go on and engage themselves deeper in activities beyond estate plotting. Some of these include; pre-purchase agreements, design, building and rental policies, utilities like water and electricity, and general sanitation. Although these rules and policies appear stringent, they tend to have a long-term positive effect. A familiar example for reference would be Kakungulu Akright estate, Bwebajja
.Here, you’ll realize that all the houses have similar roofing; this is not a coincidence, it was deliberate.
- Sometimes estate plots tend to be very expensive compared to un-plotted land in the neighbourhood. This mostly originates from the management side because they incur costs of planning, clearing, surveying, sub-plotting, advertising, etc. As they say, good things come with a price tag. But sometimes you get a nice plot in an unplanned residential area which is much less than the market value, and in most times, such land is sold because of an urgent need to be addressed and tend to be sold at a low price. But that doesn’t take away the fact that one who buys from an estate stands a much higher chance of realising more value out of their property.
Well, this topic doesn’t require much theoretical defining as results across Kampala and the suburbs are visible testimonies to its success. In fact, organized estates have been the main drivers to development in many areas like; Namugongo, Naalya, Kira, Lubowa, etc. Many people are already experiencing its advantages but for those still stuck in dilemma, it’s time you made up your mind and got a plot in an estate for yourself.
Please feel free to give your feedback on this topic in the comments area.
~ Anguzu Derrick
Aderok Real Estates ( www.aderokestates.com)